Honda (NYSE:HMC) has just suffered through a month it would rather forget. The automaker faced a daunting task in trying to match record-setting sales from a year ago, but its performance was disappointing nonetheless: U.S. sales dropped by more than 7% in February.

Car sales, which account for most of the company's sales, fell an even worse 16.5% from last year. Sales of the two models that compete to be the company's top seller both declined: The Civic reported a 34% drop, and the Accord fell 9.4%. The Civic suffers from an aging design, but Honda is working on a makeover that's due out in 2006 and will likely improve those numbers.

Honda's truck division, meanwhile, fared much better at a 7.5% uptick, even though the sales performance of the CRV and the unusual Element prevented even stronger numbers. The Odyssey led the charge, with gains topping 29%, and the Pilot also did well, with a 12.1% increase.

The company is hoping that its all-new Ridgeline pickup will help keep sales strong in the truck sector, and it's counting on its new designs to pique buyers' interest and get the numbers turned around quickly. Even so, I doubt its ability to compete with the vastly popular F-Series from Ford (NYSE:F). Honda has a strong reputation for reliability and a plethora of loyal buyers, but it's also been called boring -- and rightly so, in my opinion. Honda's "sensible" image could set the company back in an increasingly diverse and competitive marketplace.

Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own any of the companies in this article.