April 2, 2007 – Honda Motor overcomes slow sales in N. America

Honda Motor Corp. is reporting double-digit increases in net sales and income in its first three quarters even as its North American motorcycle and ATV sales have dropped significantly.
The corporation’s third-quarter financial statement shows a 13 percent drop in motorcycle sales in North America and a 16 percent decrease in the entire motorcycle segment, which includes ATVs. Those decreases are through the company’s first three quarters, which ended Dec. 31.
It’s the second straight year that Honda’s North American motorcycle segment sales have dropped in its first three quarters. In 2004, the company reported selling 413,000 units through the first nine months of its fiscal year. Last year, that number dropped to 404,000 and this year it’s down to 339,000.
The North American motorcycle segment sales of 200 billion yen ($1.7 billion U.S.) represents about 21 percent of Honda’s overall motorcycle business, which is down roughly 4 percent from the previous year period.
A dismal third-quarter in North America didn’t help.
Honda said its motorcycle sales dipped 28 percent and its entire motorcycle segment dropped 33 percent compared to the previous-year third quarter. The company cited decreased sales of ATVs and youth motorcycles as two reasons for the downturn.
The Japanese company, however, is reporting a slight increase in its biggest motorcycle market, Asia. Through the first three quarters, Honda’s sales there rose by less than 1 percent. Honda is also seeing sale surges in its “other regions” area, which includes Latin America. Sales there have climbed 23 percent to 943,000 units, making it the company’s second-largest selling region.
The company, however, did report motorcycle sale decreases in Europe (8.5 percent) and Japan (6 percent) through its first three quarters.
Driving Honda’s overall sales increase was its auto business, which was up 12 percent compared to the previous year period. Overall auto sales totaled 6.4 trillion yen ($55 billion) for the first three quarters.
In comparison, Honda’s overall motorcycle segment sales were 948 billion yen ($8 billion). psb

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