Honda targeting record 2013 sales in U.S.
Iwamura: "Our target is to challenge for our record sales."
DETROIT -- American Honda is forecasting a record U.S. sales year for its combined Honda and Acura divisions, even as projections for the overall market waver under economic uncertainty.
Honda is aiming at its 2007 sales record of 1.55 million sales for this year, American Honda CEO Tetsuo Iwamura said. Hitting that number would represent a 9 percent sales gain for the automaker, up from 1.42 million units in 2012 and 1.15 million in 2011.
"Our target is to challenge for our record sales," Iwamura said in a roundtable interview at the auto show.
In 2007, however, the overall industry sold 16.2 million units. This year, the initial industry forecast was about 14.8 million units. However, resurgent market strength since September has caused some analysts to reassess their 2013 targets to about 15.3 million units.
Honda is in a strong position, with recent redesigns of its three top volume lines: the entire Accord lineup and CR-V crossover, as well as the rescuing its underwhelming 2012 Civic with a confident 2013 freshening.
"This is a really good chance for our business," Honda Motor CEO Takanobu Ito said in the same roundtable. "We have a lot of momentum. We are at full production for the U.S. market."
Honda's growth likely will continue in 2014.
Next year will mark the arrival of a redesigned Fit and a new Fit-based crossover, both of which will be made at the plant in Celaya, Mexico. While Honda has suppressed Japan-built exports of the Fit due to currency exchange reasons -- it sold fewer than 50,000 U.S. units last year -- the Mexico plant is expected to produce 200,000 units for the North American market.
"Compared to others, [our North American production] is in a very advantageous position," Ito said. "We want to increase that even more."
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