LOS ANGELES -- Honda will continue to push special lease and loan rates that vary by region through year end.
John Mendel, American Honda's sales boss, told Honda's U.S. dealers in a memo on Tuesday that he wants them to move "full speed ahead" to sell vehicles, despite cuts to vehicle production stemming from flooding in Thailand.
"Our product availability is good, our arrivals are good and we will continue to have media presence throughout the month of December," Mendel said in the memo.
The encouragement signals that Honda's vehicle supply may be improving after the company reduced output in North America by as much as 50 percent earlier this month because of parts shortages caused by flooding in Thailand.
Honda's U.S. stock of vehicles stood at 37 days on Nov. 1, up from 33 days on Oct. 1, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Industrywide stock averaged 57 days on Nov. 1, up from 50 on Oct. 1, according to the Data Center.
Honda spokesman Gary Robinson confirmed that Mendel sent the memo, but declined to comment on its details. He said the intent was to encourage Honda's dealers to remain aggressive as the year nears its end.
Another memo was sent to dealers on Nov. 21, Robinson said, telling dealers that Honda expects vehicle production in December to exceed output in December 2010.
"Since this whole Thailand crisis started, our initial position was pretty conservative, but things have turned around quicker than we initially thought," Robinson said.
In the latest memo, Mendel said TV spots for the Happy Honda Days advertising campaign will air on network and cable stations through year end. The campaign also will appear during broadcasts of National Football League and National Hockey League games, Mendel told dealers in the memo.
Endings of the advertisements promote lease and loan deals that vary by region, Robinson said.
Digital marketing also will continue through the rest of the year, Mendel said.