TOKYO -- Honda Motor Co. trimmed its North America sales forecast for January-March, citing unusually cold and snowy weather there, but surging profits in its biggest market helped the carmaker more than double its overall net income in the quarter that ended Dec. 31.
North America was Honda's most profitable market in the three months that ended Dec. 31, contributing more to overall operating profits than the rest of the world combined.
Operating profit in that region jumped 85 percent to ¥131.1 billion ($1.25 billion) in the company's fiscal third quarter, as revenue there surged 28 percent to $15.12 billion.
Honda tempered its North American sales outlook, blaming severe winter weather.
Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura, who also heads the company's North American operations, said heavy snow and subzero temperatures across a wide swath of North America interfered with workers' commutes and supplier deliveries, hurting production. The weather also is keeping potential customers home.
Honda trimmed its North American sales forecast by 10,000 units to 1.785 million for the fiscal year ending March 31 largely because of the weather. The impact is likely to linger this month, Iwamura said, adding, "As you see on the news, conditions there are terrible."
Honda's net income in the latest quarter more than doubled to $1.53 billion from $736 million a year earlier, powered by foreign exchange gains of $789.8 million. Revenue rose 25 percent to $28.7 billion, as worldwide unit sales climbed 10 percent to 1.1 million vehicles.