American Honda sees sunnier skies in 2023.
After struggling to get production back on track following the pandemic, which resulted in 17 months of consecutive sales declines, the Japanese automaker started this year off strong with roughly twice the amount of inventory and double-digit growth through April.
Mamadou Diallo, American Honda Motor Co.'s senior vice president of auto sales, who stepped into his role in April, said the Honda brand is on track to post sales of 1.2 million, and the Acura brand is aiming for 160,000 sales.
"We're very confident in our position this year," he said, noting that in his 23 years with the company, he's never seen such a strong lineup.
Diallo, 48, spoke last month with Staff Reporter Carly Schaffner. Here are edited excerpts.
Q: What do you think the U.S. market will do this year?
A: We see new-vehicle sales in the U.S. ending somewhere around 15 million to 15.5 million units, and supply returning across the industry, but certainly not to pre-COVID levels yet. As far as Honda is concerned, we're very bullish and are tracking toward a 20 to 25 percent increase over last year as we continue to stabilize our production.