Honda's Hiroshi Talks Japanese Sales, Honda Fit

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan
hondas hiroshi talks japanese sales honda fit

Honda’s deputy chief operating officer for Japanese sales operations reckons his employer will hit its Japanese domestic market (JDM) sales forecast of 640k cars (down from previous estimates of 800k and 700k). “A lot depends on market conditions,” Hiroshi Kobayashi prevaricates. “But we should be able to easily reach that target at the current pace.” Kobayashi said that the figures could have been higher– if there were more Fits and Freed compact minivans on the ground. Unfortunately, Issac Newton was right. For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Increases in Honda’s smaller car sales have led to a decrease in more profitable higher end cars such as the Step Wgn and Elysion minivans. No wonder, then, that plans to launch the Acura “near luxury” marque in Japan are cooling. Honda’s still pushing their hybrids and plan more fuel efficient models. But they’d better work on their profit margins, as they’ll be selling a lot more of their smaller cars in years to come.

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  • ComfortablyNumb ComfortablyNumb on Sep 04, 2008

    I'm offended, Justin. Let me try to regain some credibility with a worthwhile comment. It's refreshing to see that even Honda has trouble making a profit on small cars. Refreshing, because as a fan of Detroit who is sick of corporate opinions driving decisions instead of facts, it means that Detroit's concerns about profiting on small cars are (at least partially) well founded. Hopefully they'll see this as an opportunity to reduce weight, commonize components, etc.

  • Hraefn Hraefn on Sep 04, 2008

    I thought it was because the Fit looks like a Trek shuttlecraft. Here is my nerd card. No, please, take it from me.

  • Pig_Iron Pig_Iron on Sep 04, 2008

    I have no idea what you guys are talking about, I'm going back out to the garage.

  • Shaker Shaker on Sep 05, 2008

    I call "Nerd Bait"! Oops. The only solace to "poor" Honda is that the new Fit will command MSRP (and dealer markups) for quite a while due to demand; kind of the opposite of a "fire sale". I watched the original Star Trek on a 19" B&W TV in 1966, the reruns on a 25" color set in the 1970's, 80's and 90's and have seen a few episodes on my 32" LCD on the 00's. I'm not sure what that says about me...