Even with impending shortages in vehicles, Honda Division has told its dealers in a memo that they should aim to sell 115,000 units in April, a 12% sales gain year-over-year. Honda acknowledged that the vehicle pipeline will be affected by the delays in the output of plants in Japan and North America. Most of Honda’s North American plants had already shifted to half-time production schedules.
Since the earthquake, Honda’s plants in Japan have been closed. However on April 11, they’re expected to resume partial production. As of March, Honda Division had a 64-day supply of 233,000 cars in its U.S. inventory.
But the Automotive News data center said that its Odyssey minivans only had a 36-day supply. The memo urged dealers to not lose focus on attaining its sales objective for April. Honda also reminded dealers about the April 20 launch of the redesigned 2012 Civic, emphasizing the "media power" that will support the event.
Notably, April’s target of 115,000 units is actually lower than March sales of 121,039 vehicles, a figure that’s 25% higher than that in March 2010.
The first quarter sales of 2011 are higher by 21% compared to the same period in 2010. In this memo, Honda implied that vehicle shortage may set off predatory pricing practices. It warned dealers that they should not do anything to damage the public trust.
American Honda spokesman Gary Robinson didn’t confirm what the sales target is but he boasted that the company still has a “good inventory.” He said that dealers wouldn’t be asked to sell a certain number of cars unless it has the inventory to back it up.