Honda was expected to benefit from the troubles that Toyota had been getting into lately. But instead, Honda has lost market share while those that had gained include Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan and Hyundai.
Honda's executives in Japan are understandably bothered by this but American Honda sales boss John Mendel says that he isn't excessively worried.
Mendel cited that American Honda, which includes Acura, has kept its retail share in 2010 and has actually been steadily climbing. Mendel asserted that Honda won't revise its conservative strategy for the opportunity to widen its market share.
He explained that the share increases are correlated to "events where people count on Honda," which he believes is considered by its consumers as a "safe harbor."
R.L. Polk's figures indicate that American Honda retail share, including Acura, has been increasing marginally in February and March.
But Mendel clarified that these numbers only refer to segments where Honda competes while segments such as full-sized pickups and SUVs are excluded.
Actually, TrueCar of Santa Monica, Calif., found that American Honda's retail share held steady in March when all segments were taken into account. Nevertheless, the plunge in overall market share is alarming.
From 9.9%, the Honda brand fell in the first four months of 2009 to 9.4% this year. The 2010 figures show a sharp increase in many carmakers' fleet sales, a segment that Honda doesn't participate in. Cross-shopping information gathered by TrueCar and Compete Automotive indicate that Ford, Hyundai and Kia all performed better than Honda at attracting Toyota's customers.