Honda optimistic about achieving 25% increase in US sales for 2012 despite Sandy

Article by Anita Panait, on November 21, 2012

Honda Motor Co. expects to continue to see its sales in the U.S. recover through the final months of 2012, eventually posting a 25-percent increase in sales this year despite the negative effect of Hurricane Sandy on October gains, US sales chief John Mendel told Bloomberg in an interview. Honda is expecting to sell around 1.46 million Honda and Acura brand vehicles in the US this year, up from 1.15 million in 2011.

The carmaker posted a nine-percent increase in sales in October 2012, higher than the seven-percent hike logged by the auto industry in the same month, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Honda posted a 23-percent increase in sales for the first 10 months of 2012, in a market that has gained 14%, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

Mendel expects November to be a good month for Honda, noting that he sees nothing different in the last two months of the year that will change the course of the company’s growth in 2012. Mendel said that Honda brand sales for 2012 should be “within 10,000 or 12,000 units” of 1.3 million, while the Acura luxury brand sales should be at “160,000, maybe a little bit more.”

Demand has been good for the Honda's cars and trucks in the US, partly due to a redesigned CR-V crossover and a restyled Accord sedan, as well as record production at North American sites that slackened in 2011 due to component shortages due to natural disasters in Asia.

Honda is hoping that a modified version of the Civic, which is currently the best-selling small car in the US, will keep the carmaker’s growth momentum going into 2013. The model will go on sales next month. The Honda CR-V is currently the best-selling sport-utility vehicle in the US so far this year. The Acura, meanwhile, posted a 28% sales increase in the first 10 months of 2012.

Honda Civic bounces back for 2013. The automobile’s developments were done without compromising the performance and quality that it has been renowned for during past four decades. This time around, a group of new standard features and a number of styling upgrades were added. The latest sedan was given a new exterior design both at the front and the rear. The interior design of all models also receives wide-ranging enhancements. A fine-tuned system of suspension and steering improves the vehicle’s control. Furthermore, major chassis and body developments increase interior quietness and ride comfort.

A set of world-class standard equipment has been applied to all 2013 Civic models. Among these are Bluetooth Audio, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, color i-MID display, exterior temperature gauge, Pandora Interface, rearview camera, sliding center-console armrest, SMS text feature, steering wheel audio controls and a USB/iPod connection. Although the cost of these added features combined is equivalent to a huge sum of money, the latest automobile only came up with $160 Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price increase in all the Civic models. The price of the fully equipped 2013 Civic LX Sedan starts at $18,165.

The next-generation ACE II body structure was applied in the vehicle as one of its latest safety features. The feature is expected to help the Civic achieve a top rating in the new small-offset crash test done by the IIHS. ACE II includes additional front end structures that scatter crash energy in narrow overlap frontal crashes. This front end construction improves passenger safety. Other latest features are Lane Departure Warning systems, Forward Collision Warning, side curtain airbags and SmartVent side airbags. The side curtain airbags have a rollover sensor. The Lane Departure Warning systems debuted in the compact-class in the 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid.

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