Honda North American Output Rises 67%, Leading Region
Honda Motor Co. (7267) has raised output at North American plants by the fastest pace of any carmaker in the region this year as the company pushes to reclaim U.S. market share lost to competitors and natural disasters in 2011.
Honda plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico built 748,217 cars and light trucks in the year’s first five months, a record for the period and 67 percent more than a year earlier, according to the company. Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Asia’s biggest automaker, followed with a 64 percent North American increase to 787,777 vehicles.
“We’ve been doing everything we can to make up for lost time,” Tom Lake, Honda’s head of North American purchasing, said last month in an interview in Raymond, Ohio.
Honda, the third-largest Japanese carmaker, and Toyota are targeting gains of 10 percent or more in U.S. sales this year after losing ground to Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) and Kia Motors Corp. (000270), both based in Seoul. Honda, Toyota and Nissan Motor Co. (7201) are also racing to limit exposure to a sustained rise in the yen against the dollar by shifting output and parts purchases from Japan.
The Japanese currency last traded at about 79.4 yen to the dollar, compared with 91.7 yen to the dollar two years ago and 122.7 yen five years ago.
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