Honda Cycle, ATV Sales Fall 11.7% in First Half

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. says it sold 4.586 million motorcycles and ATVs worldwide during the first six months of its fiscal year, down 11.7 percent from 5.196 million units sold during the same period in 2006.

Honda says its motorcycle business during the first six months of the fiscal year was impacted by a "struggling" motorcycle and ATV market in North America, continued growth in Brazil, and tougher competitive conditions in major Asian motorcycle markets such as in India and Indonesia.

Honda says its cycle business in North America has been impacted by political and economic issues, model delivery schedules and increasing raw material prices despite cost reduction efforts and increased sales incentives. The company says the largest decreases in unit sales stateside occurred with utility ATVs and cruisers.

Honda expects to sell 9,580,000 motorcycles and ATVs worldwide in its fiscal year ending March 31, 2008, down from 10,369,000 units in the previous fiscal year. The largest losses are to come from Asian markets. Sales in North America are anticipated to total 545,000 units, up from 503,000 units last year.

Looking into the next fiscal year, Honda officials say they expect the global business environment to continue to be "severe" due to political and economic uncertainty, fluctuations in oil and raw material prices, and currency, finance and capital markets movements. The company anticipates a slowdown in the U.S. economy, a steady recovery of Europe's economy and steady growth in Asian economies.