Honda Cycle Sales Decline in North America

Powersports vehicle sales for Japan’s Honda Motor Co., Ltd. grew 24 percent worldwide during the second quarter of fiscal 2009 despite a 28 percent sales plunge in North America.

Honda says it sold 2.89 million powersports vehicles worldwide during its fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30, up 24 percent compared to 2.33 million units sold during the same three-month period in fiscal 2008. Global sales for the first half of fiscal ‘09 totaled 5.61 million units, up 22.3 percent compared to 4.59 million units during the first six months of the previous fiscal year.

Honda says it is experiencing a weakening of the North American market for ATV/off-road vehicles but continued expansion in Indonesia, India and Brazil. The company says factors influencing the global marketplace include continued high prices in oil and raw materials; concern about an impending recession in the U.S. economy while the financial crisis worsens; weak European economies because of a stagnation in consumption; a decline in the pace of economic expansion in Asian countries; and a Japanese economy showing signs of weakness.

In North America, Honda sold 93,000 units during the second quarter, down 28% compared to 121,000 units during the same three-month period last year. The company says it experienced a decrease in off-road motorcycles and sport ATVs yet an increase in Ruckus and other scooter models. First-half North American sales came to 173,000 units, down 13.9 percent from 201,000 units.

Honda forecasts sales of 10.84 million powersports vehicles worldwide for its fiscal year ending March 31, up 14 percent from 9.32 million units last year. In North America, the company expects to sell 445,000 units, down 1.8 percent from 453,000 units.

*Unit sales is the total of sales of completed products of Honda and its consolidated subsidiaries and sales of parts for Honda’s affiliates accounted for under the equity method.