Honda Wary of U.S. Economic Slowdown

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Japan's Honda Motor Co. Ltd. says its business environment is being impacted by a U.S. economic slowdown, declining personal consumption in Europe, continued high prices for crude oil and raw materials, currency fluctuations, signs of weakness in the Japanese economy and continued economic growth in Asia.

Honda says this business year has been characterized by a declining market for ATV and off-road models in North America but continued growth of small displacement units in Asia and South America.

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. sold 2.679 million two-wheelers worldwide during its fiscal first quarter, ended June 30, up from 2.211 million sold during last year's first quarter. Worldwide ATV sales totaled 36,000 units, down from 42,000 units.

Honda says it sold 50,000 two-wheelers in North America during its fiscal first quarter, ended June 30, up 12 percent from 44,000 units sold during the same three-month period last year. The OEM says ATV sales totaled 30,000 units, down 16.7 percent from 36,000 units.

Honda says it plans to increase motorcycle sales 12.2 percent to 10.455 million units worldwide for the year ending March 31, 2009. Honda motorcycle and ATV sales in North America fell 18.2 percent to 503,000 units in the last fiscal year.

Honda Motor says orders are declining for quads like the FourTrax Foreman 4x4 (MSRP $6,649).