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Posts Tagged ‘Honda China’

Honda Earnings Up, but Maker Lowers Full-Year Forecast

Takata and other problems loom for Japan’s third-largest maker.

by on Oct.28, 2014

Honda recently confirmed plans to add the HR-V - shown in concept form - to its line-up.

Honda profits surged during the July-to-September quarter, but the third-largest Japanese automaker nonetheless lowered its full-year forecast reflecting a variety of potential problems ahead.

Helped by a weak yen, Honda Motor Co. reported net earnings of 141.8 billion yen, or $1.3 billion, for the second quarter of the Japanese fiscal year. Sales, meanwhile, increased by 4%, to 3.015 trillion yen, or $27.9 billion.

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Honda is among the Japanese makers to benefit from a weak yen which it credited for boosting revenues by 123 billion yen, or $1.1 billion during the latest quarter. But that exchange rate enhancement isn’t expected to continue, industry analysts warn, while Honda warned it faces a “difficult business environment” that includes sluggish demand in Asia.

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Japanese Automakers Go All Out in Beijing

by on Apr.21, 2014

Lexus brings the production version of its NX crossover to the Beijing Auto Show.

Japanese carmakers came to the big auto show in Beijing this year determined to show they are prepared to fight for the hearts and minds of Chinese customers.

Struggling to regain momentum lost due to an ongoing debate between China and Japan over a chain of uninhabited, but strategically located, islands, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and other Japanese makers rolled out an assortment of new models they hope will help them close the gap with more established players in the huge Chinese car market, notably including Volkswagen AG and General Motors.

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One of the most significant introductions came from Lexus, which unveiled the new Lexus NX utility vehicle, the long-anticipated production version of a controversial concept vehicle, then called the LF-NX first unveiled during the Frankfurt Auto Show last autumn.

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Toyota, Honda Gain Ground in China

Chinese car sales regain momentum in February.

by on Mar.11, 2014

Japanese car sales in China plunged -- and a Toyota dealership was even burned -- during protests over a diplomatic dispute.

After an unexpected slowdown, sales of new vehicles in China appear to be regaining momentum, growing by 18% in February, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) reports, as the Chinese market shrugged off concerns about an overheated market and the overall pace of the country’s economic expansion.

The upturn was particularly good for Japanese makers like Toyota and Honda which are finally recovering from the effects of a diplomatic dispute between China and Japan spurred by the debate over ownership of a chain of uninhabited islands.

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Both Toyota and Honda reported strong sales during February, as did General Motors and Ford Motor Co., which had record sales in what has become the world’s largest market for new vehicles. Volkswagen AG, which topped the Chinese market last year, hasn’t reported detailed sales figures yet but CAAM pegged total sales of new vehicles across China at 1.6 million units.

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Honda Earnings Rise – But Maker Issues Warning

China poses problems for Japanese maker.

by on Jan.31, 2013

Demand for the new Honda Accord helped boost the maker's global earnings last quarter.

Honda Motor Co. saw a nearly 63% surge in earnings for the October – December quarter, but the maker also issued a warning that earnings could take a tumble in the months ahead because of problems in China, now the world’s largest automotive market.

The Tokyo-based maker earned 77.4 billion yen, or $850 billion during its fiscal third quarter. That was, however, well off the 104.95 billion yen forecast of 11 analysts surveyed by the Nikkei Quick index.

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Quarterly sales rose about 25%, to 2.4 trillion yen, or $26 billion. That increase reflected the maker’s recovery from the production shortages caused the prior year by Japan’s massive earthquake and tsunami. Demand was particularly strong in the North American market. But it also fell short in China as a result of that country’s ongoing dispute with Japan over the ownership of a chain of small, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

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Honda Profits Jump 36% – But Maker Lowers Full-Year Forecast

Honda anticipates problems due to Chinese boycott.

by on Oct.29, 2012

The success of the new Honda Accord will be critical to the maker's earnings turnaround.

Honda came roaring back with a 36% increase earnings for the July – September quarter, marking a significant turnaround from the hammering it took a year earlier in the week of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The maker delivered an 82.2 billion yen net profit – which works out to an even $1 billion – with sales climbing 20% for the quarter to 2.27 trillion yen.

But the near-term future may not be quite so rosy. Honda sales tumbled more than 40% in the key Chinese market during September, and the maker expects an ongoing boycott to hammer both sales and earnings in the months ahead.

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Warning it must factor in the “recent situation in China,” Honda officials warned that overall sales for the current fiscal year – which ends next March 31 – will likely reach just 4.1 million. That’s about 180,000 less than originally anticipated – though it would still be a 1 million unit increase over 2011.

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Japanese Carmakers Suspend Production in Wake of Angry Chinese Protests

China warns Japanese car sales likely to slide.

by on Sep.19, 2012

Chinese Honda workers will be off the job for several days due to mounting protests.

Japanese automakers operating in China are facing a new wave of troubles as political tensions between the two Asian powerhouses escalated due to a dispute over tiny uninhabited islands in the South China Sea. At least three major makers have temporarily idled their Chinese factories as anti-Japanese sentiments reach levels not seen for decades.

The People’s Daily, the newspaper favored by China’s ruling Communist party, said Japanese automakers are facing tough times in China, as ongoing territorial tensions between the two countries “start to hurt sales.”

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“The serious impact we are seeing is far beyond our expectations,” Luo Lei, deputy secretary-general of the China Automobile Dealers Association, told the People’s Daily. “It will be impossible for struggling Japanese automakers to achieve their full-year sales targets.”

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Honda Teases Two Concepts Debuting in Beijing

Big news at season’s last big auto show.

by on Apr.11, 2012

Honda offers a glimpse at two unidentified concepts coming to the Beijing Motor Show this month.

It wasn’t all that many years ago when we began seeing significant news emerging from the Beijing Motor Show. Of course, it wasn’t all that long ago that China emerged from being an automotive backwater to being the world’s biggest car market.

And this year is likely to prove one of the biggest at the biennial Beijing show, with automakers such as Nissan, GM and Volkswagen all planning announcements in less than two weeks.  The list also includes Honda, which has just released sketches of two concept vehicles it plans to debut in the Chinese capital.

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While it’s difficult to be sure what we’re seeing, the top shot would suggest something in the Accord category, no surprise considering the ever-popular sedan is set to get a complete update in the months ahead.  We already got a sense of where Honda is going with the Accord Coupe, thanks to the two-door prototype that premiered in Detroit, last January, but this could be the eagerly-awaited sedan.

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Is the Era of Cheap Chinese Products Over?

Toyota strike, floating Remnimbi raise ominous concerns.

by on Jun.23, 2010

Will demand for better wages hurt the Chinese auto industry? A rise in the value of the Remnimbi could be the real problem.

Toyota has again suspended production at its main Chinese assembly plant in the wake of a walkout by workers at a key supplier facility.  The second strike in a month at a joint venture partially owned by Japanese partsmaker Denso, hits hard a Toyota facility with the capacity for 360,000 vehicles a year.

The walkout comes in the wake of similar strife at a Honda transmission plant in China that cost that maker thousands of units of production and eventually led Honda to approve significant increases in wages and benefits to get angry workers back onto the line.

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These and other recent labor confrontations come as a surprise to China-watchers who know how much emphasis the Beijing government puts on maintaining the appearance of social order.  And they’re all the more unusual considering the traditionally company-friendly approach unions have played in China.

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Honda Crippled By Chinese Strike

Workers demanding wage, benefit bump to $340 a month.

by on Jun.01, 2010

A strike at a southern Chinese transmission plant has shut down production of the Honda Jazz subcompact, which is exported to Europe.

A rare strike has crippled Honda Motor Co.’s growing Chinese production operations, despite efforts to fire or coerce workers who’re hoping to boost their $230 a month  wages.

The walkout was launched on May 17 at a parts plant in the southern province of Guangdong at a transmission plant that supplies Honda’s auto assembly operations in China.  The strike has cost the Japanese carmaker thousands of units in lost production, including versions of the Jazz subcompact that are shipped to Europe.

The walkout is unusual in that the official Communist-backed All China Federation of Labor Unions normally seeks to avoid confrontation with management.  Some workers at the transmission plant, which is located in the city of Foshan, claim they were physically assaulted by union leaders.  Others were reportedly fired when they declined to accept Honda’s initial offer.

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The Honda plant has a well-educated workforce, most of its line employees boasting college or 2-year technical degrees.  But the automaker has been able to hold down wages, in many cases, by bringing in many employees as “trainees.”

An early proposal by Honda, according to reports from China, would have offered the striking workers less than $2 a day to settle their grievances, but the latest offer, the maker said, would increase pay and benefits by 24%.  Workers had sought a 53% bump, to $340 a month, or 2,300 yuan.

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Dongfeng Honda Starts Production of New Spirior

Total Honda production capacity in China, the world's largest auto market, is now more than 600,000 vehicles.

by on Aug.19, 2009

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The mid-size car is essentially the same as an European Accord or an American Acura TSX model.

Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. has expanded its capacity by 80,000 units annually with the start of production of the Spirior this week. The joint-venture of Honda in China held an “off-line” ceremony at its automobile production plant in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The Spirior is scheduled to go on sale next month in China.

The mid-size car is essentially the same as the European Accord or American Acura TSX with the V6 removed and a 2.4-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine substituted. (China has tougher fuel economy standards than the U.S. in an attempt to decrease oil imports.)

Spirior is positioned as a “premium sporty sedan, according to Dongfeng. The name, if my limited Chinese translation skills are close, appears to be a combination of “spirit” and “superior,” thereby confirming that automotive marketers continue to mangle whatever language they are working over.

Dongfeng Honda has been producing CR-V models since April 2004, and Civic models since 2006. The company’s sales are growing — 109,000 units for the first seven months of 2009, up 10.5% compared to the same period a year ago. The Chinese market is now the world’s largest. Chinese industrial policy requires all auto companies to form joint ventures with local auto companies so jobs are created and profits remain in the country.

To make way for the  Spirior, Dongfeng upped its annual production capacity in Wuhan from 120,000 units to 200,000 units. With this expansion, Honda’s total annual automobile production capacity in China is 610,000 units, including 360,000 units for Guangqi Honda and 50,000 units for Honda Automobile (China), which produces automobiles exclusively for export. About 4,000 jobs have been created.