Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said this morning in Tokyo that through August of this year production declined in all regions for the 11th straight month, -17%.
The decline began in October of 2008, after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September sent global markets into a tailspin from which they haven’t recovered.
In Japan, it was the tenth straight monthly decline.
Record production in China was not enough to offset the far larger drops in the Asia region.
In the U.S., Honda production was off 36%.
Total exports from Japan in August 2009 experienced a year-on-year decrease for the 11th consecutive month, as well.
In its last quarterly report ending this past June, Honda’s global automobile sales totaled 766,000, a decrease of 20% from the same period last year. In Japan, unit sales amounted to 128,000 thousand units, the same level compared to the same period last year due mainly to favorable sales of Insight and Freed despite weak demand in the market. Vehicle sales outside of Japan decreased 24% to 638,000 from the corresponding period last year, due mainly to decreased vehicle sales in North America.
To cope with the drops in the U.S., Honda scheduled downtime, mostly Fridays off, late last year and into the summer this year. Inventories are now lower, partly as the result of Cash for Clunkers, which spurred small car sales and helped sales of its Civic and Accord models. Honda is now beginning to schedule some overtime production on Saturdays at its plants in Ohio and Alabama.