Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Honda posts 20% sales hike in 2009

Armin A. Amio
Business Mirror
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/home/companies/21319-honda-posts-20-sales-hike-in-2009.html

ON the heels of a 20-percent hike in sales of its flagship models last year, Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) is looking at further improving earnings this 2010.

Company president and general manager Hiroshi Shimizu yesterday said 2009 tested their mettle with the continued threat of the global economic crisis. “We were fortunate that the local automotive industry remained resilient [despite] these trying times. Overall HCPI sales reached 17,168 units [for all models] in 2009, a 20-percent improvement from the previous year. This placed HCPI at No. 3 within the industry, accounting for 13 percent of the total market share last year.

“We are very pleased that our industry managed to post 6-percent growth despite steep cutbacks in other countries” said Shimizu. The earnings hike came mostly from sales of the latest models of the Honda City and Honda Civic.

The third-generation Honda City subcompact posted a total of 8,882 unit sales in 2009. This is the City’s highest annual sales ever chronicled since the model was introduced in the Philippine market in 1996. The highest recorded sales reached 5,478 units, which was posted in 1997. Shimizu said, “We are happy to say that it is not only the City but all our models—the Civic Jazz, CR-V and Accord—are the top choices in their respective segments.” Sales of CR-V in 2009 reached 1,955 units.

For this reason, HCPI yesterday launched a refurbished CR-V for model year 2010. The new CR-V features iPod-ready dock within the instrumentation panel, as well as new designs for the bumper and chrome grille, and new alloy wheel designs (from the 2-liter and 2.4-liter variants). Adjustments were also made in the suspension system for better handling and comfort; additional seals and insulators were applied to improve noise, vibrations and harshness levels.

The HCPI executive said ever since news came out in December 2009 that a new CR-V will be unveiled, the company has already received 200 reservations “even if the customers haven’t seen the actual unit yet.”

The 2-liter manual transmission variant is priced at P1.275 million while the automatic transmission costs P1.325 million. The top-of-the-line variant with 2.4-liter engine comes with a price tag of P1.525 million.

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