Despite growth, Honda Mexico foresees a ‘not so good year’
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Honda Mexico estimates that it will not have a good year in terms of domestic sales and exports, “but it will survive”, said the company's president for Mexican operations, Hiroshi Shimizu, during a conference before national media on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of its first plant in the country.
The manager acknowledged that the sales of the automaker in North America are not so good, so the company is adjusting its production capacity and is in a transition phase aimed to increase its presence in the region.
"The United States is the most important market for Honda and this year car sales are going down and so is in Mexico, so we see that it will be a not so good year," he explained.
For the executive, to talk about a "not so good year" does not necessarily means negative figures. Honda exported 31,842 vehicles in the first two months of 2018, 8.2% more than same period of 2017. Meanwhile, it sold 15,472 units in the domestic market, representing an increase of 4.6% compared to last year.
This increase occurs while the total sale of cars in Mexico declined 9.4% in the first two months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, while in the United States it decreased 0.8%.
Shimizu stressed that the 30th anniversary of operations at the Jalisco plant is proof of Honda's interest in the Mexican market, since the site was established because of the country's potential for selling cars.
"We were selling motorcycles for 30 years in the country, but we decided to put the plant on the potential for car commercialization," he explained.
In the plant located in the municipality of El Salto, Jalisco, Honda produces several types of motorcycles, as well as the HR-V SUV. From here comes out about 16% of the cars made by the Japanese automaker in Mexico, while the rest is manufactured at the plant in Celaya, Guanajuato, where it also produces the Honda Fit compact hatchback, as well as engines and transmissions.