Honda Expects Boost in Sales of Fuel Efficient Models
Honda Motor Co., Japan's second - largest automaker, expects fuel-efficient models to help it boost sales in the U.S. by 3 percent next year, even as the overall market shrinks.
U.S. sales may rise to 1.59 million units in 2008 from an estimated 1.55 million in 2007, President Takeo Fukui said at a press conference in Tokyo today.
Tokyo-based Honda sells about half its autos in North America, where the popularity of the Fit compact and the CR-V sport-utility vehicle is shielding the company from a slump in industrywide demand. Customers are opting for Honda's cars and small SUVs over larger SUVs and pickup trucks built by General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. amid rising gasoline prices.
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CR-Z-based model will be a lightweight two plus two sports car powered by an as-yet unnamed petrol-hybrid IMA motor which should hit dealers globally in 2009.
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