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Honda Sales Up 10.5% in January

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Honda Motor Co., Ltd.’s (HMC - Free Report) worldwide production volume for Jan 2014 was 378,718 units, up 10.5% from a year ago. Production outside Japan declined 0.9% to 281,573 units. However, production in Japan rose 65.3% to 97,145 units.

The decreased production outside Japan was due to a 26.7% decline in production in Europe and a 3.9% drop in other regions. North America too registered a 3.9% dip in production due to a 0.9% year-over-year decrease in the U.S. This was partially offset by an 8.9% increase in production in Asia. The year-over-year improvement in Asia was mainly due to a 37.5% increase in production in China.

Sales in the Japanese market went up 64.5% year over year to 91,504 units. New vehicle registrations surged 135.9% to 49,409 units. Mini vehicles’ sales augmented 21.3% to 42,095 units.

Fit was the best-selling vehicle among new vehicle registrations (excluding mini vehicles) in Jan 2014 with sales of 26,869 units. VEZEL was the ninth top selling vehicle with sales of 6,235 units.

Under the Mini vehicles category, N-WGN was the second highest-selling vehicle in the industry with sales of 17,855 units. N-BOX was the third best-selling vehicle with sales of 15,552 units.

Export from Japan decreased 68.2% year over year to 3,764 units in January. The decline was driven by weak exports to North America, Europe and Asia.

Honda posted a 107.6% rise in earnings to ¥89.18 (85 cents) per share in the third quarter (ended Dec 31, 2013) of fiscal 2014 from ¥42.97 (41 cents) in the same quarter of the prior fiscal year. However, earnings per share lagged behind the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 86 cents.

Currently, Honda carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Daimler AG (DDAIF - Free Report) , Tata Motors Ltd. (TTM - Free Report) and Toyota Motor Corp. (TM - Free Report) are some better-ranked players in the foreign automobile industry, all of which hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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