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Honda says Civic inventory too low in US market

President, Representative Director

Mr. Takeo Fukui has been serving as President and Representative Director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. since June 2003. He joined the Company in April... Full Bio

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Aug 9 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co. (7267.T: Quote , NEWS , Research ) on Wednesday said its inventory of the Civic model was too low given the strong sales for the fuel-efficient sedan and said it would have to consider boosting production.

John Mendel, senior vice president of Honda America, said the Civic inventory was "much lower than we're comfortable with," adding "we're going to have to do something about this situation down the road."

Mendel, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference in Traverse City, Michigan, said Honda had almost no inventory of Civics on hand, with only the equivalent of a day or two of sales compared to an inventory norm measured in weeks.

Sales of the all-new Civic, which won a number of car of the year awards, are up 17 percent over last year.

"The car is not sitting very long on the lot on an average basis," he said. "They're coming off the truck and being sold. That's a great position to be in, but it's also a frustrating position to be in because I know we could sell more if we had more."

Honda is building a $550-million auto plant in Greensburg, Indiana, but has not said what model it will build there.

The company has said the new plant, which will have a production capacity of 200,000 vehicles annually would be ear-marked for a fuel-efficient, four-cylinder vehicle.

Mendel said it was possible that the Civic would be built at the new plant but said no decision had been made.

"We have the flexibility to make a number of different announcements or decisions on that further down the road on that," he said.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.


Honda says Civic inventory too low in US market
Japanese Import Car, New & Used Car, 2007