Honda's GCC Sales Disappointing
Japanese auto major, Honda expects that its GCC sales will remain flat in 2000, due to currency fluctuations that have caused Japanese vehicles to be more expensive amid slower growth in regional markets.
"The yen is still very strong, and Gulf economies are still moving very slowly. We expect sales to remain flat compared to 1999's total of 18,000 units," remarked Hiroshi Toda, General Manager of Honda's Middle East office.
"For instance, the depressed state of regional economies is one reason why sales of our high performance S-2000 (launched late last year) have not met expectations."
Honda officials assured that pricing policies are under review on certain models, with the goal of boosting sales. "We are looking seriously at pricing, but no decision has been taken. Another strategy to grow our
business is to launch totally new models, including possibly a four-wheel drive," Toda conveyed.
In the Middle Eastern and African markets, this year's sales are expected to equal those of last year, which stood at 44,752. Regional sales in 1998 hit record sales of 54,000.
Meanwhile, the auto-maker will introduce the latest version of its best-selling Civic, which accounts for 60 percent of regional sales. The model, which sold 27,000 in MENA last year, will be in showrooms by early October, Gulf News reported.
The new, 2001 Civic range was recently unveiled in Dubai. Company officials are targeting sales of 30,000 units in the Middle East and African markets in the coming year. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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