Honda Exec Speaks out on Auto Industry Future

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J.D. Power and Associates - March 8, 2013

John Mendel, executive vice president, automotive sales, at American Honda Motor Co., expressed optimism about the future of the auto industry and his company.

Read more on Mendel’s take on 2013 and beyond.

John Mendel, executive vice president, automotive sales, at American Honda Motor Co., expressed optimism about the future of the auto industry as well as Honda Group’s goal to sell 6 million units worldwide by 2017 during last month’s J.D. Power and Associates 2013 International Roundtable in Orlando, FL, that was co-sponsored with NADA.

“We’re very optimistic about the future, collectively as an industry, and without question for our own business. Think about it—we continue to come out of one of the worst economic crises in our history. Certainly the Great Depression of the ‘30s was worse. But the auto industry at that time was a much smaller and far different business than it is today.

“Will the momentum continue? From our perspective, the answer is clearly yes. For Honda, you can add an exclamation point. I think the industry has emerged from very difficult times to become a much leaner, more innovative, and customer-focused business than ever before.”

The auto industry has a “totally smarter, better, viable” business model going forward. That doesn’t mean that challenges won’t remain. There are a lot of crosswinds as to how quickly that business is going to come back. But, step by step, we are actually heading toward the industry’s best sales since the halcyon years of 2005 when we topped 17.5 million units.

“We see sales having a good chance of topping 15.0 million units this year and possibly heading toward 16.0 million units in 2014 for the first time since 2007. The great thing is that the industry was able to recover last year and boost sales, while at the same time keeping a lid on and moderating the reliance on incentives.”

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