Honda Exec Speaks out on Auto Industry Future

mendel_john

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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