Tuesday, March 5, 2024


Three-quarters of the way through its current fiscal year, Honda’s enormous motorcycle business is ahead on monetary targets but still playing “catch-up” on sales volume forecasts. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Nine-monthly revenue was 7.1% up to £12.547bn. Operating profit increased by 9.3% to £2.189bn, with an operating margin gain to 17.5% from 17.1%. But worldwide wholesale shipments were 2.3% down to 13.961 million units.

Developed markets were healthy, though. Unit sales in Europe staged a strong recovery, 45.3% up to 324,000. North America grew by 10.3% to 374,000. Japanese domestic sales added a modest 1.1% to 181,000. 

However, Asian performance fell by 3.5% to 11.884 million, and other emerging regions were 2.9% down to 1.198 million, despite a 9% rise in output to 908,000 bikes from Honda’s Manaus production hub in Brazil. Primary culprit was an economic slowdown in Vietnam, where sales slumped by 18.7% to 1.576 million. Best show came from the Astra Honda joint venture in Indonesia, responsible for 13.2% growth to 3.445 million. Honda’s wholly-owned HMSI Indian subsidiary put on 1.6% to 3.376 million, and its hub in Thailand contributed a 1.4% rise to 1.079 million.

Full-year unit sales forecasts to 31 March 2024 tell a slightly different story. Overall global sales are expected to increase marginally by 0.2% to 18.8 million. Some 15.965 million of these will come from Asia, an upwards revision of 20,000. North American sales have also been revised positively to 505,000. European headcount revision is in the opposite direction, down from a 465,000 estimate to 460,000. Japan gets similar treatment, dropping from 255,000 to 245,000, as do other regions, losing 10,000 units to 1.625 million.

A somewhat disturbing electrification update tacked on to the results statement claims Honda will have more than ten battery-electric models by 2025 and approximately 30 by 2030. The company’s commitment to a hydrogen-fuelled future appears to have vanished.

Yen-Sterling currency translation at forex rates applicable on 8 February 


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