Honda, Nissan Lead Asian Automakers in US Sales

By: Evander Klum

Honda and Nissan have led the Asian auto manufacturers in US sales gain in November. Japan's second biggest automaker, Honda, has benefited from the introduction of new products and on the increasing demand for fuel efficient vehicles in the US.

Honda's sales increase by 4.7 percent after it has introduced the redesigned Accord last September. Meanwhile, the third biggest automaker in Japan, Nissan has gained a 6.1 percent sales growth attributed to the sale of its new Rogue small sport-utility vehicle.

Moreover, Honda has sold 111,431 vehicles higher than the 106,446 obtained from the same period last year. The growth in sales was attributed to the sales of Fit subcompacts which doubled and gained a 25 percent increase for the Accord sedans and coupes.

Honda, the fifth largest automaker in the US and producer of high quality has increased its market share to 9.4 percent last month from 8.9 percent a year earlier and considered to be the highest gain obtained by the brand.

Dan Poole, who helps Honda in managing $31 billion at National City Bank in Cleveland as well as the automaker's shares said: "We've got rising fuel prices during a period of declining consumer confidence, and Honda is just much better prepared to weather this part of the cycle. Their product line is among the most fuel efficient, and they have virtually nil exposure to the big trucks that are having a hard time this year."

But despite the growth in sales that Honda has gotten its ADRs still dropped by 92 cents to $33.49.

Nissan which is the sixth largest automaker in the US has surpassed it previous 76,015 units and now with 80,683 vehicles sold. This gain is attributed to the sales obtain from the new Rogue SUV and the Altima sedan. And just Honda, Nissan's ADRs fell by 23 cents to $22.67.

Overall Asia based brands have obtained sales growth by 2.6 percent and have increase market share to 42 percent from the previous 40.2 percent. However, total US sales including domestic brands have fallen by 1.6 percent in November and the eighth drop for this year. This drop is attributed to the ever increasing gasoline prices, high interest rates, and the plunging housing industry that has left US consumers to be extra thrifty when it comes to their purchases.

For this year, consumers have recorded purchases of 1.18 million new cars and light trucks, a drop from the 1.2 million a year earlier.

As expected domestic automakers like General Motors has again obtain an 11 percent dropped in sales while Chrysler LLC's sales dropped by 2 percent. On the other hand Ford Motor which was earlier predicted to fail has reported gain of 0.4 percent.

The yearly sales rate that was adjusted for seasonal variations has increase to 16.2 million vehicles from the previous 16.1 million last November 2006 which surpasses the average estimate of 15.9 million in a survey conducted by 12 economists and 8 analysts.

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