Honda cuts August output 17% to pare inventories image

Honda Motor Co., Japan’s second- largest automaker, cut global auto production 17 percent in August, the 10th straight decline, as it pared inventories following a slump in sales.

The automaker built 246,403 vehicles last month, the Tokyo- based company said in a statement today.

Honda pared production in North America to work through unsold vehicles after U.S. sales dropped 26 percent in first eight months. The automaker plans to boost output at factories in Alabama and Ohio starting this month after the U.S. “cash for clunkers” program helped cause industrywide vehicle sales to rise 1 percent in August.

The carmaker also cut production in Japan by 37 percent, even as a government tax-incentive program helped boost nationwide auto sales 2.3 percent last month. Honda’s new Insight hybrid ranked fourth among passenger-car sales excluding minicars in August.

Honda raised its fiscal-year global sales forecast in July to 3.295 million vehicles from a previous estimate of 3.21 million, due to demand for its fuel-efficient cars.