Honda Motor reported its best year since 2007, led by the accelerated US sales recovery in July.
Japan’s third-largest auto maker reported profit up 45%, compared to 41% what analysts previously estimated. Toyota, which was also affected by last year’s natural disasters, reported sales up 26% and Nissan 16%.
“It really shows how loyal Honda buyers are — more loyal than we gave them credit for,” said Jesse Toprak, an analyst at TrueCar.com. “Not only is Honda winning back market share, they’re doing it faster than anyone expected.”
In July sales of trucks and cars in the US increased 8.9% to 1.15 million units, and Toyota, Nissan and Honda, which managed to quickly recover, expect sales to reach 14 million by the end of the year. In the last three years, Hyundai was one of the fastest-growing auto makers in the US and reports July’s sales up 4.1%, while its affiliate Kia saw sales increase 5.6%.
Both Honda and Toyota lost sales and production last year due to the natural disasters in Japan, which reduced shipments of parts and vehicles severely affecting the companies’ profit. As if this was not bad enough, the flooding in Thailand later last year worsened the situation.