Honda to introduce 10 new vehicles in China by 2015 image

Honda Motor plans to introduce 10 new vehicles in China by 2015 according to a senior executive quoted by Reuters.

In addition, the maker of Accord premium sedan expects sales in the country to double from last year’s level over the same period.

The announcement comes shortly after Japan’s n.3 automaker said that its joint ventures in China sold 148,082 vehicles in the first quarter of 2012, 10.6 percent lower than the same period oflast year, despite an increase in sales in March by 11.6 percent year-on-year to 65,416 units.

Honda will introduce two additional models of its high-end Acura line in China this year and plans to start manufacturing electric vehicles by the end of the year at Guangqi Honda.

Automakers counting on Chinese sales, however, to rev up growth have good reason to worry that the country’s market is no longer in the fast lane.

Total vehicle deliveries may fail to increase by even 5 percent because of the “difficult” economic backdrop, Gu Xianghua, deputy secretary general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said last month, citing his personal opinion.

Gu’s comments reflect the mounting pessimism over sales in China as the economy slows and rising fuel prices threaten to drive away consumers from dealerships.

China’s passenger-car sales had their worst two-month start in seven years, declining 4.4 percent to 2.37 million units, according to the association’s data.