U.S. Auto Sales: Honda sales down 18.8% in December; 2011 volume down 7.1% image

Honda Motor USA on Wednesday said its U.S. auto sales decreased 18.8% in December to 105,230 vehicles as the Japanese automaker again reported lower car and truck sales.

American Honda’s 2011 annual vehicle sales totaled 1,147,285, a decrease of 7.1 percent compared to 2010.

Honda division sales–which include the Fit, Accord, Odyssey and Pilot–decreased 19%. The much-smaller Acura luxury division posted a 15% sales decline.

In 2011, Honda was battered more than any other automaker by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that triggered worldwide production disruptions that led to vehicle shortages at U.S. dealerships.

But in 2012, Honda will be “full speed ahead.” Production at Honda plants returned to 100 percent in November.

However, monthly Odyssey sales increased by 13.2 percent to 11,489, and Pilot sales increased 12.6 percent to 11,641. Additional models with monthly sales gains included Fit, up 5.7 percent to 5,138, setting a new December sales record, and Ridgeline with a sales increase of 21.2 percent to 1,468.