Honda Swings For The Fences (HMC)(TM)

It is not enough that Toyota expects a banner 2007, now Honda has jumped on the band wagon.

The Japanese car company expects unit sales to rise 5% worldwide to 3.55 million. It also expects US sales to grow 3% to 1.56 million. Since most analysts expect US sales to contract next year, this means that Honda expects to pick up share. And, the is probably not share it will get from Toyota.

Honda attributed its improving position to fuel-efficient cars like it CRV cross-over vehicle.

Honda also expects sales in China to rise from 320,000 this year to 400,000 next year. That would be growth at a faster rate that the Chinese market which is expected to rise 10% to 15%. US car companies have to do well in China because it is one of the few growth markets where they have a large presence. Honda is saying, without saying it, that it intends to make US car company growth there harder.

Honda’s shares are up 27% this year. And, no wonder.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at [email protected]. He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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