JAPAN: New president says Honda will target quality not fast sales growth - report
Honda Motor is going to focus on creating quality cars rather than pursuing quick growth in sales, the new president of Japan's second largest maker said on Thursday, according to Associated Press (AP).
"I'm not setting sales targets," Takeo Fukui, who took office as president and chief executive last month, reportedly said. "All that may be convenient for the business but it's totally irrelevant to the customer."
According to AP, he said Honda has no plans now to add plants in North America in the next several years and would concentrate on the ongoing capacity increase at its Alabama plant to 300,000 vehicles a year from 150,000 vehicles to meet growing demand.
Under his leadership, Honda will refuse to aimlessly seek numbers in selling cars and will stick to pleasing the customer "one by one", accepting the results as they come Fukui said, according to AP.
Associated Press said that Fukui acknowledged Honda had come under intense pressure to boost sales in the last several years because of the onslaught of mergers among the world's car makers aimed at gaining profitability and cost cuts through sheer size.
And that sometimes may have led Honda off what Fukui believes is its true track, the report added.
Fukui told AP that Honda will continue to go at it alone."When all cars are starting to look alike, we are looking for qualities that make Honda distinct," he said in an interview with AP at the company's Tokyo headquarters.
"Our company takes the basic performance of the car itself very seriously -- the drive, the stop and the turn. The car has to be fun to drive. That's the root of our cars."
Associated Press noted that Fukui, 58, the former head of Honda's US manufacturing operations, takes over at a time when Honda is doing booming business in all regions outside Japan, where it is losing to the nation's top-ranked car maker Toyota and a revived Nissan.
In the fiscal year ended March 31, Honda posted its highest profit in company history, a profit of 427 billion yen, the equivalent of $3.6 billion and an 18% increase from the previous year, AP said.