Honda yesterday said it was pleased with robust sales in its main market, the United States, and was slightly ahead of plan in Europe, Reuters reported.

However, executive vice president Koichi Amemiya, speaking to reporters at the launch of a new vehicle, said that he was not ready to lift company targets for either of the key markets, Reuters added.

“We want to outstrip our US current targets but we are not revising up,” he said, according to Reuters.

Robust demand for the CR-V compact sports utility and a strong response to the remodelled Accord, Honda’s flagship passenger car, as well as the successful running down of inventories of the old Accord boded well for sales, Reuters said, citing Amemiya.

Reuters said Honda was shooting for sales of 1.23 million units in the United States, where it makes the bulk of its profits and expects industry-wide sales to come in between 16.5 to 17 million units.

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Reuters said that other Honda models, including the Odyssey minivan and Pilot sports utility, were also doing well and senior managing director Michiyoshi Hagino said that the performance of the Pilot would determine whether Honda introduced a new light truck.

If the Pilot performed well, there would be no need to augment Honda’s line-up but there may be room for a third main model in addition to the Odyssey minivan, if it didn’t, he told Reuters.

According to Reuters, Amemiya also said that Honda was slightly ahead of plan in sales for Europe, with CR-V a key reason, and the British, Italian and Spanish markets were doing particularly well, although overall demand in Germany remained depressed.

Amemiya told Reuters it was still too early to say if Honda’s European operations would return to the black this business year though the company has said it expects the division to record a profit in the next business year that begins in April.

Amemiya also told Reuters that if demand for the CR-V, which is currently made at its UK factory, continued to be strong, Honda may also begin exporting the model [to Europe] from Japan.