Honda Exec Speaks out on Auto Industry Future

- March 8, 2013

John Mendel, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent, auto­mo­tive sales, at Amer­i­can Hon­da Motor Co., expressed opti­mism about the future of the auto indus­try and his com­pa­ny.

Read more on Mendel’s take on 2013 and beyond.

John Mendel, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent, auto­mo­tive sales, at Amer­i­can Hon­da Motor Co., expressed opti­mism about the future of the auto indus­try as well as Hon­da Group’s goal to sell 6 mil­lion units world­wide by 2017 dur­ing last month’s J.D. Pow­er and Asso­ciates 2013 Inter­na­tion­al Round­table in Orlan­do, FL, that was co-spon­sored with NADA.

“We’re very opti­mistic about the future, col­lec­tive­ly as an indus­try, and with­out ques­tion for our own busi­ness. Think about it—we con­tin­ue to come out of one of the worst eco­nom­ic crises in our his­to­ry. Cer­tain­ly the Great Depres­sion of the ‘30s was worse. But the auto indus­try at that time was a much small­er and far dif­fer­ent busi­ness than it is today.

“Will the momen­tum con­tin­ue? From our per­spec­tive, the answer is clear­ly yes. For Hon­da, you can add an excla­ma­tion point. I think the indus­try has emerged from very dif­fi­cult times to become a much lean­er, more inno­v­a­tive, and cus­tomer-focused busi­ness than ever before.”

The auto indus­try has a “total­ly smarter, bet­ter, viable” busi­ness mod­el going for­ward. That doesn’t mean that chal­lenges won’t remain. There are a lot of cross­winds as to how quick­ly that busi­ness is going to come back. But, step by step, we are actu­al­ly head­ing toward the industry’s best sales since the hal­cy­on years of 2005 when we topped 17.5 mil­lion units.

“We see sales hav­ing a good chance of top­ping 15.0 mil­lion units this year and pos­si­bly head­ing toward 16.0 mil­lion units in 2014 for the first time since 2007. The great thing is that the indus­try was able to recov­er last year and boost sales, while at the same time keep­ing a lid on and mod­er­at­ing the reliance on incen­tives.”

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