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Old 11-17-2008, 03:16 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Honda concerned about industry stability

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GREENSBURG, Ind. -- Honda officials said today they are very concerned about the stability of the automotive industry and the condition of the economy as the company held a dedication of new assembly plant in Greensburg, Ind.

onda Manufacturing of Indiana has begun operation at a very challenging time. We face a difficult economy and increasing competition,” Honda Motor Co. President and CEO Takeo Fukui said during the event. “But at Honda, we have always understood that challenging times represent opportunity – if we continue to create new value for our customers.”
The $550-million plant began producing Civics in October and is expected to ramp up to an annual production rate of 200,000 by next year.


While Fukui did not comment on efforts by the Big 3 to lobby Congress for financial assistance, other Honda officials said the company said it monitoring those talks carefully and said Honda is very concerned about the impact any disruption of production could have on automotive suppliers.


“Honda would support measures that would maintain the short and long term viability and stability of the automotive industry, whatever those measures might be” said Jeffrey Smith, Honda’s vice president of corporate affairs.


Smith emphasized that Honda does not have a position on whether the Detroit Three should receive government aid, and reorganize outside of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, or if restructuring should take place through bankruptcy.

“This consideration of support of the automotive industry is very understandable,” Smith said, given the size of the industry and the number of people it employs.

Honda’s concern was not echoed by U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, R-Ind., who spoke to reporters after the plant dedication ceremony.


“I am someone who believes that freedom to survive also means freedom of failure,” Pence said. “Going into bankruptcy does not mean that the companies would dissolve.”


Over the past week, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and General Motors Corp. Chairman Rick Wagoner have both argued that a bankruptcy would be disastrous for the automotive industry because it’s unlikely that people would buy cars from a bankruptcy.


But Pence argued that Americans now recognize that companies often emerge from bankruptcy and understand that it provides companies a way to shed debt and costs and become healthy.


“I just think now is not the time to increase the burden on the taxpayers with one more bailout,” Pence said.

The $550-million plant began producing Civics in October and is expected to ramp up to an annual production rate of 200,000 by next year. While Honda previously said it only planned to produce regular Civic models at the plant the company announced today that beginning next year it plans to also produce the Honda Civic GX at the plant.


The Civic GX is a natural gas vehicle with a manufacturer suggested starting price of $25,090, according to Honda’s web site. Rick Schostek, Honda’s vice president of manufacturing in Indiana, said the vehicle will be built exclusively in Greensburg starting in the middle of 2009. Honda did not say how many it plans to produce.
http://www.freep.com/article/2008111...014/BUSINESS01


Auto sales scoreboard


Chrysler sales down 35%; rebates up to $6,000

Chrysler LLC today announced its U.S. sales dropped 35% in October compared to a year ago.

HONDA
25.2%
Civic down 22%; Fit up 33.1%

GM
45%
Truck sales down 51%

FORD
30.2%
F-Series a bright spot

TOYOTA
23%
Corolla up 6.1%

NISSAN
33.5%
Maxima up 33%
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:50 PM   #2
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A new plant to produce 200k Civics per year, when sales on the Civic are down 22% from a year ago? Seems very risky, but somehow I doubt they'd do this if they weren't (relatively) confident in their forecasting.

I agree with what Pence is saying in that article as well.

-Mike
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghibli99 View Post
A new plant to produce 200k Civics per year, when sales on the Civic are down 22% from a year ago? Seems very risky, but somehow I doubt they'd do this if they weren't (relatively) confident in their forecasting.

I agree with what Pence is saying in that article as well.

-Mike
Uh, they didn't exactly start construction on the plant last month...
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:54 PM   #4
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Building the GX here is big news. A guy I know has had a deposit on once since July, and doesn't expect to get it until March...
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:53 PM   #5
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some of these numbers are skewed due to new model launches.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:04 AM   #6
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Mike Pence for House Minority Leader! (srsly, I've been following him for a while; he's one of the more sensible Republicans left)
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:26 AM   #7
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If Pence's other points of view are as clueless as his view on the Detroit Automakers, then he is just another Republican POS that needs to be ousted.

His stupid 5-second sound-bite just proves how out of touch he (and his fellow Republicans) are. There have been countless news stories that a company as large and embedded into the economy as GM probably wouldn't be able to emerge out of Bankruptcy Protection... because it wouldn't be able to secure financing. Duh! That's it's problem now! It can't raise financing now, how the heck would GM be able to raise it after it files for Chapter 11? They'd be either back to begging the government for money (but in an even weaker position), or close up shop and watch the unemployment rate skyrocket when you add another 4-5 MILLION people.



More brilliant thinking from the party that brought you this economic mess to begin with!
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hazdaz View Post
They'd be either back to begging the government for money (but in an even weaker position)
Credit guarantees from the government are cheaper than bailouts, and chapter 11 would allow GM to make the changes they have to make in order to become a viable company.

There's a big difference between saying 'we'll guarantee GM's new debts if they default' while ensuring that the company is restructured so it shouldn't need to, and throwing billions and billions of dollars at them merely to keep them building cars that people don't want to buy. These problems have been festering for decades, sooner or later they have to be solved.
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