With a relative strong year, Honda Motors will pass Chrysler to become the number four selling automaker in the U.S. With a 200,000 unit lead over Chrysler, Honda has all but secured the spot for 2009 sales.
As Toyota broke into the top three back in 2006, this is another major blow the U.S. auto market. The Japanese company (including Acura) has tallied 1.044 million vehicles thus far in 2009. Honda came in a close fifth in 2008 trailing Chrysler by just 25,000 vehicles.
Some harsh critics believe that it's too late for Chrysler and that it is a losing venture. Honda executive vice president John Mendel seems to think that Chrysler's disappointing sales figures are recession-related. "Either you pay in production cuts, increased fleet sales or increased incentives, but everyone is paying right now," Mendel told Automotive News. No doubt thrilled by the news, Mendel mentioned that "we only look at our sales and our objective."
Chrysler upped its advertisement spending last month and expects that to bump up its sales figures. "We are taking the steps that are necessary to have a good foundation and to build consumer confidence," said Chrysler spokeswoman Kathy Graham. "We are on the right path. There will be short-term pain to get to our long-term goals."
Source: Automotive News