Honda profit rises but US operations dented

Written by Reuters | Tokyo | Updated: Jul 30 2014, 08:20am hrs
Honda Motor said teething troubles at a new plant in Mexico dented sales and profit in the US market, its biggest, taking the shine off a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit powered by brisk results in Japan.

US sales by Japan's third-largest automaker dipped 0.8% in the first half. It posted a 6% drop in North American operating profit for the April-June quarter.

Overall earnings were buoyant, however, with a 7.1% rise in quarterly operating profit to 198.04 billion yen ($1.9 billion).

Honda said its Mexico plant, which makes the Fit subcompact, was hit by delays as it adopted new manufacturing techniques, but kept its full-year US sales targets unchanged and said volumes would get back on track. "We are extra careful with quality, and that's why initial delivery was somewhat delayed, but as the workers acquire more skills, we can catch up," Honda executive vice president Tetsuo Iwamurasaid on Tuesday.