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HONDA REJECTS GROUP'S CALL TO RAISE U.S. CAR PRICES

Honda Motor Co., which earns almost two-thirds of its annual operating profits from the U.S., said it won't raise vehicle prices in the world's largest vehicle market because it doesn't want to deter customers.

"There is no way Honda will increase prices and ignore our customers" in the U.S., Honda's Executive Vice President Koichi Amemiya said at a press conference on Tuesday in Tokyo. "Price increases should be decided depending on market conditions."

Amemiya's comment contradicts those made Monday by Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of Toyota Motor Corp. and the Japan Business Federation. Okuda, head of Japan's largest business association, was reported by the Asahi newspaper as saying that Japanese carmakers may raise prices in the U.S. to give General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler unit "some breathing space."

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