TOKYO, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Honda Motor Co. on Tuesday announced that it had lowered its global auto sales projection for the January to March quarter by 100,000 vehicles owing to a worldwide semiconductor shortfall.
The Tokyo-headquartered automaker also downwardly revised its sales outlook for the year to March 2021 to 4.5 million vehicles. This compares to the automaker's former projection of 4.6 million units.
"The chip supply crunch has been gradually easing recently and we expect no impact in the next business year starting in April," Honda Executive Vice President Seiji Kuraishi told a press conference on the matter.
But in terms of the effects on the automaker of the global chip shortage, Kuraishi said production of some of Honda's most popular models such as the Fit compact car in Japan and the Civic and Accord sedans in the United States were badly affected.
Despite Honda upgrading its full-year earnings estimates, Kuraishi said that results for the current business year could have been better were it not for the scarcity of chips.
He also said that Honda may look to review its supply chains in a bid to avoid potential damage by certain auto parts not being available if a similar supply shortage were to occur.
Kuraishi also said that Honda may look into boosting its stockpiles of auto parts to further ensure production is not affected in the event of an external parts supply shortage.
Honda's net profit for fiscal 2020, meanwhile, was revised up from a previous estimate of 390 billion yen (3.72 billion U.S. dollars) to 465 billion yen (4.44 billion U.S. dollars).
The upward revision was down to solid sales of motorbikes in India and Indonesia and cost cutting initiatives, the automaker said.
Compared to a 420 billion yen operating profit projected in November, Honda said it now expects an operating profit of 520 billion yen.
Honda's net profit, however, dropped 8.5 percent from a year earlier for the nine months through December, to 444.10 billion yen.
The automaker also said its operating profit declined 30.1 percent to 447 billion yen.
This was based on sales of 9.55 trillion yen, which was a drop of 16.8 percent. (1 U.S. dollar equals 104.62 yen). Enditem