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Honda China sales fall for fourth straight month in October

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd's said China sales fell for the fourth straight month in October, a downtrend that led the Japanese carmaker to cut its full-year forecast for sales in the world's largest auto market by 10 percent.

Honda said it would revise its 2014 sales forecast for China down to about 800,000 vehicles from the around 900,000 vehicles previously forecast. It also said October sales had fallen nearly 6 percent year-on-year.

Sales growth in China's auto market will halve to 7 percent this year weighed down by a slowing economy, the head of China's automobile association has said.

Japanese auto brands have also been steadily losing market share in China to U.S. and European brands over the past six years, according to the China Passenger Car Association, as they suffer from political tensions between Beijing and Tokyo.

Honda and its two Chinese joint ventures sold 70,802 vehicles in China in October, down 5.8 percent from a year earlier, after a 23.1 percent fall in September.

China-based spokesman Zhu Linjie attributed the decline to dealers clearing their inventory ahead of new launches.

He added that Honda expects to see a pick up in sales of several key models soon.

Last month, Honda said it was facing "tough" competition in China and its home market of Japan, and has been hit by a number of recalls.

In the first ten months of this year, Honda sold a total of 573,154 vehicles in China, up 0.1 percent from a year earlier.

Honda makes vehicles in China in partnership with Dongfeng Motor Group Co and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co . 



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