Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co. said annual sales in China declined for the first time ever as a record earthquake in Japan last March caused parts and power shortages.
Honda deliveries in the world’s largest vehicle market fell 4.5 percent to 617,764 units last year, the company said in a statement yesterday. Sales in December rose 36 percent to 78,319 units as it sold more Accord sedans and CR-V sports-utility vehicles, the automaker said.
Production at Tokyo-based Honda and its Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp. fell after Japan’s strongest earthquake ever recorded hit the country on March 11. Toyota, Asia’s largest automaker, said on Jan. 5 that China orders gained 4 percent in 2011, the slowest pace in at least seven years.
“The earthquake in March resulted in a parts shortage which affected our production in China,” Zhu Linjie, Honda’s Beijing-based spokesman, said in a telephone interview today.
The carmaker plans to introduce three hybrid models in China this year to boost sales as the country raises its emission standards, Seiji Kuraishi, Honda’s head of China operations said Nov. 21.
--Liza Lin. Editors: Subramaniam Sharma, Chua Kong Ho
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