While most automakers have been struggling to sale their wares in the struggling US auto market, Honda has held its own -- and then some. Honda's robust selection of high volume cars has led to a 1.2% sales increase in a market that is down a disastrous 11%, and Honda expects things to continue next year, with new models like the redesigned Fit adding to already strong sales. Industry-wide, though, Honda doesn't expect a good 2009.

Honda, much like Toyota, sees more of the same sullied sales for the rest of this year and next, predicting 2009 sales at a dismal 13.5-14 million units industry-wide due to financial struggles in the banking sector. Honda sales VP John Mendel doesn't think credit issues will affect the Japanese automaker, due to the typical Honda customer's better than average credit. Mendel says he has no problem with the $25 billion in loans sought by US automakers, but he would like to see some of the money go to the hundreds of suppliers that are also struggling to survive. He was quick to point out that Honda didn't need any outside help, and he even went as far as to equate the loan with "getting in a bread line." That won't win him many friends in Detroit, but then again, Honda doesn't have or need many allies in Motown anyway.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]