Honda scored a decent U.S. sales month in April, with overall results up by 13 percent. But what has company insiders excited isn't strong Accord or Civic sales. Honda's light trucks, the Pilot, Odyssey, CRV and Ridgeline, were up 33 percent compared to April of 2009. Those vehicles comprise many of the most expensive vehicles in the Honda lineup, and a healthy source of profits.
Automotive News reports that Honda VP John Mendel called light truck sales "spry," adding that truck sales are up for several automakers, signaling that the U.S. sales downturn may be waning. Mendel also points to low inventory as a good sign for Honda, with light trucks sitting at a very low 42 day supply, down five days from March 1st levels. And while you've likely seen Honda's recent ads touting unprecedented incentives, keep in mind that light trucks are still at low incentive levels.
That's undoubtedly good news for Honda and its dealer body, yet Mendel reportedly cautions that dealers shouldn't get too giddy over the numbers. In the short term, though, the Honda VP intimated that some dealers may need to add salespeople as the auto industry continues to improve.