Analysts say Honda's growing woes in Europe not just the economy
Despite an increase in output last year over 2011 (165,607 units compared to 97,459), the Swindon plant is still running well below its full capacity (250,000/year), and its 66 percent capacity is less than the expected breakeven point of industry analysts (75 to 80 percent). Unlike in the US, however, Honda's new CR-V and Civic aren't selling well, and the similarly sized Nissan Qashqai is outselling the CR-V at a rate of more than five to one. Slow CR-V sales are blamed on a relatively high price and the crossover's conservative styling. On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, the report notes that Nissan continues to experience growth at its UK operations, leading analysts to suggest that Honda can't blame the sour economy for much of its woes.
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