In parallel with Toyota’s forecast of 9.06 million vehicles for 2006, Honda Motor revealed its own good-news forecast for 2006, calling for near double-digit growth in global car sales, a considerable improvement over this year’s 5 percent increase.

Although experiencing a down year in the Japanese domestic market in 2005, Honda expects 19 percent growth in China, 17 percent in South America and 11 percent in Europe, driving the automaker to worlwide sales of 3.35 million units by year-end (up about 7 percent year-over-year).

Honda is currently the eighth-largest automaker in the world, just behind seventh-place Nissan.

To support the forecast growth in global sales, Honda plans to boost production, doubling its capacity in China and India.

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