Honda reports fiscal quarterly loss, to streamline models

Honda has reported a loss for January-March as an unfavorable exchange rate, income tax expenses and costs from changes in European production hurt results

TOKYO -- Honda reported a loss for January-March Wednesday, despite growing sales, as an unfavorable exchange rate, income tax expenses and other costs hurt results.

Honda Motor Co. reported a 13 billion yen ($118 million) loss for the fiscal fourth quarter, a reversal from a 107.7 billion yen profit the previous fiscal year.

Quarterly sales rose 3% to 4.05 trillion yen ($37 billion).

For the fiscal year through March, Honda recorded a 610.3 billion yen ($5.5 billion) profit, down 42% on year because of an absence of a U.S. tax break, which boosted earnings the previous year.

Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo announced Honda will streamline its product offerings, consolidating model variations, and increase parts-sharing to cut costs, with the first model developed under the new "architecture" launching next year.

Inter-regional cooperation will reduce manpower needs by a third, which will instead be used for research and development, he said.

In North America, a critical market for the Japanese automakers, Honda will reduce model options to realize growth, he added.

For the fiscal year through March 2020, Honda expects a 665 billion yen ($6 billion) profit, up 9 percent.

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