TOKYO — Honda on Friday more than doubled its full-year operating profit forecast as it reported second-quarter earnings grew 28 percent amid a rebound in China after auto sales were squeezed by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Honda said it now forecasts a full-year operating profit of 420 billion yen ($4.06 billion) up from a previous prediction of a 200 billion yen profit.
For the second quarter, operating profit came in at 283 billion yen ($2.7 billion), up from 220 billion yen in the same period a year earlier.
For the full fiscal year, Honda said it expects to sell 4.6 million cars. That’s up from a previous forecast of 4.5 million, but still below the 4.79 million sold the previous year.
Like other automakers, Honda is also accelerating a shift to electric cars and other zero-emissions vehicles, a change in strategy that was behind its decision last month to end its participation as an engine supplier in the FIA Formula One World Championship.
Honda is launching its first mass-produced full-electric car, the Honda e, and wants two-thirds of its output to be new-energy vehicles by 2030.
In the U.S., Honda is looking to win a bigger market share with redesigned crossovers as it chases a shift in consumer demand for larger, all-wheel-drive models.
In September Honda unveiled plans to deepen its partnership in North America with General Motors to jointly develop low-emissions vehicles that would allow them to share technology and costs.
Honda is also focusing more on China, the world’s biggest auto market, as the country leads a rebound in global demand that was hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.