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Honda Motor Co. may double North American production of its compact CR-V, the best-selling sport- utility vehicle in the U.S., as demand for large, truck-based SUVs fades, according to two analysts.

CR-V sales jumped 44 percent this year to 167,223 through September, eclipsing Ford Motor Co.'s Explorer, the U.S. leader in 14 of the past 15 years, at 108,535. Tokyo-based Honda wants 80 percent of the autos it sells in the U.S. to be made in North America, meaning a shift in CR-Vs, now mostly imported.

``They'll push for more production as quickly as possible,'' said analyst Catherine Madden, an analyst for market forecaster Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. ``Honda is sensitive to the split of import versus locally sourced product. It never leaves the back of their mind.''
Click here to read the entire story from Bloomberg

By Alan Ohnsman - Bloomberg

2,724 Posts
Interesting Table From This Article

Top-Selling Sport Utility Vehicles, January-September

Brand Model 2007 2006 Change
1. Honda CR-V 167,223 116,024 +44.1%
2. Toyota RAV4 131,946 115,684 +14.1%
3. Ford Escape 127,737 123,063 +3.8%
4. Chevrolet Tahoe 109,644 120,723 -9.2%
5. Ford Explorer 108,535 143,270 -24.2%
6. Chevrolet Trailblazer 103,450 134,046 -22.8%
7. Honda Pilot 95,463 119,337 -20.0%
8. Jeep Grand Cherokee 93,246 109,158 +33.0%
9. Jeep Wrangler 92,549 54,234 +71.0%
10. Toyota Highlander 91,294 96698 -5.6%

It didn't paste very well but the above table has a couple of interesting points. One, we always hear how the CR-V blasted the Explorer. Well look at the Pilot, it didn't fare well either. Two, what is with the Grand Cherokee? All the other larger SUVs took a hit, Cherokee had a significant gain. Three, The Wrangler is the growth leader percentage wise, yet the Escape hardly moves at all.

I am still somewhat mistified by the CR-V's performce over the Rav 4. Every review I ever read gave the Rav 4 a significantly higher rating (usually for the V-6 and the 3rd row of seats), yet look at the sales.

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