Honda issues 3rd profit warning

Honda has lowered its annual operating profit forecast by 67 percent. The announcement on Wednesday is the Japanese automaker’s third profit warning this year.  Honda now expects operating profit for the business year to March 31 at $2 billion, down 81 percent from last year.

Honda outlined cost-cutting measures to reduce non-urgent spending, including delaying the launch of medium to large diesel vehicles in the United States and Japan to concentrate on hybrids and small cars, and delaying indefinitely expansion of car output capacity in India and Turkey.

The company said it will go ahead with plans to introduce a small car below the Fit/Jazz subcompact for emerging and other markets in two to three years. A new sporty hybrid based on CR-Z will go on sale in late 2010. Honda also will continue to develop small diesel engines. (Reuters)