September 28 2005.
Honda is broadening its network of large motorcycle dealerships in Japan, in a bid to counteract slumping domestic sales.
Honda currently operates 58 large dealerships nationwide under the name Honda Dream. These dealerships sell all Honda motorcycles, ranging from 50cc to 1,800cc models. The company plans to expand this to 100 during the year ending March and to 200 within two years.
Accompanying this expansion, Honda is restructuring its existing sales network. As of spring this year, it had some 16,000 outlets that sold Honda motorcycles as well as other companies' products. Plans now call for trimming this by 50%, by consolidating stores and turning some into Honda Dream dealerships.
Through these measures, the company aims to boost sales of 126cc and bigger motorcycles, which have wider profit margins, from the current 19% to 30% of domestic sales within two years.
Domestic motorcycle sales, which at their peak in the 1980s totaled 3.2 million units per year, have been in long-term decline, falling to around 700,000 vehicles in 2004. The primary cause has been a plunge in demand for 50cc and smaller scooters.

Source: The Nikkei Business Daily