Risks Relating to Honda’s Industry
1. Honda may be adversely affected by market conditions
Honda conducts its operations in Japan and throughout the world, including North America, Europe and Asia. A sustained loss of consumer confidence in these markets, which may be caused by continued economic slowdown, recession, changes in consumer preferences, rising fuel prices, financial crisis or other factors could trigger a decline in demand for automobiles, motorcycles and power products that may adversely affect Honda’s results of operations. 2. Prices for products can be volatile
Prices for automobiles, motorcycles and power products in certain markets may experience sharp changes over short periods of time. This volatility is caused by various factors, including fierce competition, which is increasing, short-term fluctuations in demand caused by instability in underlying economic conditions, changes in tariffs, import regulations and other taxes, shortages of certain materials and parts, steep rise in material prices and sales incentives. There can be no assurance that such price volatility will not continue for an extended period of time or that price volatility will not occur in markets that to date have not experienced such volatility. Overcapacity within the industry has increased and will likely continue to increase if the economic downturn continues in Honda’s major markets, leading, potentially, to further increased price volatility. Price volatility in any of Honda’s markets could adversely affect Honda’s results of operations.
Risks Relating to Honda’s Business Generally
Currency and Interest Rate Risks
1. Honda’s operations are subject to currency fluctuations Honda has manufacturing operations throughout the world, including Japan, and exports products and components to various countries.
Honda purchases materials and components and sells its products and components in foreign currencies. Therefore, currency fluctuations may affect Honda’s pricing of products sold and materials purchased. Accordingly, currency fluctuations have an effect on Honda’s results of operations and financial condition, as well as Honda’s competitiveness, which will over time affect its results. Since Honda exports many products and components, particularly from Japan, and generates a substantial portion of its revenues in currencies other than the Japanese yen, Honda’s results of operations would be adversely affected by an appreciation of the Japanese yen against other currencies, in particular the U.S. dollar.
Annual Report 2012
2. Honda’s hedging of currency and interest rate risk exposes Honda to other risks Although it is impossible to hedge against all currency or interest rate risks, Honda uses derivative financial instruments in order to reduce the substantial effects of currency fluctuations and interest rate exposure on our cash flows and financial condition. These instruments include foreign currency forward contracts, currency swap agreements and currency option contracts, as well as interest rate swap agreements. Honda has entered into, and expects to continue to enter into, such hedging arrangements. As with all hedging instruments, there are risks associated with the use of such instruments. While limiting to some degree our risk fluctuations in currency exchange and interest rates by utilizing such hedging instruments, Honda potentially forgoes benefits that might result from other fluctuations in currency exchange and interest rates. Honda is also exposed to the risk that its counterparties to hedging contracts will default on their obligations. Honda manages exposure to counterparty credit risk by limiting the counterparties to major international banks and financial institutions meeting established credit guidelines. However, any default by such counterparties might have an adverse effect on Honda.
Legal and Regulatory Risks
1. The automobile, motorcycle and power product industries...