A strong yen is hurting Japan's automakers, the Wall Street Journal reports, with Honda and Mitsubishi announcing big declines in profits today and forecasting tough times ahead. Honda saw an 86% decline in profits for the quarter ended March 31; Mitsubishi's were down 37%. Mazda bucked the trend, with a 48% increase—but all three forecast double-digit declines this fiscal year.
Honda predicted profits for the fiscal year ending in March 2009 will be down 18%, with the stronger yen playing a main role. Mitsubishi forecast a 42% drop, and Mazda's expecting its net gain to tumble 24%. Smaller Japanese automakers announced similar forecasts yesterday; Toyota, the industry leader, releases its report May 8.