October 5, 2011 / 6:10 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Honda to halve exports from Japan in 10 yrs-Asahi

* Honda to halve exports from Japan in 10 yrs - Asahi

* Move in line with Honda’s plan to reduce exports globally (Adds background)

TOKYO, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co will halve exports of vehicles made in Japan over 10 years to tackle the rising yen, a newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing an interview with the automaker’s chief executive.

The move would be in line with Honda’s stated plan to sell 80-90 percent of vehicles produced in various regions around the world in the local markets to reduce the impact of currency swings.

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito told the Asahi newspaper that the company would reduce exports from Japan to 10-20 percent from 34 percent in the business year that ended in March 2011 over the next decade.

Honda has said it would beef up its 660cc minivehicle offerings to boost sales in the shrinking Japanese market and try to keep annual output in Japan at about 1 million vehicles.

Honda built about 910,000 of its total 3.57 million vehicles in Japan last business year.

Shares of Honda climbed 2.5 percent in early trading, before falling back to end down 0.3 percent at 2,195 yen.

Honda said in February it would build more of its popular CR-V crossovers in North America instead of in Japan to cushion the blow from the strong yen.

Automakers are reeling from the rise of the yen, which hit a 10-year high against the euro on Tuesday and is hovering around 102 yen . The dollar is around 77 yen, compared with levels above 85 yen in April.

Shares of Toyota closed down 2 percent and Nissan fell 3.1 percent. (Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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