Japanese car giant Honda Motor Company says its sales will grow by 8% across all global markets next year.

Ceo Takeo Fukui expects the number of vehicles sold in 2005 to reach 3.4 million, up from 3.16 million this year.

The company plans to boost sales by 5% in the US - where domestic competitors, General Motors and the Ford Motor Company, have struggled this year - and by 4% in its home market of Japan.

Sales in the expanding Chinese market are expected to increase by 25%, to 274,000 vehicles, a significant rise but not as large as the 73% growth Honda saw in China during 2004.

In Europe sales are expected to grow by 9%.

The car maker is launching a revamped version of its best-selling Civic brand in 2005 and aims to sell 600,000 units a year. It is also entering the popular pickup truck market in the US with its Ridgeline model.

Data sourced from Washington Post Online; additional information by WARC staff