Honda Motor Co. will debut its remodeled Fit hatchback Friday in Japan to challenge Toyota Motor Corp.’s lead in hybrid compacts.
The third-generation Fit will be priced from ¥1.26 million for the gasoline version, Honda said in a statement Thursday. Sales are targeted at 15,000 units a month.
Honda President Takanobu Ito intends the revamped Fit, sold as the Jazz in some markets, including China, to help increase annual sales to 6 million vehicles by March 2017 and dent the dominance of Toyota’s Prius c. Ito is counting on growth in emerging markets and demand for compacts such as the Fit, the smallest in Honda’s portfolio and its best-seller in Japan, as motorists increasingly buy small cars.
The gasoline-electric version of the Fit can run 36.4 km per liter under Japanese standards, Honda said. That’s better than the Prius c, Toyota’s most fuel-efficient hybrid, which covers 35.4 km per liter under the same standards, company figures show.
Honda said it will price the hybrid version at ¥1.63 million in the domestic market. The price is 3 percent less than for the Prius c, the world’s best-selling gasoline and electric vehicle, called the Aqua in Japan.
Honda will make the remodeled Fit at its factory in Yorii, Saitama Prefecture, that opened in July.
The Aqua is the top-selling car in Japan, followed by the conventional Prius, according to figures from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association. Sales of the Aqua reached 160,993 units in the first seven months of this year, the association’s data show.
Imports log 7.7% rise
Sales of new imported vehicles in Japan, including those made abroad by Japanese automakers, grew 7.7 percent in August from the year before to 23,956 units, an industry body said Thursday.
Of the total, sales of foreign-brand cars, trucks and buses rose 19.1 percent to 19,582 units, while those of Japanese-brand vehicles fell 24.5 percent to 4,374 units, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association.