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Toyota says Aqua more efficient than Fit

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. says a renovated version of its Aqua hybrid going on sale next Monday will overtake Honda Motor Co.’s Fit compact as the world’s most fuel-efficient vehicle apart from plug-in hybrids.

The increased fuel efficiency of 37.0 km per liter achieved by Toyota’s mainstay Aqua hybrid surpasses the 36.4 km of the fully renovated Fit, which went on sale in September, Toyota boasted Tuesday.

Toyota further remodeled the Aqua after launching a renovated version in May as the Fit became the best-selling car in Japan in October after it was fully updated the previous month.

The automaker said it enhanced the Aqua’s fuel efficiency by 1.6 km by reducing frictional resistance in the engine and improving motor control.

The new Aqua lineup will be priced starting at ¥1.7 million, ¥10,000 higher than the existing models. Toyota will begin selling a sports model of the Aqua for ¥2.22 million on Dec. 9.

Honda expands in Brazil

New York KYODO

Honda Motor Co. has started construction on its second auto assembly plant in Brazil, and it is scheduled to open in 2015.

Honda is investing about 1 billion real (roughly ¥44 billion) in the Sao Paulo plant to meet growing demand in Brazil, the fourth-largest auto market in the world.

At a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, Honda President Takanobu Ito boasted that the new plant will enable the firm to supply a broad range of products that will exceed the expectations of Brazilian customers. He also said the factory will be easy on the environment.