NEW YORK – Honda Motor Co. is expanding its lineup with the HR-V sport-utility vehicle in an effort to boost sales by tapping a growing U.S. market for small crossovers.
The 2015 HR-V, which shares a platform with the subcompact Fit hatchback, will debut “this winter,” the Tokyo-based carmaker said at the New York International Auto Show, without elaborating. The model, sold in Japan as the Vezel since December, will be produced at Honda’s Celaya, Mexico, plant that also produces Fits for the U.S.
“Together the Fit and HR-V will represent a significant growth opportunity for Honda in the U.S.,” the company said in a statement Thursday. The automaker didn’t provide a sales target for the HR-V, which slots into its light-truck lineup below the CR-V and Pilot SUVs.
The HR-V, borrowing a name from a small crossover that Honda previously sold in Japan in the early 2000s, is the latest small crossover bound for the United States, following Nissan Motor Co.’s Juke and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.’s Subaru XV Crosstrek. Honda needs both the new Fit and HR-V to revive U.S. sales, which were down 3.6 percent in the first three months of this year.
Total U.S. deliveries of SUVs and crossovers rose 8.9 percent in the first quarter, while cars — a core segment for Honda in that market with its Accord and Civic models — shrank 3.6 percent, according to Autodata Corp.
Pricing and other details about the HR-V will come later this year, said Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman.
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