Honda plans to introduce hybrid versions of the Fit subcompact in the US market, as the automaker considers this will challenge Toyota’s dominance in the segment.
The third generation Fit hatchback will reach US dealerships in 2014 and the Japanese market in September. The version which will be introduced in the US will be the first Fit built in North America. The revamped Fit will feature a new interior, newly developed one-motor gasoline-electric drivetrain and boldly creased sheet metal.
The automaker has planned to introduce in the US the hybrid version of the Fit-based small crossover and sedan, but not of the standard Fit five-door. The Sport Hybrid Intelligent-Dual Clutch Drive, which is Honda’s new hybrid system, offers improved fuel economy compared with the current integrated motor assist system.
The hybrid version of the Fit will make Honda more competitive in the small hybrid segment. The standard Fir for the US market and the crossover will be imported from the Celaya plant, Mexico, which will begin production in spring 2014 and will manufacture around 200,000 units annually for North America.
“I was not that confident with the previous model, but this model would absolutely sell well in America,” said Jiro Yamaguchi, managing officer in charge of global vehicle development.