Honda plans to build three variants of its Fit compact (known as the Jazz in Europe) at its Mexican plant currently under construction.
The versions taken into consideration are the hatchback, a sedan version and a Fit-based crossover, said an executive familiar with the plan. He added Honda is considering selling all three versions in the United States and bets on a general shift toward small cars that may create U.S. demand for a Fit sedan. The Japanese carmaker currently sells in Asia a Fit-based sedan, called the City.
A Honda source confirmed for Automotive News that a Fit-based crossover would be the second vehicle from the Mexican plant, but declined to comment on a sedan variant. Honda’s Mexican plant is scheduled to open in 2014 with annual capacity for 200,000 vehicles.
Up to 30 percent of its output is expected to go to the domestic market, the person said. This implies a big Mexican sales rise for Honda.
In 2011, Honda sold only 36,209 vehicles in Mexico, but sales this year increased 53 percent to 42,933 units through October. Adding 60,000 would more that double Honda’s current volume in Mexico.
Honda’s new Mexico plant is the second in the Latin American country and plays a key role in the carmaker’s plan to increase North American sales 18 percent to 2 million units by 2017.