Japan’s third-biggest automaker hopes to remind us that hybrid doesn’t end with Prius, launching last month the sales of the new Fit (Jazz) compact at home, including a hybrid.
Honda contends that its hybrid version of the Fit is able to provide a higher fuel autonomy, while also being less pricey than the Toyota Aqua, a smaller version of the Prius that’s known as the Prius c worldwide. In the first month, sales and advance orders for the new Fit (also known as Jazz) stood at 62,000 units – exceeding four times Honda’s forecast, with about 70% of them hybrids.
Still, as Japan Automobile Dealers Association data shows, Toyota has already delivered 182,135 Aquas (Prius c) in the first eight months of this year, which bested the Fit shipments by more than double, although the older generation model was on sale most of that time.
Since unveiling its first hybrid in 1999, two years after Toyota’s Prius hit Japan’s dealerships, Tokyo-based Honda has only played catch up. Although Honda was actually the first coming to the US with its Insight hybrid, Toyota’s second-generation Prius became the car that has made hybrids fashionable. Honda sold 231,440 hybrids globally last year, compared with Toyota’s 1.2 million units.