Honda president expects to sell 200,000 Fits in next 4 years in North America

Article by Anita Panait, on November 6, 2012

Takanobu Ito, the President of Honda Motor Co., is expecting the subcompact Fit hatchback to be the carmaker’s fastest-growing model in North America over the next four years. Ito is expecting to sell 200,000 units of Fit hatchback and new variants in the next four years in North America, from 64,177 units in 2011.

Following Ito’s target, the Fit is expected to boost Honda’s sales in North America by 18% to 2 million vehicles in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017 – more than the carmaker's current high-volume Accord, Civic, Odyssey or CR-V. Honda is expecting to sell 1.7 million vehicles in North America in 2012. Ito is expecting Fit's sales in the U.S. to rise after a redesign scheduled for 2013.

Honda will commence production of the Fit at a new plant in Mexico in 2014, providing dealers more Fits to sell without their profits affect by the dollar-yen exchange rate. The arrival of additional body-style variants of the Fit is also expected to help. Ito told Automotive News last week that they have set the target of selling 2 million vehicles in 2016.

He remarked that the 200,000 Fit units produced in Mexico will be the minimum contribution that the series makes. Under Ito’s plans, the Fit family would account for around 10% of Honda sales in North America.

In 2011, Honda’s Fit sales grew 9% in the US to 59,235 units, accounting for just 5% of the carmaker’s total sales in the country. Adding figures from Canada and Mexico, the Fit accounted for 4% of Honda's volume in North America.

Honda Fit improves its established strengths in 2012 by updating its styling on the Fit Sport, upgrading interiors on every model, and adding new features, both standard and optional.

With a solid size and tight turn diameter (34.4 ft, curb-to-curb), the Fit can easily navigate tight city environs and park in small spaces. Yet a spacious and adaptable interior has the same handiness and cargo room as a larger car. Unlike other subcompacts, the five-passenger Fit offers the deepest, smoothest cargo floor and has a large 57.3 cu-ft. cargo volume with the rear seats down. Its four distinctive seat arrangements can accommodate large items from bikes and surfboards to large plants.

2012 Fit Sport exterior has been updated to include new styling for the front grille and bumper, black headlamp bezels, and alloy wheels with a dark machined finish (replacing a painted finish). The entry model keeps its signature front fascia and for 2012 includes body-coloured exterior mirrors (they were black) and new wheel coverings.

The Fit Sport’s interior is augmented with a dashboard that has dark metallic components for a continuous colour theme (replacing the grey and black of before). It also receives more chrome accents surrounding instrument displays.

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