By on April 14, 2014

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In 2008, Honda sold nearly 80,000 Fit subcompacts to the United States, and is preparing to move 70,000 annually from the lot to the driveways of America thanks to its new Celaya, Mexico plant.

Ward’s Auto reports the automaker had a difficult time hitting the milestone set in 2008 due to production constraints at home and fervent demand abroad. With the new plant, however, Honda will be able to make 200,000 Fits annually, as well as the Fit-based crossover set to begin production later this year.

As for who Honda expects will buy the 70,000+ Fits aimed for the U.S. market — aside from lifestyle bloggers — product planner Hiroaki Hamaya says the subcompact is already “capturing the highest household income and percentage of college grads.” Data from J.D. Power bears this out: Fit buyers hold an average income of $75,000 while 64 percent of them have graduated college. However, median age and percentage of buyers under 35 currently lag behind competitors such as the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic.

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28 Comments on “Honda Pursues 70k Annual US Fit Sales...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    In the last few days I have learned more about the Fit then I ever imagined was possible.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      And mommy bloggers.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “In the last few days I have learned more about the Fit then I ever imagined was possible.”

      That’s because it has found a niche with 16 – 25 year olds (though mostly girls). Seriously!

      One of the girlfriends of my 16 yo grand daughter recently got a new Fit from her parents and my 16 yo now leaves the Highlander parked at home while she hangs out in her girl friend’s Fit with two other girls. They all love it!

      There are rumblings over the dinner table at my house where my 16 yo grand daughter has informed us that were she to get a car to go to college with, she’d like it to be a Fit…………….

      So whatever Honda did with the Fit, it must have appeal. And it is more than advertising since 16, 17, and 18 yo girls are totally tuned out from advertising, on any media.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        Blogging is also advertising. Maybe not directly, but one blogger reccommending one car to another blogger, (and remember,some of these people couldn’t tell a Fit from a Chevelle, or would care) and the snowball is slowly starting to roll…

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Absolutely, Zykotec! And with all the keystroke trackers that follow every letter and word that we type in our communications over the internet, the manufacturers and their data mining operations have a damn good idea of what is hot, and what is not.

          I see ads for stuff I have discussed on ttac and other sites pop up on my browser all the time, and without the need for a hashtag.

          My guess would be that the Fit is pretty hot right now.

      • 0 avatar

        This is so very interesting highdesertcat! The biggest proponents of this car here are female too. Though to do to differences in market etc. it’s so much more a mommy mobile here.That being said, as 50% of the market is 1.0 engines, they are also amongst the most aggressive drivers. It’s always fun when somebody with a modern 1.o that knows how to drive can quickly put this car in its place. Anyway, I wander off but it does seem our better parts are the main fan base of this car.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Good to see Honda targeting high income, young, educated consumers. This way they are only competing with every carmaker in the market, except Mitsubishi.

    • 0 avatar
      fredtal

      Nice series on the Fit. I’ve talked with a couple of folks who own them and they all like them very much. I sure don’t see many on the streets. Seems like I see more Sonics so I’m guessing price is the over riding reason.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Yeah, compared to others, the Fit is not cheap.

      • 0 avatar
        TheyBeRollin

        I live in an insular, geographically-isolated, pseudo-environmentally-friendly, upper-middle-class exurb of Seattle and the Fit is definitely the most popular compact here. They outnumber Sonics by at least 8:1, probably more, and I suspect most Sonics are owned by people that drive here to do some kind of service sector job. The only car that is more common is the Toyota Prius.

        • 0 avatar
          1967mgb

          “I live in an insular, geographically-isolated, pseudo-environmentally-friendly, upper-middle-class exurb of Seattle and the Fit is definitely the most popular compact here.” So much said in so few words. I’m impressed…”service sector job” was icing…

          • 0 avatar
            TheyBeRollin

            Another interesting point is that the Fiesta is almost as absent from the streets here as the Sonic. Almost.

            There are also a curiously-large number of the Ford C-MAX here. They seem to be slowly eating into the indisputable Toyota Prius domination. My guess is that it is due to their combination of Fit-like utility, low fuel consumption, and being a sort of transitional electric car for people that aren’t ready for the Leaf or can’t afford the Tesla (both are very common here).

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      It’s Honda’s usual overt way to confidently capture the 35-54 active-adult crowd. E.g. the Element.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The difference being that Honda will likely succeed in capturing those buyers with this car.

      When I visit the in-laws in rural western Pennsylvania, I’m always surprised at how many Chevrolet Sonics I see. The Sonic drivers appear to be fairly young, but they are most definitely not high-income, judging from appearances.

  • avatar
    calgarytek

    Boy are those front and rear wheels set inward. Hey Honda, I see space in front/rear for a double wishbone/multilink set up. Plus, the car will look better with the wheels at the corner as opposed to they way they are. And the handling would be…Phenomenally good.

    Are you listening? Hello?!

    (That’s how you’ll get the boys to buy it…)

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Four or five years ago, Car and Driver did a comparison test of midsized sedans where every entrant had wishbones, even the Ford Fusion. Now, none of the cars in the class have them. I suspect the narrow-offset crash test is at least part of the reason.

      • 0 avatar
        calgarytek

        Still doesn’t explain the rear. Also, if the car fails it’s narrow offset crash test with double wishbones (regardless of what anyone says, may you RIP, you sweet sweet sweet setup), we need to get some HiperStrut’s on there pronto. I guess the only way you’re getting that nowadays is if you go Government Motors…

        Bloody hell.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          Toyota and Subaru has recently decided to build a car targeted specifically for boys. Remind me again how their sales compare to the Fits ?

          • 0 avatar
            TheyBeRollin

            How is a 2-door car with a base MSRP that is 7k higher directly comparable to a utilitarian four-door economy car. Their markets don’t even overlap. Nobody cross-shops these two cars.

            Also remember that older people buy Fits and young men are more likely to be unemployed than young women.

          • 0 avatar
            calgarytek

            That Toyota and Subaru product ain’t for boys. Boys cars have front double wishbones.

            I will point out that some boys cars don’t quite look like boys cars, but that’s because they’ve got the whole let’s wear drag minimize ‘air drag’ thing going on… (aka Miata). But it’s okay, I’m open minded.

            Another compelling reason is that most boys will be able to tell you what double wishbones are too!

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            I’m not saying the Fit or BRZ86FRS compare, but marketing a car more for boys/men not a good way to make money, even the Mustang started as a ‘secretarys car’.
            And too few of Hondas customers will notice the difference (between struts and wishbones) under normal driving to defend the extra development , engineering and assembly costs. It will probably hurt the resale value a bit 7-15 years from now though.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I’m not much liking the front end treatment on some of these new Hondas. The “nostrils” under the headlights on this car, and particularly on the Civic coupes look unnecessary and tacked on.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    It’s basically a return to form for Honda in the subcompact class. The 2nd gen sold in very low numbers for the company that brought you the 4-5th gen Civics; meanwhile, Honda was effectively using the lower tiers of the lukewarmly received 2012 Civic as a placeholder for the missing volume. Now that the Fit production has been realigned and the Civic is slowly re-contending, the product lineup will probably look more familiar, with the Fit selling in volume as in the heyday of the Civic hatchback.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Hopefully, they have significantly improved the crash protection of the 2015 model.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      The previous model was very safe for it’s size already. It is only in the quite new small overlap test it needed improvement (like most other cars in all sizes, except Volvos offcourse, released before 2012),which not bad considering it was first shown in 2007.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        There’s a wicked video on YouTube somewhere witha guy who hit a deep patch of water on the freeway, and then hydroplaned off the road and rolled his car numerous times down a long slope. He was okay, and the car didn’t look that bad. The space frame on modern cars can be surprisingly rigid. For me, I’m more concered about a) the $$$ damage from a low speed rear end crash compared to a larger car with a trunk, and b) the amount of injury that an occupant would take relative to a larger car. I would personally consider the Fit in its in at actions to be a very safe car for its size, but I do also tend to see them as roll ages without much crush zone.

  • avatar
    WRC555

    I keep checking the power to weight ratio every few years on the Fit. 2015 MY now has 130HP and weighs 2513 Ibs. Still need 50 more HP to lure me into a Honda dealership.


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