By on November 5, 2012

Honda is hoping that the next-generation Fit subcompact will see its volume nearly triple, going from 64,000 units per year to 200,000 by 2016.

Honda is targeting sales of 2 million units in North American by March, 2017. With sales currently resting at 1.7 million, responsibility for the sales increase would largely be up to the Fit.

The next Fit will have some advantages over the current car; production at Honda’s new Mexican factory will mean that the Fit won’t be hampered by poor exchange rates between the dollar and the yen, which make the Fit pricey, unprofitable and hard to come by at dealer lots. New technologies, body styles and fuel efficiency improvements will also be on offer without a substantial price increase, thanks to Mexican production.

Speaking to Automotive News, Honda President Takanobu Ito wouldn’t elaborate on the possible bodystyles, but did say that the next generation Fit Hybrid would be the first Honda to get a next generation IMA Hybrid system, with no carryover components from the previous generation. Unfortunately, we may not get the new Fit Hybrid either.

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44 Comments on “Fit To Lead Honda’s Quest For More North American Sales...”

  • avatar

    i could see the fit selling very well in canada or in mexico, if priced competitively. in the united states, no way. note the statement new body style, i sniff a fit sedan coming our way. oh dear. haha

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      “fit sedan” = Honda City. I’m a bit surprised that Honda hasn’t brought it to North America before now, but I suppose the hatchback premium was necessary to cover the costs of JDM manufacture.

  • avatar

    Nice looking car. Good Front end treatment.

  • avatar

    I vote for a coupe based on the City. Would be very popular with young women.

  • avatar

    After what happened with the Civic, I’m not looking forward to reviews of the new Fit in looks OR performance. And yes they’re already attempting to fix up the Civic, but you’d think Honda could have got it right the first time.

  • avatar

    Honestly, what do we (U.S. consumers) need with a Fit hybrid? The current one is good enough to stand on its own gasoline-powered merits, and if Honda does right, so too will be the next one. There comes a time where clever packaging and engineering is just more efficient and cost-effective than mass-hybridization…

  • avatar

    I like the Honda City 4-door, and think it would do well here:

    If I had my druthers, though, I’d go for a peoplemover-style Fit, something that looks a bit like a Mazda 5, and with a really big greenhouse.

    IIRC I read somewhere that Honda has a whole series of Fit-based vehicles under consideration.

  • avatar

    4% annual growth is pretty modest – not like VW’s delusions of grandeur.

    Honda must be counting on $4 gas as the new normal, or much higher. They’re right.

    • 0 avatar

      VW is second largest car manufacturer in the world – and by default – the known universe, what delusion of grandeur could they have?

      • 0 avatar

        I’m amazed that the rest of the world also puts up with lousy reliability, expensive parts, and poor dealer service from Volkswagen.

        What gives? Do they have better dealers overseas? Do they sell better cars? Or is the local competition overseas just weaker?

      • 0 avatar

        When you look at reliability in actual repair visits per car per year, as opposed to rankings, you can see that even the cars at the bottom of the list aren’t atrocious. The worse recent cars on average between 1.5 and 2.0 repair visits per year: that’s really not that bad by historical standards, especially when many visits aren’t for critical problems.

        Oh yes, VW is not always at the bottom of the list, either.

      • 0 avatar

        A coworker had a 06 Passat that only had 2 repair visits per year – except those visits lasted an entire week while the techs waited for parts and had to tear out half the electrical system. And after warranty, these 2 visits became more like 6, and each visit was a guaranteed 4-digit bill. I work with a large group of German (esp VW) fans and it hardly sounds like an isolated incident.

        Or how about the $4500 timing belt change for a 3.0L A4? I’ve had a friend get quoted $10k for new cylinder heads because the belts went at 70k (Audi says 90k interval for the change) and apparently the dealer says the “early snap” affects many cars.

      • 0 avatar

        @probert: I meant in the US, where VW is currently #11.

  • avatar

    “we may not get the new Fit Hybrid either.”

    Oh, we will. Honda seems to be pretty convinced that we want to buy their useless hybrid technology, even if consumers aren’t.

    Where do they think they’re going to get that volume from? Subcompacts aren’t exactly a growth segment, and there is quite a bit of stiff competition.

  • avatar

    Subcompact segment will grow as gas goes over $5 per gallon. We already went through that in California last month. Stay tuned for the price in the Northeast post Sandy.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, but the converse is also true.

      Gas prices in the greater Seattle area are dropping like a rock right now – Sam’s Club was at $3.27/gal this AM.

      • 0 avatar

        redmondjp. Yeah i paid $3.17 in VA yesterday

      • 0 avatar

        $3.17 is only cheap if your frame of reference is short. I thought $2.50 was outrageous in 2005, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see $8 gas in 2019.

      • 0 avatar

        A good part of these higher fuel prices are creeping inflation and increased state and local taxes, both brought to you from the good folks at dot gov.

      • 0 avatar

        Luke42 – “$3.17 is only cheap if your frame of reference is short. I thought $2.50 was outrageous in 2005”

        In 1981 gas was $1.35 a gallon; that would be the equivalent of $3.37 in inflation adjusted terms for January 2012 dollars.

        So yeah, i’m fine with $3.17

      • 0 avatar

        Started driving around the Clinton administration – I remember filling up at $0.89/gallon.

        I was watching Die Hard the other day, the camera clearly pans over the gas prices at an Arco which showed $0.74/gallon in the late 80s.

        The Dollar’s creeping back up a bit, so oil prices are coming a bit back down.

    • 0 avatar

      Sandy wasn’t a gulf hurricane that knocked out refineries. So, despite the gas lines, there’s no real supply constraint. Second, consumption actually dropped in the wake of the storm so it’s more likely that prices will either remain stable or drop.

    • 0 avatar

      “Subcompact segment will grow as gas goes over $5 per gallon.”

      Maybe, but so will truck sales, because Americans will pay anything for a gallon of gas.

  • avatar

    If there were a Fit sedan, it would probably be close to the fourth Generation Civic sedan, which seats four average sized adults okay.

  • avatar

    My Mom has a 2009 Fit. It’s a great car, it’s a modern version of what the Honda Civic used to be back in the 70’s and 80’s

    • 0 avatar

      Sadly though, they’re awkward and overstyled, whereas the first 3 generations of Civic were simple tasteful designs.

      I want to like the Fit, but I just can’t get past the appearance. Especially the front clip.

      • 0 avatar

        In these excitable days when the desired/default/successful personality type in the Harvard Business School is deemed to be ALPHA PLUS!!!, perhaps simple and tasteful are merely regarded as submission markers. Overwrought plastic and body work substitute for substance in cars, too.

  • avatar

    I like the ‘fit’ concept, however the price is out of line with the usual suspects.
    I sold Honda years ago when the brand was considered by many to be worth the premium.
    Today, in my eyes Honda is just another mediocre automaker trying to see how long it can live off its former sterling reputation.
    Usually these problems are the result of management’s vision being obscured by having most of their heads stuck up each others asses.
    This situation in large corporations is similar to the common cold , the cure is getting through it.
    Maybe Honda just has the flu…

  • avatar

    The Fit made in Mexico won’t cost a penny less than the current version in the U.S., you can count on that . Will they gear it higher possibly giving it a six speed manual and a height adjustable drivers seat or remain stuck in the 80s with it’s seating and gearing like the current model ?

  • avatar

    When I bought my Civic,I looked at the Fit. Much smaller and worse gas mileage and not that much different in price. Duh..Right? Hope they get it right this time.

  • avatar

    Hey Honda-

    Build a Fit with a 6 SPEED! for a decent price and gets 40+mpg, ill trade in my Accent (that I actually like and has been a good car) for one.

    Not gonna hold my breath tho, (see ILX)….

  • avatar

    Two months ago both the Mazda3 i Touring with SkyActiv and Ford Focus SE hatch were WAY better equipped and significantly cheaper than the Fit Sport. If Honda doesn’t fix the Fit’s price, Honda will lose more prospective buyers than just me.

    Why all the hate for the Fit’s styling? Considering the odd dimensions that make the car so good, I think the styling is great!

  • avatar

    Kind of lofty goal. The best selling “subcompact” last month, the Nissan Versa, only moved 8,311 units and was the 40th best selling model. That tells you something about the total size of the subcompact pie (and I don’t really count that Kia Soul and Nissan Cube as subcompact because, well, they aren’t very compact!). The truth is, for just a few thousand more, you can get a compact car that is bigger, more luxurious and probably gets about the same mpg. Unless Honda can get the price down significantly, I don’t see it hitting the 200k mark.

    • 0 avatar

      Honda loses money on every Fit it sells. That’s the reason they don’t push sales. Mexico is meant to fix that.

      btw, I believe the Fit has more interior room than either the Soul or Cube.

    • 0 avatar

      Compacts can be had for less than the Fit because the Fit is the priciest subcompact, and Honda doesn’t offer rebates. A Focus hatch can currently be had with $4k in rebates.

  • avatar

    is there any other new cars being sold today with door handles like this fit in the picture?

    seem like honda just doesnt care about the little details anymore.

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