Honda Motor Co plans to roll out a gas-electric hybrid version of its Fit subcompact car in the autumn of 2010, about a year and a half ahead of the original schedule, to tap growing demand for low-emission vehicles.
Honda Motors, Japan’s No.2 automaker, has said they plan to launch three more low-cost gasoline-electric cars by 2012, starting with the CR-Z sports car next year. It has not officially disclosed the timing of the launch of the Fit and Civic hybrids which will follow.
Amid the devastating global slump in demand for cars, fuel-sipping hybrid cars have become a bright spot for the industry with Honda and Toyota Motor Corp seeing robust demand for their lastest models.
Honda’s new Insight, priced from 1.89 million yen ($19,960), became the first hybrid ever to top the best-seller list in Japan last month.
The Nikkei, without citing sources, said Honda aims to sell the hybrid Fit subcompact for about 1.5 million yen ($15,800) and expects annual sales of over 50,000 vehicles.
Honda spokeswoman Akemi Ando said the automaker has not decided the timing of release, price or sales target for the Fit hybrid.