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Flybrian

Honda's 3-year Plan

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Honda to roll out a redesigned Fit
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Christine Tierney | The Detroit News


Honda Motor Co. will launch a redesigned version of its popular Fit subcompact in the fall, Honda CEO Takeo Fukui said in Japan today in a speech updating the automaker's progress on its three-year strategic plan.

He confirmed that Honda would introduce a clean diesel engine to the U.S. market in 2009 that would meet emission standards in all 50 states, and he announced that the engine also would be marketed in Japan.

In its 2005-08 plan, Honda outlined goals to improve its environmental performance, strengthen the Honda brand in Japan, and reinforce the automaker's foundation for global growth.

"Honda will further accelerate its effort to strengthen the core characteristics that make Honda unique in each business area," Fukui said.

The automaker, Japan's second largest after Toyota Motor Corp., is investing heavily in gas-electric hybrid and diesel technology as well as developing more small cars in its effort to be environmentally friendly.

Over the past two years, as gas prices have risen, Honda has struggled to meet demand for its small cars. Cumulative sales of the Fit, launched in Japan in 2002 and first introduced to the U.S. market last year, have exceeded 2 million units.

The new Fit is likely to be available in the U.S. market soon after its fall launch in Japan.

Honda's vehicle range is among the most fuel-efficient, and the Union of Concerned Scientists in April rated the company the greenest automaker.

All automakers are addressing concerns about fuel economy and the environment, but Honda's efforts in this area are longstanding. "They've done it much more consistently and with more dedication than Toyota has, although Toyota gets more credit because of the Prius (hybrid)," said George Peterson, chairman of AutoPacific, a consulting firm in Tustin, Calif.

"If Honda just wanted to sell cars, they'd have a V8-powered luxury car out there -- and there ain't no V8 around," he said.

In his update, Fukui confirmed that Honda will roll out a dedicated hybrid model in 2009 that will cost less than the Honda Civic hybrid, which starts at $22,600. Fukui also said:

For the Japanese market, Honda plans to strengthen its mini-vehicle business. Mini-vehicles, fitted with very small engines, are among the most resilient segments in the weak Japanese auto market.

Honda also will delay the launch of its Acura premium brand in Japan for two years or so. Honda had planned to bring Acura to its home market in the fall of 2008 but is revising its plans "based on a comprehensive evaluation of the current market environment." Like Toyota's Lexus brand, Acura was first established in the United States.

In North America, Honda's production capacity will reach 1.62 million units after the construction of an assembly plant in Indiana, the expansion of a Mexican plant and the construction of an engine factory in Canada.

In China, the Guangzhou Honda Automobile Co. venture will establish an R&D facility and develop a vehicle that will be sold under an original brand of Guangzhou Honda starting in 2010.
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GOD! That's fast on the Fit. So much good news for Honda, but they are starving Acura. Pity. I do want a CRX to come along. Looks like Honda is in the winner's circle this round of subcompacts. Lets pray they don't make a Fit sedan. Look at the Versa. That's a bloody mess!

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my guess is the new fit is not as hideous and cheesy as the current one and will gain sales too.

i would like to see a crx too.

a cheaper hybrid makes sense for them.

honda usually makes pretty good decisions without having to resort to the same marketing and PR crap toyota does.

honda still makes p*ssy cars though.

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"If Honda just wanted to sell cars, they'd have a V8-powered luxury car out there -- and there ain't no V8 around," he said.

Apparently, Honda doesn't really want to sell the RL then, eh? On the luxury car/overly sized engine front, haven't we heard for a while now that the NSX is on its way over... with a V10?
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Apparently, Honda doesn't really want to sell the RL then, eh? On the luxury car/overly sized engine front, haven't we heard for a while now that the NSX is on its way over... with a V10?

A V10 is confirmed in the next NSX/GT car, and hopefully it will find its way into an RL Type S. There are already rumors floating around about a V8 in the next RL/Ridgeline, nothing is confirmed yet though.

The thing that sets Honda apart from Toyota is that they don't just enter a new market to gain market-share and profit (IE: Tundra), but they actively try to improve upon what's already in that market. For the next V10 powered NSX, they are setting a very difficult mpg goal of 23.5, which is using the Japanese "standard 10.15-mode fuel cycle" and is close to our combined rating (see this thread). For comparison, the Z06 Corvette achieves 18mpg combined with the new rating system. The next NSX will probably weigh more and be AWD.

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That's such an ugly picture of the fit. The U.S.-spec one, while not too different, has body colored head lamps, a better bumper, nicer rims, and the lip/spoiler kit on the Sport trim. Makes it look much better IMO.

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