Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co., Japan’s third- biggest carmaker, will begin selling its remodeled Fit hatchback tomorrow in Japan to challenge Toyota Motor Corp.’s lead in hybrid compact cars.
The third-generation Fit will be priced from 1.26 million yen ($13,000) for the gasoline version, Tokyo-based Honda said in a statement today. Sales are targeted at 15,000 units a month.
Honda President Takanobu Ito intends the revamped Fit, sold as the Jazz in some markets including China, to help increase annual sales to 6 million vehicles by March 2017 and dent the dominance of Toyota’s Prius c. Ito is counting on growth in emerging markets and demand for compacts such as the Fit, the smallest in Honda’s portfolio and its best-seller in Japan, as motorists increasingly buy small cars.
The gasoline-electric version of the Fit can run 36.4 kilometers a liter under Japanese standards, Honda said. That’s better mileage than the Prius c, Toyota’s most fuel-efficient hybrid, which covers 35.4 kilometers a liter under the same standards, according to company figures.
Honda said it will price the hybrid version at 1.63 million yen in Japan. The price is 3 percent less than for the Prius c, the world’s best-selling gasoline-and-electric vehicle, called the Aqua in Japan.
Honda will make the remodeled Fit at its factory in Yorii, northwest of Tokyo, that opened in July.
Aqua is the top-selling car in Japan, followed by the conventional Prius, according to figures from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association. Sales of the Aqua reached 160,993 units in the first seven months of this year, the association’s data show.
--Editors: Lena Lee, Dave McCombs