Honda is planning on building three different forms of the Fit subcompact at the automaker’s assembly facility in Mexico. The new facility is still being built, but is expected to be fully operational by 2014. Surprisingly, Honda plans on building a sedan variant as well as a crossover based on the Fit, both of which will join the hatchback currently in production.
Best of all, the three Fits are U.S.-bound as Honda braces itself for a consumer shift into smaller cars. If this holds true, Honda expects the Fit to be the brand’s fastest growing model after it gets a redesign next year. While a Fit sedan appears to be in the works at the automaker’s Mexico facility, one is already on sale in Asia known as the City. A Fit wagon, sedan, and minivan are also sold in certain parts of the world too. Once the Mexican facility opens up, it’s believed 200,000 vehicles will be assembled annually, with as much as 30 percent of total output serving its home market. This fits in with what Honda President Takanobu Ito said back in November that majority of the plant’s output would come stateside. No exact figures were given, however.
Last year, Honda only managed to move 36,209 vehicles in Mexico but the fact that the expanded Fit lineup will be built in Mexico could provide a sharp increase in sales there. Sales are already up 53 percent this year with 42,933 units sold through the first 10 months of 2012. An additional 60,000 units produced would double Honda’s volume in Mexico. The new facility in Mexico, the second of its kind for Honda in the country, appears it will be vital to North American sales. Honda expects the Mexican facility would boost North American sales an additional 18 percent to 2 million units in the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2017.
Besides the addition of a Fit sedan for the North American market, a crossover based on the compact hatchback is also in the works. However, Honda hasn’t committed to the Fit-based crossover coming to the states. Earlier this year though, American Honda Motor CEO Tetsuo Iwamura said that the facility in Mexico will produce “multiple” variations of the Fit but won’t go into detail when pressed about it.
As more information rolls in, we’ll pass it your way. Stay tuned.