Honda Fit hybrid not coming to the U.S.

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Over the past year, Honda officials have spoken extensively about plans for hybrid vehicles to be added to the lineup. Starting next spring, a new hybrid-only five door hatchback that looks like a scaled down version of the FCX Clarity will debut at a price expected to be less than $19,000. That will be followed by a second dedicated hybrid coupe based on the CR-Z concept. The Civic hybrid will also be staying in the U.S. lineup. What U.S. buyers won't be getting is a fourth model that has been mentioned by CEO Takeo Fukui. Honda will add its IMA hybrid system to the Fit, but only for the Japanese market. During the recent media drive of the new 2009 Fit, I asked spokesman Sage Marie when the Fit hybrid would be arriving. Marie explained that because of supply constraints of the Fit, there were no current plans to bring the hybrid model to the U.S. Much like the MINI Cooper D that is already selling at capacity, Honda is selling every existing Fit it can get, and adding another variant wouldn't likely help the business case. American buyers have shown a preference for a dedicated hybrid and Honda plans to attack that segment with two new cars in 2009.

[Source: Honda]

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