Toyota, Honda to duke it out in subcompact, compact hybrid segments

With Toyota set to unveil the Yaris HSD Concept hybrid at the Geneva Motor Show and the Honda Fit, boosted by a spike in sales of the gas-electric version, recently overtaking the Toyota Prius as the best-selling vehicle in Japan, conditions seem to indicate that a battle is begining for overall supremacy in the subcompact and compact hybrid vehicle segments.

Honda's contender line-up will grow with the debut of its Fit Shuttle, which will be offered with an optional hybrid powertrain, in Geneva. Also, the automaker's gas-electric Fit accounted for nearly half of the total 14,000-plus Fit sales this past January in Japan. So it appears that at least one Japanese automaker expects to see continued success in the small hybrid vehicle segment.

However, Toyota's low-cost Yaris-based hybrid, along with the automaker's "value-oriented" Prius C – a high-mileage hybrid concept unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show and slated to enter production in the first half of 2012 – are two gas-electric models that should soon duke it out with Honda's hybrids for domination in the little hybrid that could segment.

[Source: Hybrid Cars]

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