Honda re-entering minicar segment after four-year hiatus

  • 2011 Honda Brio front 3/4
Japanese news outlet Nikkei reports that, after a four-plus-year hiatus, Honda will resume production of minicars (vehicles with engine displacements of 660 cc or less) for Japan.

Back in June 2007, Honda ended its minicars ( called kei in Japan) production, opting instead to farm out production to subsidiary Yachiyo Industry. Since right about then, Honda's sales in the minivehicle segment tumbled. Now, with demand for cheap, fuel-efficient minivehicles on the rise, Honda president Takanobu Ito has decided it's time for Honda to get back in on the minicar action – and fast. Honda's first minicar will roll out this December, three months ahead of schedule. Two more kei-class vehicles will launch in 2012 and Honda says its minivehicle sales will hit 300,000 units within five year's time.

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