Generally, the best policy in life is to admit when you're wrong and just accept the consequences. However, that attitude generally seems to be a bit less common in the world of business – at least without some government or legal prodding. So, it's especially surprising to learn that top Honda executives in Japan are taking a pay cut for the next three months following the fifth recall of the Fit Hybrid (pictured above) in the last 12 months.
You may remember it as the Urban SUV (pictured above) from when it debuted in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show last year, or know it as the Vezel as the production version was unveiled for the Japanese Domestic Market at the 2014 Tokyo Motor Show. But when Honda starts exporting its new Fit-based crossover – or better yet, building it in Mexico for North American consumption – it will be called the HR-V.
We've talked a lot about the Honda Vezel over the past few months, as the Autoblog staff is looking forward to the Fit-based CUV. It's a handsome little vehicle, that we think will do quite well when it finally arrives in the US market. That said, it's not a particularly exciting vehicle to look at.
There's a distinct benefit to automakers having their own premium brand. After all, why develop one vehicle to be sold under one nameplate if you can turn it into two? Especially if a little reconfiguration and some premium accoutrements allow said automaker to charge significantly more for the luxury version. It's a winning formula – for crossovers especially – that Toyota has used to turn the Highlander into the Lexus RX (even if the first-gen RX arrived before the original Highlan
Japanese automakers and their tuning divisions have descended upon the Makuhari Messe in Chiba City for the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon. And for Honda, it's all about Mugen.
The new Honda Vezel was designed as a global product. Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November, the compact crossover is already going on sale in Japan, will soon reach Europe and will eventually hit the North American market as well – albeit with a different name and engine lineup. But it won't be sold everywhere.
With the Tokyo Motor Show now behind it, the Japanese automotive industry is gearing up for the next big event. That'd be the Tokyo Auto Salon, Japan's equivalent to SEMA or Essen, set to take place at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba. Subaru has already announced what it has in store for the tuner expo, and now Honda has followed suit.
While Honda gears up to unveil the new Fit to the US market at the Detroit Auto Show next month, back in its home market, the car's crossover cousin is just going on sale. The Vezel was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last month and already has a three-month waiting list in Japan, where Honda projects that 90 percent of customers will opt for the hybrid version. Not so in the United States, however.
Just last month at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda revealed its new Vezel crossover, a production version of the Urban SUV concept that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show. According to new reports, the model already has a three-month waiting list in Japan alone. But that doesn't mean Honda's tuning division, Mugen, is waiting around to spruce it up.
"Vezel" may sound like the latest miracle cure from Big Pharma, but in truth it's the long-awaited Fit-based crossover from Honda. Unfortunate name aside, this four-door CUV looks ready for production, because it is.