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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Zest Sports G

Honda has increased its stake in Yachiyo Industry -- the manufacturer of its Life and Zest kei cars -- to 51.14%. Previously, they held a 34.5% share. Higher fuel prices have resulted in a greatly increased demand for mincars, which receive special tax considerations from the government and combine fuel-efficiency, excellent use of space, and fairly surprising levels of equipment in remarkably compact packages at competitive prices.

Amid today's corporate news of Honda's highest-ever overseas and worldwide auto production is a note that July sales of Honda's mini vehicles increased 41.1 percent in Japan over last year. The dramatic increase is due to high sales of the Scion xB-like Zest, which went on sale in March 2006. Since that date, Honda's mini vehicle sales have increased in each consecutive month, compared to the same month the previous year. The Zest was Honda's best-selling vehicles in July, with 9.562 units leavi