Honda adds details on new small hybrid
Honda announced additional details regarding its new
small hybrid scheduled for introduction in early 2009. An official name
and full product details will be announced later this year.
In addition to weight reduction, a significant cost reduction in Integrated
Motor Assist (IMA) components will result in the most affordable hybrid
vehicle to date. This dedicated hybrid vehicle will be offered as a 5-door
hatchback with seating for five passengers.
The new small gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle will have expected annual
global sales of 200,000 units per year, approximately 100,000 of which
are bound for the North American market.
Following this launch, Honda also plans to introduce another unique small
hybrid vehicle based on the CR-Z sports car as well as a Fit hybrid model.
Including the Civic Hybrid, these four hybrid vehicles are expected to
reach combined annual global sales of approximately 500,000 units.
The new hybrid will be produced at a newly developed second IMA production
line at Honda's Suzuka factory, which currently produces the Civic Hybrid.
With the second line in operation and improvements in IMA production
efficiency, hybrid production capacity at Suzuka will increase from 70,000
vehicles per year to approximately 250,000 units, with future expansion
possible if needed.