Launch premiere in India has led to immense speculation.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: Although the Honda City has been in Asian markets for years now, its manufacturer may be gearing up to introduce a modified version of the model in the US soon.
Last week, Honda showcased the latest incarnation of its Honda City at a World Premiere in India, announcing that the car’s fourth iteration would be a sedan and would launch in January of next year.
But what was also revealed was that eventually, the new City would be manufactured at the same Honda plant in Mexico that the 2015 Honda Fit and Fit SUV will be built, indicating that the City may be making a US debut within the next couple of years as a new model of the Fit.
Honda has confirmed that a new iteration of the Fit will be coming to US markets, but has kept mum on exactly what that new model would be. Industry insiders and analysts are looking at the City and saying that it is likely that the Fit will be modeled after that.
Already a hot commodity in Asian markets, the City has been earmarked by Honda to be sold in some 60 countries around the world, an expansion from the 55 it’s already currently sold in. The City is similar to the Fit, a subcompact car that made its US debut earlier this year, in terms of its aesthetic design. The City, however, is a notably larger.
The Honda Fit has been lagging in terms of sales, and is expected to just barely clear 50,000 sales by the end of 2013. Offering the Fit in a model that apes the City is expected to boost sales, since the sedans sell far more successfully than subcompacts.
The City-based Fit model is expected to compete directly with the Ford Fiesta and the Mazda 2 if and when it is released in the US. For now, the larger Fit’s debut in the US is all speculation, but all signs are pointing to it hitting US showrooms within the next year.
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