Tokyo - Honda said on Friday it had received about 20 000 orders for its remodelled Fit (Jazz)
subcompact in the two weeks since its launch in Japan last
month, far outpacing a monthly sales target of 12 000 cars.
Honda, Japan's second-biggest carmaker, is counting on the
second-generation Fit, sold as the Jazz in some markets, to
reverse a slide in domestic sales, where popular 660cc
minivehicles have eaten into the subcompact segment.
The car, which is roomier and more fuel-efficient than its
predecessor, is set to overtake Toyota Motor Corp's Corolla
sedan as Japan's best-selling car, excluding minicars. It last
claimed the No. 1 spot in September 2006.
Hit by a slump in the overall market, Honda last month
lowered its domestic retail sales forecast by 4 percent to
660,000 cars for the business year to the end of March 2008. It
expects a rebound to around 700,000 cars next year, with help
from the Fit and a beefed-up minivehicle line-up.
Honda is due to launch the new Fit/Jazz in North America,
Europe, China and other markets over the next year.
Expect the Jazz to arrive here early in 2009.