Honda to sell new gas - electric hybrid next year
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 12:26 a.m. ET May 21, 2008
TOKYO (AP) -- Honda Motor Co. will sell a new, improved and affordable gas-electric hybrid in the U.S., Japan and Europe starting in early 2009, the company's president said Wednesday.
Takeo Fukui told reporters that ''green'' cars, especially hybrids, will be a pillar of Honda's strategy for the next three years, starting this fiscal year that began April 1.
He did not say what the price of the vehicle would be. But he said the new hybrid will be a five-door sedan seating five passengers, and it will feature new technology that reduces the size and weight of the hybrid system to increase fuel efficiency.
''Hybrids have drawn attention for their image, but time has come to go to the next step,'' he said, stressing that Honda was serious about selling hybrids in numbers.
Honda plans to sell 500,000 hybrids per year sometime after 2010, he said.
To expand hybrid sales, Honda will introduce a new sporty hybrid based on the CR-Z model, a Civic hybrid and a hybrid model of the Fit subcompact, which is sold as the Jazz in Europe, in addition to the new hybrid going on sale next year, Fukui said.
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