In the midst of all of Honda’s product woes over the past decade, the sub-compact Fit has been a bright spot. It was the lone exception in a string of design misfires, like the Ridgeline, Pilot, and the previous generation Accord and CR-V.
The Fit has been a recognized leader in its segment, and sales have been very brisk. There is just one problem – due to unfavorable exchange rates, Honda loses money on every Fit sold in the United States. That is because it is one of the few Honda vehicles remaining to be built solely in Japan, but that is about to change.
A new plant is being built in Mexico that will build the next generation model of the Fit. This time around, the line-up will be expanded though. One of those models includes a crossover scheduled for release at the North American International Auto Show next month.
Ahead of its introduction, Honda has released a teaser image of the new model. Fitting in with Honda’s recent strategy of thinly-veiled concepts, it will be called the Urban SUV concept. Concept or not though, it will be extremely close to the production crossover based on the Fit. We can’t tell a whole lot from the teaser image, but it looks like it has very nice flowing lines. Could we finally be seeing improvement in Honda design? The 2013 Accord is the best Honda design in years, but that is a pretty low bar to clear. The new Honda CUV will be one of the first mini-crossovers, slotting in below the compact CR-V. We could see buyers of the CUV and the Buick Encore cross-shopping each other, despite the fact that the Encore will be significantly more expensive. Given the Fit’s successful track record, we are anticipating the next-generation model.