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Honda Dealers Clamor for Fit


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2007 Honda Fit

SEE ALSO: Honda Buyers Guide

Wshington DC July 11, 2007; The AIADA newsletter reported that the Fit is in, but Honda dealers are unlikely to get all they want. Dealers will receive about 54,000 units of the Japan-built Fit this year. "But that’s about the best we can do," Dan Bonawitz, VP of corporate planning and logistics for American Honda told Automotive News.

"I do think demand is bigger than that." Jim Smail, Honda dealer council chairman, says 54,000 units aren’t enough. "We have so much potential for that car," says Smail, who owns Smail Auto Group in Greensburg, PA, and serves as an AIADA board member.

The 157-inch-long Fit, which has an EPA highway rating of 38 mpg, competes mainly with the Toyota Yaris, Scion xB and Nissan Versa.

The Fit debuted in April 2006, and Honda sold 27,934 units in the U.S. last year. For the first six months of 2007, U.S. sales were 23,769 for the Fit, 46,522 for the Yaris, 18,588 for the xB and 37,802 for the Versa.

Takeo Fukui, CEO of Honda Motor Co., told Automotive News in 2006 that if the Fit does well in the United States, the car may be built here. Says Bonawitz: "I can’t comment on that."