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Detroit auto show: Honda will show off small crossover concept

December 11, 2012|By Jerry Hirsch
  • Honda will show off this small crossover prototype at the Detroit auto show in January.
Honda will show off this small crossover prototype at the Detroit auto show… (Honda Motor Co. )

Get ready for Honda to offer a small SUV, pegged below the size and price of the CR-V for the U.S. market,  sometime in the next several years.

Honda Motor Co. put out a brief statement Tuesday saying that an all-new Honda small SUV concept vehicle will make its world debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 14.

The statement said the vehicle is "a global concept model combining a sporty and dynamic SUV profile with a spacious, functional interior" but released no other details or information about the small SUV except for a shaded sketch.

However it is based on the same platform Honda uses for its Fit subcompact and will be built at a factory under construction in Mexico along with the Fit.

Since Honda will first show the car in Detroit as an "urban SUV concept," it's a good bet that the U.S. will be one of its target markets.

Honda is trying to increase its sales and market share in the U.S.

It is facing tough competition –- especially in the passenger car and crossover market from the Hyundai and Kia brands as well as the domestic nameplates, which have pushed hard into the passenger car business.  Moreover, Honda's global manufacturing operations were disrupted by the Japanese earthquake last year, limiting sales in the U.S.

Takanobu Ito, Honda's chief executive, has said he wants to grow North American sales about 20% to 2 million vehicles by 2016.  Honda is on track to sell about 1.4 million in the U.S. this year, which would be about a 20% gain from 2011.

Honda will need another high sales volume vehicle that can approach the rates of its popular Civic, Accord and CR-V models to reach Ito's target

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