Honda Plans on Staying Small and Green With New Hybrids and Diesels

Honda is one of the few automakers that didn’t fall for the truck and big SUV craze and is actually benefiting from it now that gas prices are insane.

Going forward Honda plans on sticking to this strategy with more fuel-efficient vehicles, which includes more hybrids and diesel powered vehicles.

This fall Honda is going to release an all-new Fit hatchback, which will have a hybrid version either in 2011 or 2012. Next year Honda is also going to release a new hybrid vehicle as a 2010 model. The new hybrid will be smaller than the Civic, but seat five passengers. Honda is hoping to sell 100,000 units annually.

Further down the pipeline Honda is going to release the 2+2 hybrid coupe as a 2011 model that will be based on the CR-Z concept.

A diesel powered Accord is planned for the 2010 or 2011 model year and the CR-V and Odyssey minivan will also get diesel engines for the 2010 model year.

It is expected that due to the success of the small Mazda5 minivan that Honda may also import its small Stream to the US.

“A smaller minivan could fit into Honda’s future,” Dan Bonawitz, vice president for corporate planning and logistics at American Honda Motor Co., told Automotive News. ”Ultimately, there will be a lot more smaller cars. The U.S. will look a lot more like Europe.”

The future remains uncertain for the S2000 roadster, which has seen its sales drop dramatically this year. The Ridgeline pickup has been refreshed for the 2009 model year and the Pilot SUV which was also all-new for 2009 has already seen its production cut in favor of Honda’s smaller vehicles. The Element is expected to get a redesign by 2010, the same year as the Odyssey.

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