by Daniel DeGasperi

Honda has committed to achieving six million global sales by 2017, listing small cars as the key contributor to the growth.

“This March [fiscal year 2012], we will finish the fiscal year with global sales of about four million vehicles,” said Honda President and CEO, Takanobu Ito (below).

“By the end of our fiscal year in March 2017, we will challenge to have global sales of six million vehicles.

“And more than 1.5 million of this total will come from the launch of a new Honda global compact series. Including the new Fit [Jazz], the City, and an all-new compact SUV.

“I believe that small cars will be key to our future.”

Honda announced that a new, third-generation Jazz will launch in the second quarter of 2014, with production set to expand courtesy of a new production facility in Mexico to feed the North Amercian market. The Mexican facility will also build the production version of the Jazz-based Urban SUV concept previewed at the Detroit auto show, and a next-generation City sedan.

“[The Mexico plant is] set to open in 2014, it will build the next-generation Fit [Jazz],” Ito-san confirmed.

“It [Jazz] has been a great success everywhere in the world, based on the fun to drive spirit, high fuel efficiency and excellent packaging.

“I want Honda’s young engineers to feel the same joy I experienced in making fun and fuel efficient vehicles.”

Executive vice president of Honda America, John Mendel (above, left), backed his Japanese boss, saying that he expects small Hondas to drive sales in the North American region over the next four years.

“We expect small cars to be key to the needs of customers, and key to driving sales growth in North America.

“We’re confident in the continued expansion of the small car segment.

“We’re going to launch this 2015 Fit [Jazz] in the spring of 2014 [March 2014], which is going to build on the momentum we’ve already created in the small car segment.”

The next-generation Jazz is expected to arrive in Australia late next year, with sourcing expected to continue from Thailand.

  • Honda Accord Euro is one of the best cars you can buy

    • Samson345

      you’ve never driven a Mazda 6

      • Realistic

        If you are on a sub $30k budget…

        • Ted

          Plus on-road charges and the Euro is more than the sub 30k, add auto and you are over the mid 30’s k.

  • Clem

    Why Accord Euro is the best car you can buy? This car hasn’t got enough torque at low RPM. :(

    • Hehe

      then rev the hell out of it :)

      • Zaccy16

        yep thats the virtue of honda vtec engines!

    • zej

       Enough torque for what, doing burnouts?

      • Clem

        Only zej is doing burnouts. I have no interest at all. Think it this way, 4 adults, 1 toddler with a car seat, a pram and other stuff loaded. Also temperature above 30 degree, Euro is really struggle. I can’t explain no more. :(

        • PS

          how often do you have 4 adults and one toddler in your car? If so, then the 4 adults should really pool money together to get a car with a v6 engine.

    • Shak

      It has more than enough torque for 95% of the driving needs of 95% of the people who buy them. 

    • Samson345

      you totally correct, of all the cars I test drove the accord euro was by far the most over rated. I found the lack of low down torque made the car feel as dull as an old camry. Yes, its comfortable smooth and reasonably well built but I couldn’t live with that much of a boring feel without a toyota badge.
      No wonder hondas had to flog them off for under $30k

      • I bought the Euro

        You’ve got to be kidding me… Though you’re probably the kind of person that whinges about car prices being too high, only to now find a reason to criticise them for being too low! Bottom line is, Euro’s current pricing makes it an extremely competitive package.

        Mazda has missed an opportunity with their new 6. They’ve priced it too high and kept the Euro well and truly in the game based purely on its value for money. Having test driven both these cars, I could barely split the difference for performance and handling between a brand new 6 and a Euro that is ~5 years old now. That’s how far ahead of the competition Euro has been.

    • Ted

      Like all Honda engines, they are better in mid to high RPM..

  • Gibbut

    ive had the gen1 and now gen 2 jazzes…. and ill definately have a next gen if they continue what a jazz is all about.

  • Norm

    The Jazz remains one of Honda’s best in its current line up. Bold concept well executed. 

  • Guest

    The 2nd Gen Jazz is one of the better light cars in Australia inspite of it not being a sales volume seller like Yaris, Mazda 2 & Hyundai i20. It has become very well equipped towards the latter stages of the 2nd Gen model cycle. Honda’s previous premium pricing policy plus initial poor standard specification (compared to competitors) had a lot to do with its poor sales performance the last few years. Thankfully, Honda has now seen the light. Honda is now pricing their cars accordingly with the market & competitively against the competition plus improved standard specs to boot.
    3rd Gen Jazz may have to do a lot more in order to surpass the 2nd Gen Jazz. The 2nd Gen Jazz was concieved during better economic times (before the GFC). Current 9th Gen Civic (post-GFC) isn’t as popular as previous 8th Gen Civic as the former was designed with some cost-cutting measures. 3rd Gen Jazz may also have cost cutting measures as with most recent Japanese new launches.

  • Zaccy16

    the current jazz and previous gen jazz have been always good value for the space they offer and have decent performance but hopefully with the next gen they can improve the handling and quality of the interior. I nearly bought a jazz in 2003 for the practicality but bought the mazda 2 instead for its fun handling and better quality interior

  • LowRezFez

    The Jazz is a great car. I personally hate the VTI and VTiS facelift, however if the styling sits well with you, it is a smart buy. Jazz sales have been dissapointing since the car launched with crazy pricing and no stability control… Now that these things are fixed its too late to undo the sales damage.

    If Honda gets the looks right and the interior looks and feels premium with everything else the same it should sell its socks off… Oh, and a 6 speed auto please.

    • Guest

      Facelift (VTi/VTi-S) was taken from the JDM-only Fit RS model w/6-speed manual. It’s like your average Suzuki Swift but with the Swift Sports add-ons. Not to everybody taste but those who know better, it’s a good thing. Mugen has some aero add-ons which makes it even sportier. In many parts of the world, the Fit/Jazz has a strong cult following with tons of customization parts.

  • John

     I’m hoping Honda break out of their engine rut with the next Jazz. It just needs a bit more power to be a truly fantastic car. Oh, and a six speed manual (I think it will definitely get that) and the option of a six speed auto (not so sure about that).

  • Phunken

    Went to the showroom for small cars shopping with a friend and after tyre kicking all the typical car on the list, the Honda jazz aged quite badly, it was on my pick list since launch with its funky design but unfortunately for them I saw the excellent Rio first which make the Jazz interior seem badly dated and the plastic look and feel extremely flimsy and cheap… Honda used to be the leader in interior plastic but sadly no more.
    They also need to look at their pricing with the new car cos at launch few yrs back the Jazz was sooooo expensive, only recently in the late life cycle that they include ESP and Bluetooth while others have the either standard or low cost option

    • Guest

      Honda Australia in 2012 brought in batches of Made-in-Japan Jazz Vibe & Vibe-S to counter the stock shortages due to the Thailand floods. These had upmarket specs like indicator lights on foldable wing mirrors, climate controls, much better plastic finish than the Thai version. I should know cos I bought one of the last ones – Honda Australia already reverted to Thai supplies for the Jazz.

    • Gibbut

      lets see you get 2 washing machines in the back of a rio, lets see how the rio fares in 10 years with 200 thou kays on it. my first jazz is still being driven by my parents, 180 thousand kms ( hard kms, i thrashed it ) and in that time heres what its had other than tyres and services.

      brake pads on front at 115000 kms  $50 ( fitted myself )
      air cond compressor  $350 second hand fitted myself $100 for gas
      rear shockies at 100 thousand kms  $200
      and rear wheel bearings at 120 thousand $300

      $750 in the 9 years i owned it.  Lets see how kia goes

      • Gibbut

        * i need to learn how to add


  • Sam

    I was thinking about waiting for a new Jazz but the Fiat 500 went on sale and I might jump into one of those instead. The car will only be for me so I dont need the load of extra space a Jazz would offer. Plus, I can get a Fiat 500 with an automatic transmission, dirve away for $15,500. I love look of the Fiat too and it feels terrific to sit in. What would you go, lets say a new jazz this time next year (in auto) is 20k. Do I wait and spend the extra on the Jazz, or get a Fiat 500 now and save the $4,500?