Honda announced that it has started construction of a new facility in Mexico to build continuously variable transmissions for the 2015 Honda Fit. The new plant in Celaya, Mexico, will be adjacent to the facility that will produce the 2015 Honda Fit from early next year.
The $470 million factory will begin producing 350,000 CVTs annually in late 2015, with production capacity doubling to 700,000 transmissions per year after that. While most of those will be earmarked for the 2015 Honda Fit produced nearby, some transmissions will be shipped to other factories for installation in different vehicles. The new Honda Accord, for example, uses a CVT with its four-cylinder engine.
Honda announced in March 2012 that it would build the next-generation Fit hatchback in Mexico, marking the first time that the model will be built within North America. The 2015 Honda Fit has already been revealed overseas and is now on sale in Japan. The hatchback has a new design with more angular sheetmetal and character creases, while its interior has been significantly smartened. Engine choices in Japan include 1.3- and 1.5-liter inline-four engines, thought we expect only the larger version to make it to the American-market car. Look for the 2015 Honda Fit to launch here next year with the 1.5-liter and either a six-speed manual or the aforementioned continuously variable transmission.
Later, we can also expect Honda to bring the Fit Hybrid to our shores. It mates the 1.5-liter engine to an electric motor/generator and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, a combination that returns a stunning 85 mpg in Japanese testing.
After the standard hatchback, it's possible the 2015 Honda Fit will also spawn a subcompact crossover for the U.S. market. Such a model was previewed earlier this year at the 2013 Detroit auto show. The Honda Urban SUV concept looked like a scaled-down Acura RDX and, if it enters production, could undercut the Honda CR-V in terms of entry pricing.