If you thought that Honda was bringing the Beat’s successor stateside, then we have some bad news for you.
There’s no denying that Honda has struck gold with its Kei S660 model. The car’s simple, cheap, fun motoring appeals to a variety of buyers, especially the ones over 40. Midlife Kei-crisis? Anyway, even though the S660 is blossoming on the Japanese market, it seems that the car won’t arrive in the U.S. anytime soon.
Yes, according to Automotive News, John Mendel – executive vice president of American Honda – said: “I wouldn’t put my chips on that”, countering speculations that the Japanese car maker was considering importing the little model in North America. Sorry for getting your hopes up, but the man continued stating that the U.S. simply isn’t the place for a Kei car:
“When the practicalities of the market come in, and the car only so big, that might not be the best car for the U.S. market. It might be better for India or China or somewhere else.”
And we couldn’t agree more. Normally, these “minicars” are specially developed and bespoke-tailored to suit Japan’s highly-congested cities and comply with the Japanese government tax and insurance regulations. That means the niche is too small to be profitable in exports markets.
Still, the American market is bound to get additional Honda goodies besides the NSX; the Civic Type-R is expected to debut there next year, and then there’s that mysterious mid-engine sports car that we revealed in some patent drawings not so long ago.
Mendel concludes by saying that Honda dealers are asking for both, as the idea of a sports car is highly desirable.
“They want anything in the sports car world. They’re going, “Gimme a sports car.” They want a retractable hard top; they want a high-horsepower $20,000 sports car. Because that’s the nature of what they do.”