Honda do Brasil has started to expand its Sumaré plant, in São Paulo state, to produce the compact Fit (Jazz) hatchback, writes Rogerio Louro Alves.

The plant currently produces the Civic sedan with capacity of 30,000 vehicles per year and Honda will boost output to build the Fit at an initial rate also of 30,000 a year.

The new model will have a 1.4-litre engine and production begins in October for an April 2003 launch.

Honda began selling cars in Brazil in 1992 and opened the Sumaré plant in October 1997.