High fuel prices have boosted US sales of Honda's Fit [Jazz] subcompact hatchback, which has sold 15,922 units there since hitting that market in late April, and the automaker has said it could sell more but is seriously capacity-constrained due to global demand.

John Mendel, senior vice president of automotive operations for Torrance, California-based American Honda, told WardsAuto.com  it's possible the US unit could import the Fit from China, where it is being built at the expanded Honda Automobile China export-only plant, though that is not in current plans.

The report said the Chinese-built Fit/Jazz models currently are exported to countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and Australia and, last year, started being shipped to Europe (just-auto understands this is to left-hand drive markets only). Export Fit/Jazz cars built in Japan are targeted for Asia and the US, WardsAuto.com added.

Mendel reportedly said the universally high price of petrol and the fact the Fit/Jazz is sold in so many other countries makes it difficult to get extra units for North America: "The small-car segment is huge in Europe, China and Japan, so we're kind of a distant cousin."

Of particular interest was his view on Chinese supply - should Fits become available from that country, he told WardsAuto.com, he did not believe quality would be an issue, noting the cars are well made. And consumers are not as critical about products made in China as they once were.

"We're probably more of a global society now than we give ourselves credit for," he told WardsAuto.com, adding: "I don't often pick things up and turn them over anymore and go, 'China?' "

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