The
Honda Stepwagon

Honda has sold 12,000 Stepwagon minivans in Japan since an all-new version was
released on April 6. At the launch, the company said it was targeting 8,000 monthly
sales.

Now it says it will monitor sales for a few months before deciding if it should
boost output of the boxy little minivan that can seat up to eight adults comfortably
and comes with a power-assisted bicycle, called the StepCompo, as standard equipment.

The Stepwagon has a two-litre, twin cam engine with Honda’s i-VTEC variable
valve timing. All models have four-speed automatic transmission and there is
a choice of either front-drive or 4WD and four trim grades.

Prices range from 1.85 million yen ($US15,200) for the front-drive Y grade
to 2.54 million yen ($US21,000) for a 4WD K-grade model.

Seating can be arranged so passengers are can dine facing each other and the
rear door can be opened and closed by remote control for easy load handling.

Honda says that the luxury version with satellite navigation system as standard
is the best seller so far, taking 40 percent of sales.

Honda was the only major car maker to achieve a double-digit boost in sales
in the stagnant Japanese market during fiscal 2000.

With the Stepwagon proving such a hit in the strongly growing minivan sector,
the company seems likely to report more growth in 2001.






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