Honda Motor Co. Inc. introduced a hybrid sports car on Feb. 25. The company said the CR-Z will be available immediately in Japan, with a domestic sales target of 1,000 vehicles per month, and in North America and Europe this summer.
The CR-Z gas-electric hybrid boasts a fuel economy of 59 miles per gallon under Japanese road conditions.
Honda, Japan's second-largest automaker, said its marketing plan had not been affected by its biggest rival's global safety woes over faulty accelerator systems, and flaws in the braking system of the Prius.
"The company had scheduled to release the hybrid model worldwide in 2010. There is no change to the original plan," said Honda spokeswoman Megumi Tanaka.
Sales of green cars have surged in Japan since April last year, in part due to car companies slashing the prices of their recent models and government tax incentives, making them the most popular vehicles.
Honda last year rolled out a revamped model of its flagship fuel-sipping Insight, which was the best selling hybrid in Japan before it was overtaken last May by Toyota's remodeled Prius.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010