American Honda Motor Co. Inc. is backing off plans to keep its Passport SUV in the lineup until at least the '03 model year. The auto maker instead is offering full support to the all-new Pilot SUV, a car-based Passport replacement, due to market in June. Passport production ended with 287 units built in January and 17,448 units sold in all of 2001. Honda dealers will offer incentives to clear out the last units of the truck-based SUV that debuted in 1993 as a '94 model.

The aged, Isuzu Rodeo-based Passport was being assembled at Subaru-Isuzu Automotive Inc. in Lafayette, IN. Honda officials say the auto maker fulfilled its contractual agreement with the plant. At the 2002 North American International Auto Show in January, Honda executives acknowledged the possibility the Passport would be phased out but vowed to “give it a fair shot.”