Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s new global hybrid-electric vehicle coming early next year will be a 5-door hatchback, with styling cues from Honda’s fuel-cell FCX Clarity model, says CEO Takeo Fukui in his mid-year address.

Additionally, Honda promises a Fit/Jazz HEV while also confirming a production hybrid based on the CR-Z concept sports car from last year’s Tokyo motor show.

The three hybrids will join the Civic Hybrid and account for about a half-million sales annually, the No.2 Japanese auto maker says.

As a result of smaller, lighter components, including a battery and internal processing unit placed beneath the rear floor, the new global hybrid will have “adequate cargo space to meet the needs of a family,” Honda says.

Fuel economy will be further improved via new technology that will help motorists drive more economically.

Honda reiterates the sales goal for the global hybrid hatchback is 200,000 units annually, with 100,000 vehicles slated for North America. The car will be built at Honda’s Suzuka, Japan, plant alongside the Civic Hybrid.

Fukui says an expansion of Honda’s environmental technologies is a goal of the auto maker’s new 3-year business plan that began last month.

Related to this, Fukui says Honda motorcycles sold in advanced nations will adopt variable cylinder management system technology that shuts down cylinders not needed in certain driving conditions.

Another goal of the new business plan includes advancing automobile manufacturing operations. For example, a new engine plant in Ogawa, Japan, opening first-half 2009 will be capable of producing gasoline, diesel, in-line 4-cyl. and V-type mills, Honda says.

Additionally, a next-generation manufacturing system will be able to trace each component to a finished vehicle as a means of improving quality and customer satisfaction.

Meanwhile, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. says it will lease 200 FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicles to customers during the first three years of production, beginning in July, with “several dozen” models leased per year.

“We remain firmly convinced the hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car represents one of the best long-term solutions to the world’s growing environmental and energy concerns,” John Mendel, executive vice president, says in a statement.

“With the launch of the FCX Clarity lease program, we will begin making fuel-cell vehicles a market reality, allowing customers to participate in creating a cleaner and more sustainable transportation future.”

The Clarity initially will be available for lease to residents of Southern California, but the auto maker says “further plans for involvement by Honda dealerships in the U.S., as well as future customer care and customer qualification initiatives,” will be announced. The cost to lease an FCX Clarity is $600 per month.

Honda says it has begun to identify customers interested in leasing the fuel-cell car. Some 50,000 people have inquired about a lease on American Honda’s website. These have been narrowed down to 500, based on residential location (lessees must live near publicly accessible hydrogen stations in Santa Monica, Torrance and Irvine, CA.

An e-mail survey asking about driving patterns, vehicle needs, vehicle storage and financial criteria will be sent to qualifying customers. The next step is an interview with American Honda officials.

FCX Clarity production begins June 16 in Japan at a new, dedicated fuel-cell-vehicle plant.