ROCHESTER, MI – American Honda Motor Co. Inc. is expecting sales of its ’08 Fit subcompact to reach 70,000 units for the model year, an official here tells Ward’s.

“We’ve doubled our production on the Fit for this coming year to 70,000 (units),” John Mendel, executive vice president-automobile operations, for American Honda, says here at an Acura media event.

Honda builds the Fit, also known as the Jazz, at its Suzuka, Japan, plant for the U.S. A Honda spokesman is unable to provide total Fit output at Suzuka. Honda builds the Fit/Jazz at five other plants, as well.

Selling the vehicle in 115 countries, Honda has had difficulty in getting enough Fits for the U.S. market since the subcompact car’s launch here in April 2006.

Through July, Fit sales were running 89.1% ahead of like-2006 at 30,112 units, Ward’s data show. However, chief competitors, the Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa, have sold 54,648 and 45,411 units, respectively, in the same period.

Honda will debut a new Fit this fall in Japan but has not announced timing for the U.S. market.