Future of Fit Hybrid uncertain
Honda is expecting that its new Insight hybrid won’t meet its sales target because it’s to small. That, at least, is the opinion of Honda Executive Vice President Koichi Kondo, who told Bloomberg, “I think we compromised too much on size in pursuing fuel efficiency.”
Honda had expected to sell as many as 200,000 units during the Insights first year on the market, but managed only 130,445 in 2009, with sales beginning in the automaker’s home market of Japan in February. Honda had expected the car to be a particular success in the U.S., where it had planned to sell 90,000 (almost half) of its Insights worldwide. Instead, Honda managed to move just 20,572 units.
Kondo also admitted that considering the how well the Fit has done in the marketplace and the prohibitive cost of making a hybrid version of the car, it might not look at building a hybrid Fit after all. “Our engineers are really struggling,” he said.
Interestingly, Kondo didn’t touch on the fact that it might not be the Insight’s size, but rather its fuel economy numbers (well, below those of Toyota’s Prius), that might be a contributing factor in the car’s unpopularity.