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It’s amazing to think that it’s been 12 years since Honda introduced its first hybrid vehicle – the first generation Insight – to the world. Back in November 1999, the Insight was a peculiar hybrid but still boasted the world’s highest fuel economy among all gasoline-powered vehicles.
And despite Toyota clearly surpassing Honda in hybrid development (and sales), the Japanese automaker is still proud to announce that it has surpassed 800,000 hybrid vehicle sales worldwide.
Currently, Honda sells seven hybrid models in approximately 50 different countries around the world. The Acura ILX, which will launch in the North American market in spring 2012, will bring that total to eight.
Honda’s hybrid sales have increased steadily over the last couple of years. In 2005, with just the Civic Hybrid, Accord Hybrid and first-generation Insight on the market, Honda hit 100,000 units. May 2007 saw the achievement of 200,000 units, but it wasn’t until August of 2009, when the second-generation Insight came to the market, that Honda topped the 400,000 mark. In 2010, Honda introduced the CR-Z and the Fit Hybrid and by the end of the year has surpassed the 600,000 unit landmark. A year later in December of 2011, Honda was happy to have surpassed 800,000 hybrid vehicles total.
While Honda continues to be one of the biggest names in hybrid technology and sales, it’s well off the pace of Toyota which to date has sold well over three million gas-electric vehicles.
Honda is cutting the base price of its slow-selling Insight hybrid by $1,600, and offering a base model that retails for $18,950, putting it $4,610 below the cheapest Toyota Prius.
Honda achieved the price cut by removing features like Bluetooth connectivity and a GPS navigation system, while using cheaper seat fabric and a two speaker stereo system. The base Insight will still feature stability control, keyless entry, power windows, automatic climate control and a tilt steering wheel.
While the Prius sells around 115,000 units per year, the Insight sells a dismal 17,000.
[Source: Automotive News]
Hybrid tuning is about to take on a whole new face now that Honda‘s CR-Z has hit the market. Tjin Edition has been building plenty of SEMA showpieces including their most recent Chevrolet Camaro, and this year they have teamed up with Fortune Motorsports out of Miami, Florida and American Honda Motor Corporation for this year’s SEMA show.
Proving that Honda is adamant in pushing CR-Z sales to the masses, including tuners and builders, Fortune Motorsports and Tjin Edition have already teased their upcoming project well in advance of November’s SEMA Show. From what we can gather, the CR-Z will be sporting ADV1 wheels with Falken Tires, Status Racing seats and Air Lift suspension. With how successful the Prius and Insight are doing in Japan, we can only imagine the potential of the CR-Z. Will this generation of tuning catch on in America? We sure hope so, it’s always refreshing to see something new and exciting.
Official press release available after the break.
Honda can now proudly boast that it has sold 300,000 hybrid vehicles.
The 300,000 mark may sound like an impressive number but that is not only global sales but cumulative. Toyota Motor Corp. sold 241,405 hybrids in the U.S. alone… last year!
Honda does expect to increase sales significantly over the next few years with the launch of the Insight, which will go on sale in Europe and North America in March. Honda expects to sell 200,000 Insights globally each year, with 100,000 units in North America, 60,000 units in Japan and 30,000 units in Europe.
With an average of 30,000 Civic Hybrids Honda sells in the U.S., that would bring the total U.S. sales to 130,000 hybrid units annually – roughly half of Toyota’s hybrid sales.
Honda intends to increase its hybrid market penetration in 2010 with the launch of a sporty hybrid based on the CR-Z concept.
Full Honda Hybrid worldwide sales after the jump: