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Sales of new Honda Hybrid surge in Japan
Despite an overall sales slump, Honda is claiming huge success with its Insight Hybrid in Japan. Slated to go on sale in North America in April, sales orders of the car in Honda’s home market are already triple the expected demand for the vehicle.
Honda had initially predicted sales of 60,000 units in Japan for 2009 with total worldwide sales numbering 200,000 units.
There are two reasons for the high demand: price and fuel economy. In Japan the Insight Hybrid costs 1.89 million yen, or roughly $20,0000 – 20 percent less than a Toyota Prius.
Fuel economy numbers are also impressive. Honda is bragging about a 61 mpg rating for the car, which is significantly better than the current Prius at 46 mpg. It’s even better than the 50 mpg expected for the upcoming third generation Prius.
The surprising surge in demand is causing Honda to take a second look at Insight production, so much so that Honda executive Hiroshi Kobayashi told reporters at a test-drive event in Tokyo that the company intends to increase production to meet the demand.
[Source: LA Times]
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: