According to a report in Automotive News, Honda Executive Vice President Koichi Kondo is looking to sell the new Insight hybrid compact-car for under $20,000 in the United States – undercutting Toyota’s Prius by $2,000.
At the launch for the car in Japan, Kondo stated that while the company is reviewing its goals and forecasts in this dire economic climate, it still hopes to introduce the Insight to the United States in April at less than $20,000 – a price that they expect will bring an annual sales volume of 100,000 units.
Achieving the MSRP goal as well as the production goal could, however, be difficult. The Insight, as well as Honda’s Civic Hybird, is produced in Japan at Honda’s Suzuka plant and is, therefore, subject to changes in the value of the U.S. dollar versus the Yen.
Hitting the 100,000 U.S. sales target could also be difficult as hybrid sales are on a downturn. In 2008 hybrid sales dropped 9.9 percent compared to 2007.
Another move Honda President Takeo Fukui is considering to keep production costs down is moving Insight production to the United States – something that would only occur if sales volumes exceed the 100,000 mark. By Honda’s sales predictions, green vehicles will account for 10 percent (up from the current three percent) of global auto sales before 2015.