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Honda Pulls the Plug on Insight Hybrid

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On: Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 2:19PM | By: Elizabeth Puckett

Honda Pulls the Plug on Insight Hybrid

Earlier this week, it was discovered that Honda Motor Company will likely end production of their Insight model. Plunging sales and low demand have put the nail in the coffin of the first hybrid model sold in America. This isn’t the only piece of bad news for Honda hybrids this week…

The Honda Insight was introduced as America’s first hybrid vehicle—beating out Toyota’s Prius by seven months in 1999. However, those seven months didn’t solidify the Insight’s spot as king of hybrids—the popularity of the Prius greatly overshadowed the Honda Insight; the Prius went on to become the best-selling hybrid vehicle of all time. As of January, the Prius name has been sold on 3.19 million vehicles.

In contrast, Honda has sold only 280,629 Insights as of the end of 2013—157,275 of which were actually sold in Japan. For all of 2013, Honda sold only 4,802 Insight models—an 18-percent plunge from the year prior, and the second worst selling Honda model behind the CR-Z hybrid.

In November, Honda announced to its dealers that the current generation of the Honda Insight will be discontinued (Honda actually halted production of the Insight in 2006 and brought it back three years later) and told them to stop taking orders—as was revealed earlier this week. Honda actually halted production of the Insight in 2006 and brought it back three years later. The official future of the Insight has not been announced, but this time it doesn’t look good.

It seems like Honda is struggling in the hybrid niche overall. Earlier this week, Consumer Reports branded the Civic Hybrid as a “green car to avoid,” citing poor battery reliability.

At the beginning of February, Honda had with a 237-day supply of the Insight, which is almost four times the sixty-day supply most automakers keep for models sold in the United States.

There are currently five hybrids in the brand lineup:
• Honda Accord Hybrid
• Honda Civic Hybrid
• Honda Fit
• Honda CR-Z Hybrid
• Honda Insight


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