Hybrid wars

Hybrid wars

Honda's Insight got off to a roaring start in Japan in the early part of this year, and even topped the sales charts with 10,481 units in April, the first hybrid car ever to go number one in Japan.


Cue champagne, fireworks. But now, just three months later, has the bubble already burst? It sounds far fetched but the latest round of sales figures have caused some to wonder.

The launch of the new Toyota Prius has knocked the Insight right off the top. In May, the Honda was down to third place with 8183 units, then for June it went down again to fourth despite a stronger sales haul of 8782 units.

The extraordinary situation now is that the Insight has been outsold twice by the Fit (Jazz) in May and June, an in-house sales battle was surely never supposed to happen, especially as the Insight is the leaner, greener, techier machine

As Honda top brass mull that one over, there are rumours in Japan that Honda is already fast-tracking a major update package for the Insight to improve the dynamics and close some of the eco gap on the Prius.

Japan Sales:

April:
1 Insight - 10,481 units
2. Fit (Jazz) - 9443 units
3, Vitz (Yaris) - 6706 units

May:
1. Prius - 10,915 units
2. Fit - 8859 units
3. Insight - 8183 units

June:
1. Prius - 22,292 units
2. Fit - 13,016 units
3. Vitz - 9092 units
4. Insight - 8782 units

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