Honda Sets Earth Day as Launch Date for So-Called Prius Killer Hybrid ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Honda Sets Earth Day as Launch Date for So-Called Prius Killer Hybrid

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Honda Sets Earth Day as Launch Date for So-Called Prius Killer Hybrid

Honda has set a launch date for its global hybrid of April 22, 2009. That's right, they set it for Earth Day. The so-called Prius-killer is being set up by Honda to compete directly with the Toyota Prius.

"We believe our hybrid system is best suited for smaller vehicles where the fuel efficiency gains are the greatest," Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., said during a speech at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City. "The challenge, especially with small cars, is to bring the price down to where more people can afford it."

The dedicated hybrid (it will be available only as a hybrid) will be a five-door, five passenger vehicle. Honda is cutting the cost of its Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) in half, which will let them charge less than you might expect for their new hybrid car.  Honda has said it will be priced lower than the Honda Civic (MSRP of $22,600) and less than the Toyota Prius.

It's unknown what the fuel economy figures will be like, or how small this sedan will be. What is known from recent spy shots is the new Honda hybrid will look something like the Prius. Honda has said it has borrowed some of the design from the FCX Clarity, their fuel cell vehicle.

For more information about the new dedicated hybrid from Honda, take a look at the comments made by Honda CEO Fukui from two weeks ago.  He said the new car should be kept under $19,000 and they will be targeting over 200,000 units a year.

One other point from the article from the Detroit Free Press. Honda has had to reset their sales mix, just like everyone else.  They have gone from 42% in truck and SUV sales to 30%.

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