Honda has good reason to feel good about their hybrid car sales right now. The company just announced they had sold over 300,000 hybrids since putting the old Insight up for sale a decade ago. And the response from customers so far to the new Insight has been overwhelming.
"The response has been overwhelming," Hiroshi Kobayashi, deputy chief operating officer for Honda's domestic operations, told a small group of reporters at a test-drive event in Tokyo.While that's a good thing, considering what the new Insight represents, it's very unlikely Honda is going to suddenly open up the floodgates and start producing many more Insights.
"We will have to increase production plans," he said. But he stopped short of saying how much it could expand output given possible supply limits for hybrid components.
But still, it's good to see companies like Toyota (which just stated they were more interested in hybrid efficiency than power efficiency) and Honda. The competition between the Insight and the Prius (and to a lesser degree, the Ford Fusion hybrid and the Camry Hybrid) can only mean one thing: lower prices for hybrids in general.
Honda has simplified their IMA system to produce a cheaper hybrid car. It may not beat the Prius out in fuel economy, but the price tag will certainly be exciting to anyone who compares the two. And the new model year Camry Hybrid was just priced a thousand dollars less than the Ford Fusion Hybrid.