Honda worried about slow sales for the Accord hybrid ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Honda worried about slow sales for the Accord hybrid

Friday, April 14, 2006

Honda worried about slow sales for the Accord hybrid

Unlike its other hybrids, the Honda Accord hybrid is a 'performance' hybrid. Designed not for fuel economy, but for power. The electric engine is mated to the V6 gasoline engine to help boost power. And consumers may not be ready to shell out so much money for a V6 hybrid Accord.

When the price differential from the Accord non-hybrid (Base $18,225 - $29,400), and the hybrid (starts at $30,990) is so great, its hard to justify buying the hybrid version. Especially when you're not talking about fuel economy, but performance. But the price difference for the Accord hybrid isn't due to the hybrid engine. Honda is trying to make the hybrid version of its Accord a luxury item, with leather interior, heated seats, XM satellite radio and dual automatic climate control.

Honda Accord hybrid sales fell from 1862 to 581 units sold from last March to this March, a 68.8% drop. And now, Honda executives may be considering cutting back on production.

"We've had to re-evaluate our position," Honda Executive Vice President Dick Colliver said. "It's having a hard time in the market."

"We're still looking at where's the best package for hybrids," Colliver said. "We're going to have to watch the market."

Colliver is the second executive to question where hybrids are in the marketplace at the New York Auto Show. Nissan chief executive Ghosn was also cautious in his comments on hybrids yesterday. But, Ghosn has always been cautious about hybrids, which is why Nissan is so far behind in the hybrid market.

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