Honda had initially set a sales goal of the newly redesigned Honda Insight at 200,000 units in 2010, its first full year of production. The number is certainly a high target to aim for. Last year, the company sold 130,445 total units worldwide since the Insight's introduction which began in Japan in February and spread throughout the rest of the world beginning in March. Now Honda Executive Vice President Koichi Kondo is admitting that their initial target of 200,000 units is unlikely to be met.
Why? According to Kondo in an interview with Bloomberg, "I think we compromised too much on size in pursuing fuel efficiency." His comments were geared specifically towards the U.S. market where Honda has only sold 20,572 units since the Insight's introduction. The company initially set target sales at 90,000 in the U.S.
It appears as though Americans like bigger vehicles. The Prius, which is significantly roomier inside than the Insight. also sells significantly better here in the States than the Insight.
Kondo went on to comment about the much anticipated Honda Fit Hybrid. Kondo said, "There are plenty of people who think that the current Fit meets their needs already. A hybrid version might seem expensive. Our engineers are really struggling."
Apparently, the company may reconsider a Fit Hybrid. The current gasoline powered Fit returns excellent fuel economy at a bargain price. A hybrid option would likely add significantly to the price and the company appears uncertain about its success here in the States.
Honda has been unable to topple Toyota in hybrid sales here in the U.S. Hopefully their upcoming CR-Z Hybrid, of which Toyota has no true comparable vehicle, will be a sales success.