Honda can't afford another hybrid failure. After lackluster sales of the newly redesigned Insight, Honda needs a hit in the hybrid segment. They are hopeful that the upcoming CR-Z can garner sales success and be a hit here in the States, but the outlook is uncertain. Whether or not the CR-Z will be a sale success or flop here remains to be seen, but the new hybrid is hot in Japan.
The CR-Z has been on sale in Japan for 3 weeks now and Honda has taken more than 8,000 orders. Honda had expected to sell only 12,000 units in the first year in Japan, so they are more than halfway there. Remember, the Insight was initially a hot vehicle in Japan as well, but its success did not carry over to the U.S.
If sales of the CR-Z remain strong, Honda may have to increase production numbers. However, many auto enthusiasts have discussed the CR-Z at great lengths and the consensus appears to point towards failure here. As some have noted, the CR-Z does not offer strong performance numbers nor does it offer great fuel mileage. The vehicle, by the numbers, does not appear to excel in any category.
If Honda can't succeed in the U.S with the CR-Z, it just might be time to head back to the drawing board again. Let's wish them success.