Honda Expands on 2010 Vision, Says Goodbye to the Insight



Adding to the vision set forth by Honda CEO Takeo Fukui during his mid-year speech delivered earlier this week (earlier post), Honda executives provided additional details on the path that Honda has chosen for the future, including the disclosure that production of Honda’s first hybrid, the Insight, would end this year.
A Honda representative said that the company would end production of the iconic Insight hybrid in September. Introduced in December of 1999, the Insight was the first mass-produced hybrid sold in America, beating the Toyota Prius to the North American market by a matter of months.
Early 5-speed Insights which were shipped to the US without air conditioning garnered a 70 mpg EPA highway fuel economy rating. Current production Insights equipped with manual transmissions and A/C are rated at 66 MPG highway/60 MPG city.
The Insight has thus maintained Honda’s title as maker of the most fuel-efficient passenger car sold in America as measured by EPA fuel economy ratings, a distinction long enjoyed by a succession of Honda models beginning in the 1970s.
However, Honda never aggressively marketed the Insight, which was regarded as a “halo car” by many industry observers—a vehicle designed more to burnish its maker’s image than to produce profits.May be until today hybrid cars are not on your buying list in Indonesia, especially since oil price has gone easy. In America, Hybrid cars accounted for about 2.5% of total vehicles sold in 2007, which is expected to doubled by 2010. The king of Hybrid worldwide is still Toyota (Prius), with 77% market share, followed by Honda (Insight etc) with less than 12%. Toyota introduced the Prius, a gasoline-electric hybrid in Japan in 1997, and in the United States in 2000. Since then, Toyota has sold more than 1.5 million hybrids globally. By the early 2010s, Toyota is aiming for annual hybrid sales of 1 million. On October 2nd at the 2008 Paris International Auto Show, we will all get to see the latest Concept model of Honda Insight. The production version should go on sale in the U.S. by next spring. The original Insight hybrid was a streamlined two-door hatchback, but the upcoming 2010 model will be a larger five-door hatchback. Judging by the new outlook, the design are inspired by the Toyota Prius and the Honda FCX Clarity combined. Honda claims the Insight will use a more cost-effective version of today’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) powertrain, enabling the car to be priced under current hybrids. The base retail price for the 2009 Civic hybrid in the US is $23,550; the 2009 Prius is $22,000. Referred to by Honda as a "small car," the new Insight is about 2.5 inches shorter bumper to bumper, one inch narrower, and two inches lower in height than the Prius

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