The highly anticipated Honda Insight hybrid which had reached the japanes shore about a month ago is selling like hot cakes.Read on Honda Insight selling briskly in Japan from thestar.
Orders for the hybrid Insight have totaled 18,000 since it hit the Japanese auto market about a month ago, outpacing Honda’s target and underlining the success of the new affordable and ecological vehicle, the company said today.
The brisk demand for the gas-electric hybrid is a rare piece of good news for Honda, which was hoping for the Insight’s monthly sales to reach 5,000 vehicles.
The Insight starts at 1.89mil yen (US$19,000) in Japan, and Honda said today that it will price the Insight starting at US$19,800 in the US, where it will go on sale Mar 24 as the cheapest hybrid on the commercial market. The Insight also goes on sale in Europe in this month.
Oil prices have tumbled from their peak last July, detracting from the possible appeal of gas-sipping hybrids. But the Insight is drawing a wide-range of buyers to the showroom, according to the company.
The Insight was the top-selling hybrid for Feb in Japan, totaling 4,906, or number 10 among all hybrid and regular models, even though it wasn’t on sale for the full month.
That outpaced Toyota’s Prius hybrid, which was 12th with 4,524 registered for the month, and cumulatively the best-selling hybrid model.
The Prius sells for US$22,000 in the US and 2.3mil yen in Japan.
Toyota, which sold 285,700 Prius cars worldwide last year, is introducing a remodeled Prius in May, which is bigger and has a more powerful engine than the current Prius, and likely to be more expensive.
Japanese media have speculated that Toyota may continue selling the old Prius even after the remodeled version goes on sale – an unusual move for an automaker – to compete against the cheaper Insight.
Toyota has refused to comment on the report. But it is almost certain that the competition among hybrid offerings will definitely intensify this year.