There’s no place like home for the Honda Insight.
That sentiment has apparently become more legitimate as the days go by for Honda’s hybrid vehicle. You see, it didn’t take long for the Insight to become an instant hit in Japan; it actually topped the list of best-selling vehicle in Japan for April and in doing so, became the first hybrid car to be place number one on a monthly sales list. But despite the overwhelming success it has enjoyed in its homeland, the number haven’t necessarily translated on the other side of the Pacific.
It may have been hot in Japan, but if early forecasts hold true, the Insight would be lucky to even get a lukewarm reception in America. After going on the market last March, sales of the Insight have dragged to a crawl with the numbers suggesting that it would all behind by as much as 33% of the predicted number of sales by the end of the year.
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As John Mendel, Honda Vice President, said on Bloomberg: “I don’t think we’ll get to the 90,000 car sales we predicted for the Insight. With our current pace, we’d probably sell over 50,000 cars and all things concerned, we’d be lucky to make it over 60,000.”
While there may be a number of speculations as to why the Insight has underperformed in America despite being successful in Japan, the reasons mostly being pointed out are lower fuel prices and –surprise, surprise – the drop of the economy.
With the Insight’s struggles notwithstanding, Honda execs are still hopeful that as the economy rebounds, so too will sales of the Insight in the US.
If that happens - and for Honda’s sake, we hope that it does – then maybe the Honda Insight can still reach the 90,000 threshold it aimed for since the hybrid car first broke into the scene last March.