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.

Continued after the jump.

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.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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