Sales of the Honda Insight and CR-Z hybrids have fallen so low in Europe, that the Japanese automaker is cutting its losses and ceasing sales. But it’s not just Europe where Honda hybrids are doing poorly, and both the Insight and CR-Z could face the chopping block if sales don’t improve.
There have already been rumors that the Insight was facing extinction, with sales falling below 5,000 units for all of 2013 in the United States. In Europe the situation is even worse, with just 1,242 Insights sold across the Old World. Numbers for the two-door C-RZ are even worse, with just 695 sales across the whole of Europe. The Honda Jazz Hybrid, meanwhile, racked up 4,500 sales in 2013, down from 7,500 in 2012 but still better than either other option.
The problem is the growing popularity of diesels in Europe, and in America it’s sales of the Honda Civic Hybrid that are cannibalizing Insight and CR-Z sales. Honda even updated the Insight two years after its 2009 launch, adding a cheaper base model to boost sales, but to no effect. Meanwhile, the new $29,945 Honda Accord Hybrid offers a fun-to-drive 50 MPG, and even non-hybrids like the Ford Fiesta and Toyota Corolla are matching the fuel economy of this pair of hybrids.
It might be time to cull to hybrid herd over at Honda, and I think this is just the first step. While I’ll not mourn the loss of the Insight, the Honda CR-Z was a fun little experiment that never seemed to catch on with the masses, though sales have been marginally better than that of the Insight. Is it too much to ask for Honda to keep the CR-Z but let the Insight go?
Source: Automotive News