Honda Mercy Kills Slow-Selling Insight

2014 Honda Insight

The Honda Insight hybrid, which became the first hybrid to appear in the U.S. back in 1999, has reached the end of its line. According to Bloomberg, Insight production will come to a halt in Japan this month due to low sales. Honda sold most of its Insights in Japan, with fewer than 5000 Insights finding new homes in the States last year. Dealers currently are sitting on an eight-month supply of the cars, according to the report. The only Honda to sell less than the Insight is the tiny, two-door CR-Z, which, incidentally, is packaged much like the original, shoe-shaped Insight. No word on whether Honda plans to keep or kill the CR-Z.

Historically, Honda has struggled with some of its hybrid models. The first-generation Insight lasted through 2006 but wasn’t replaced, then the Insight was resurrected for 2009 with Prius-like, doorstop-shaped five-door styling and modest feature content, intended to be a price-leading alternative to the Prius, though consumers never fully embraced the second-gen one either. And as noted earlier, the CR-Z isn’t exactly selling like hot cakes.

Instrumented Test: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid
Comparison Test: Ford Fusion Energi vs. Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid
Instrumented Test: 2012 Toyota Prius C

That said, Honda is hardly giving up. The new Accord plug-in hybrid is a far more relevant offering than the original Accord hybrid; the Civic hybrid remains in the lineup as a more direct Prius-fighter, and we expect a hybrid version of its all-new Fit to arrive later this year. Perhaps Honda will have better luck with this new generation of gas-electrics.

2014 Honda Insight

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