Loading indicator
News & Reviews
Last 7 Days


by Tim Beissmann

Production of the Honda Insight will end almost immediately following confirmation of the Japanese car maker’s decision to axe its slow-selling hybrid hatchback.

Honda Australia public relations assistant manager Naomi Rebeschini today confirmed overseas reports that Insight production will conclude at the end of the month.

Rebeschini said Honda Australia planned to sell off the small number of Insights currently in dealerships and would not import any more examples of the car, mirroring similar moves by Honda in Europe and the US where the model has failed to sell in sustainable numbers.

Europe and the UK will also drop the CR-Z, but according to Rebeschini production of the hybrid sports coupe will continue despite it sharing its platform, production line and basic hybrid technology with the Insight and selling in even smaller numbers than its discontinued petrol-electric sibling.

A Tokyo-based Honda spokeswoman declined to comment when asked by Bloomberg if the manufacturer was planning a replacement for the second-generation Insight or planned to axe the model altogether.

honda-insight-2

The first-generation Honda Insight became the first hybrid available in the US when it launched in 1999, but global sales have paled in comparison to key hybrid rival, the Toyota Prius.

To the end of last year, Toyota had sold 3.19 million Prius hatches, outselling the Insight at a rate of more than 10 to one. Global Honda Insight sales to the end of 2013 totalled 280,629, of which 157, 275 were sold in Japan.

Honda sold just 4802 Insights in the US last year and only 1242 across Europe.

The Insight limped to 175 sales in Australia in 2013, down 22 per cent on the previous year. Honda has sold 1274 Insights in Australia, including 45 first-gen three-doors between 2001 and 2004 and 1229 second-gen five-doors since 2010. Sales peaked in 2011 when Honda sold more than half that tally (715).

Meanwhile, Australian CR-Z sales plummeted from 370 in 2012 to just 58 last year following a range restructure that saw its entry price rise to $38,490.

The Honda Insight was sold in two specification levels in Australia, the $26,990 VTi and the $30,490 VTi-L.




SHARE THIS ARTICLE