New Honda Insight Sales Weak After Release

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Honda’s Hybrid Insight May Miss U.S. Sales Forecast

    By Alan Ohnsman

    June 15 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co.’s Insight hybrid may fall 33 percent short of its U.S. sales goal as cheap fuel, the economic slump and competition from Toyota Motor Corp.’s Prius undermine demand for the model.

    First-year Sales of Honda’s gasoline-electric Insight, which debuted at U.S. dealerships in late March, may be between 50,000 and 60,000 units, John Mendel, the company’s U.S. executive vice president, said in a June 11 interview at Honda’s U.S. headquarters in Torrance. “I don’t think we’ll get to 90,000,” he said.

    Gasoline prices in the U.S. have fallen 35 percent over the past year, eroding demand for fuel-efficient cars, even as the overall market has plunged 37 percent due to the recession. Toyota has cut the base price of the Prius by $1,000 to compete with the Insight

    “Sales of hybrids have a strong correlation to gasoline prices, especially in the U.S. and Toyota’s Prius has had more customers in the past, so it’s a tough competition for Honda,” said Koji Endo, an analyst at Credit Suisse Securities (Japan) Ltd.

    The lower-than-expected demand in the U.S. contrasts with sales of the car in Japan where fuel prices are 78 percent higher than in the U.S. The Insight was the top-selling car in Japan in April and was overtaken by the Prius last month.

    Honda fell 1.6 percent to 2,795 yen at the 3 p.m. close of Tokyo Stock Exchange trading. The shares have gained 47 percent so far this year.

    Gas Prices

    Retail prices for gasoline in Japan are $4.69 a gallon, the Tokyo-based Oil Information Center said on its Web site on June 10. By comparison, U.S. consumers paid an average of $2.64 for a gallon of gasoline on June 12, 35 percent less than a year ago, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

    The Insight, rated by the U.S. as getting 41 miles per gallon in city and highway driving, is priced from $19,800 to $23,100. By comparison, Toyota’s 2010 Prius, which averages 50 mpg, sells for between $22,000 and $31,770.

    Hybrid sales in the U.S. fell 38 percent through May to 100,337 units, just ahead of the market’s overall 37 percent drop, based on data compiled by Bloomberg News. Slack demand for fuel-saving models led General Motors Corp. to announce June 11 that it’s discontinuing the hybrid version of its Malibu sedan.

    Toyota aims to sell 180,000 units of its new Prius in the car’s first 12 months, matching the model’s U.S. volume record reached in 2007. Prius sales this year through May fell 46 percent.

    Demand for Insight should pick up later in the year as the recession eases and fuel prices increase, Mendel said.

    U.S. dealer inventory of Japan-built Insights is “good” given current market conditions and sales could be as high as 4,000 units this month, up from 2,098 in May, he said.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Honda Insight a Flop?

    [​IMG]

    By Robert Farago
    June 15, 2009

    Bloomberg reports that Honda has dialed-back its US sales predictions for the Insight hybrid by a third.

    “First-year Sales of Honda’s gasoline-electric Insight, which debuted at U.S. dealerships in late March, may be between 50,000 and 60,000 units, John Mendel, the company’s U.S. executive vice president, said in a June 11 interview at Honda’s U.S. headquarters in Torrance. ‘I don’t think we’ll get to 90,000.’” (Bloomberg sat on this story for four days?)

    Apparently, Mendel forgot to explain the discrepancy between expectation and reality—so Hizzoner’s family firm did it for him . . .

    “Gasoline prices in the U.S. have fallen 35 percent over the past year, eroding demand for fuel-efficient cars, even as the overall market has plunged 37 percent due to the recession. Toyota has cut the base price of the Prius by $1,000 to compete with the Insight.”

    Spin please?

    “Hybrid sales in the U.S. fell 38 percent through May to 100,337 units, just ahead of the market’s overall 37 percent drop, based on data compiled by Bloomberg News.”

    Official spin please?

    “Demand for Insight should pick up later in the year as the recession eases and fuel prices increase,” Mendel said.

    Or, dare we say it, not. Oh, and does this tell us anything about the Chevrolet Volt’s prospects?
     
  3. Raider007

    Raider007 om nom nom nom

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    i think one of the problems with the Insight is that looking at it in pictures and on tv, it looks too much like a Prius, so it might seem like "the poor mans prius" instead of a competitor.

    I've seen a couple of them on the road, and it does look different than a prius when you see them, but honestly, the general shape makes you think prius...

    not differentiating the looks enough might be it's downfall...
     
  4. Singh888

    Singh888 OT Supporter

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    because its a copy of prius....
     
  5. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    its fucking hideous////in pictures and IRL
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Holy shit, 50,000 of them? That's 10x more than the number of RX-8s Mazda has sold in the USA in 2009.

    Actually, it's kinda funny, Ferrari sold more cars in the USA in 2009 than Mazda sold RX-8s. My car is more exclusive than a Ferrari. :p
     
  7. mtnbikekid08

    mtnbikekid08 Aime-moi moins, mais aime-moi longtemps

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    The Insight was the first hybrid sold in North America.
     
  8. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

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    Since when is $2.80/gallon cheap fuel?
     
  9. StylishDOHC

    StylishDOHC New Member

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    its cheap relative to anywhere i would want to live :hsugh:
     
  10. StylishDOHC

    StylishDOHC New Member

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    And TriShield...we know you hate imports...we get it. :ugh2:

    The little Insight didn't meet predictions, but i'd be willing to bet its sales still beat sales of any domestic hybrid vehicle, if not all of them combined
     
  11. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    What does my preference have to do with the fact that this car is abject failure?

    Oh right, absolutely nothing.
     
  12. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    as a two door hatch
     
  13. mtnbikekid08

    mtnbikekid08 Aime-moi moins, mais aime-moi longtemps

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    Still means the Prius copied it.
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    The Prius has four doors.
     
  15. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

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    :rolleyes:

    Since we're talking about why Americans aren't buying them in America then we must only compare fuel prices to what Americans are used to.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. CrazyInteg

    CrazyInteg Honda-Acura.net OG

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    I thought the Insight was supposed to be sportier and more pep to the engine.
     

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