Honda to stop Insight and CR-Z sales in Europe due to poor demand

Article by Anita Panait, on February 17, 2014

Because of the weakening demand, Honda will terminate sales of its Insight and CR-Z gasoline-electric hybrids in Europe. The carmaker is selling off its remaining European stocks of the Insight and CR-Z, a spokesperson told Automotive News Europe.  The cars are listed in France and the United Kingdom but are not in Germany, Spain and Italy, according to a check of Honda's Web sites in Europe's top markets.

The pullout means that the hybrid version of the Jazz will be the only Honda model to offer the alternative powertrain, but the Japanese carmaker has said that no decision has been made on whether it would sell in Europe the Jazz hybrid that will be rolled out in 2015.

Honda has sold around 125,000 hybrids in Europe, but recent sales have been performing badly. Honda logged a 62-percent drop in sale sales of the Insight to 1,242 Insights in 2013, a 66-percent plunge in sales of the CR-Z to just 695 units, according to figures from market researcher JATO Dynamics. According to Honda, it sold around 4,500 Jazz hybrids in Europe in 2013 from 7,500 in 2012.

"We've had seen a steady sales for our hybrids since we launched them, but recently we've seen a strong demand for low-emission diesel technology," the spokesman told Automotive News Europe. Honda added a new 1.6-liter engine for the Civic compact and CR-V SUV engineered for Europe.

The Civic diesel boasts of carbon dioxide emissions of 94 grams per km compared to 96g/km for the Insight hybrid. While Honda is struggling with its hybrid, Toyota gained a lot by increasing sales gasoline-electric variants of its Toyota- and Lexus-brand models from 107,000 in 2012 to 153,000 in 2013.

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