Honda to stop producing Insight hybrid due to weak sales

Article by Eugene Conan, on February 27, 2014

Honda Motor Co. will terminate output production of the Insight model due to slumping demand and continued lag against the Toyota Prius. Honda informed its dealers in November 2013 that the current generation of the Insight will be discontinued this month, asking them to halt taking orders, according to Yuka Abe, a spokeswoman for the Japanese carmaker.

The Insight was the first hybrid vehicle in the United States when Honda rolled it out in 1999 -- seven months earlier than the Prius. The Toyota Prius, however, rode on a good sales momentum and eventually became the best-selling hybrid car of all time, with cumulative sales of 3.19 million vehicles as of January 2014. 

In comparison, Honda has only sold 280,629 Insights globally as of the end of 2013, of which 157,275 were delivered in Japan. Honda saw sales of the Insight drop 18 percent to 4,802 in 2013, making it the second-worst selling car in the Honda brand lineup.

Honda started February with 237 days of supply of the Insight, according to Automotive News Data Center, while carmakers typically consider a 60-day inventory to be ideal in the US. Honda stopped output of the first-generation Insight in 2006, and revived it in 2009.

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