It may well be a sign of the times, but Honda would have to more than happy with the sales results of its Insight hybrid.
For the month of April, Honda?s new cut-price eco-warrior topped the sales charts in Japan. The success of the Insight marks a place in the history books for Honda, being the first hybrid vehicle to reach the number one sales spot, outselling petrol-powered rivals.
The sales figures as tracked by the Japan Automobile Dealer?s Association (JADA), show that Honda sold 10,481 Insights, bumping Honda?s own Fit (our Jazz) into second place and the Toyota Vitz (sold here as the Yaris) into third. (JADA?s figures don?t include sales of 660cc Kei cars however which would otherwise alter rankings slightly... maybe they classify them as 'toys'.)
Coupled with the existing success of the Fit, which enjoyed best-seller status for 2008, Honda now holds the number one and two selling spots. The first time in its history it has done so.
The Insight?s nearest rival, the Toyota Pruis, finished the month in 21st place. With the third-generation Pruis just around the corner and a new aggressive pricing structure up its sleeve, you can bet Toyota will be aiming to displace the Insight on the sales charts.
You can check out Honda?s press release (below) for more info.
LANDMARK ACHIEVEMENT FOR INSIGHT IN JAPAN
Insight is first hybrid to become Japan's best-selling vehicle
Honda's new Insight ranked as the entire industry's best-selling new car in Japan for April 2009, with sales of 10,481 units. It is the first time that a hybrid model has topped the new car sales tables in Japan.
The Honda Fit (or Jazz as it is known in Europe) was Japan's best-selling new car for calendar year 2008 and for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. Fit was also the industry's best-selling car for March 2009, its fourth consecutive month at the top, until it was displaced by Insight to become the industry's second best-selling car in April 2009. It is the first time Honda has occupied the industry's top two best-selling car positions.
Since its introduction on February 6, 2009, the all-new Insight has been very well received by a wide range of customers due to its excellent environmental performance and affordable pricing.
Insight sales in Japan
Sales of Insight began February 6, 2009
(since sales start)
Monthly ranking among new vehicle registrations in Japan
February 2009 Sales Result
4,906 units 10th
March 2009 Sales Result
4,088 units 21st
April 2009 Sales Result
10,481 units 1st
* excluding mini-vehicles - under 660cc
Source: Japan Automobile Dealers Association