Production of Honda’s Insight hybrid hatch has come to an end, with the final units rolling out of the company’s Suzuka plant this week.
Demand for the Insight has never been high. Business paper Bloomberg reports that slowing sales moved Honda to put the hybrid into retirement.
By the end of 2013, Honda had delivered 280,629 Insights globally since the first model debuted in 1999, compared to 3.19 million for Toyota’s Prius - which launched just seven months after the first Insight.
Most Insight sales were made in Japan, totalling 157,275 units. In the US, just 4802 were sold. Australian Insight sales for 2013 topped 175, compared to 223 in 2012.
Whether we’ll see a new third-generation Insight remains to be seen.
The Insight’s sportier CR-Z stablemate remains in production, but as the slowest-selling model in the Honda line-up - January saw just three Australian sales - that too could change.
The CR-Z was last week pulled from European markets, where sales had fallen by a whopping 66 percent in 2013. Between the CR-Z and the Insight - which was also pulled there - only 2000 deliveries had been made in Europe last year.
Locally, an updated CR-Z was introduced in April last year, starting from $38,490 plus on-roads for the six-speed manual and $40,790 for the seven-speed CVT.
The Insight however brought a $3000 price cut in July 2013, with the VTi starting from $26,990 plus on-roads and a $30,490 price tag for the VTi-L.