In the United States, sales of hybrid cars greatly outpaces the sales of diesel cars; super-size trucks don't count. The leader of the hybrid race globally and in the States is undoubtedly Toyota, but other manufacturers, including Honda, are doing their best to catch up. Despite the fact that the original Honda Insight helped usher in the hybrid age, the automaker has taken a major back seat to its main rival from Japan in recent years. To help combat this issue, Honda is set to revive the Insight nameplate with a Prius-fighting five door hatchback of its own, and it will undercut its competitor by thousands of dollars.
So, what about Europe? Across the pond, hybrid cars and trucks are not nearly as popular as they are in the U.S. There, diesel fuel is priced more attractively than gasoline, and sales of oil-burners are therefore very strong. A recent survey conducted by Honda in the U.K. indicates that 40-percent of those who would not buy a hybrid are put off by their high price. Since the Insight will be the cheapest hybrid available in Europe, Honda hopes to buck the slow-selling trend. We'll see how it works out sometime next year.