A few years back after getting the hybrid ball rolling with the original Insight and then Civic, Honda added a hybrid version of the Accord. Like the Insight, it was not a strong seller and, after a few years, it was discontinued and Honda decided to switch its focus for larger vehicles to clean diesel. The plan was to keep hybrids in smaller cars and while using oil burners in larger cars, SUVs and vans. Honda had planned to start its U.S. diesel push with a 2.2-liter four in the TSX this year. However, after diesel prices spiked last year and the overall market collapsed in the fall, that program was canceled.

Honda CEO Takeo Fukui has now revealed that plans for larger diesel engines have also been canceled as a result of the cost of trying to meet new U.S. and Japanese emissions regulations. Honda had hoped that its in-house developed NOx catalytic convertor would allow it to avoid using urea injection. Instead, Fukui said the company will develop a hybrid system suitable for larger vehicles. No timetable has been revealed for introduction.

Fukui also said that Honda would not drop the price of the Insight in response to Toyota's price cuts on the Prius in Japan.

[Source: Automotive News - sub req'd]


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