We had to wait years for someone to give us a hybrid-only alternative to the Toyota Prius, and Honda finally gave us some choice with born-again Honda Insight. Initial interest in the under $20,000 40+ mpg vehicle has been high, but it's not necessarily translating into as many sales as the automaker would like. Honda was initially hoping for 90,000 sales in North America in its first year, but it looks like the Japanese automaker may not hit its sales goal. American Honda Vice President John Mendel has reportedly told Bloomberg that the Insight isn't going to hit 90,000 units, but that the company "will be just fine" with 50,000 to 60,000 sales. Honda expects global sales of the Insight to hit 200,000 units, and it was hoping for about half of that volume to come from North America.
The revised sales forecast comes as Honda is keeping more Insight units in Japan due to brisk demand and unfavorable exchange rates in the States. Lower gas prices are also likely to be hurting sales of Honda's new hybrid, though the price of petrol has been steadily heading north over the past few weeks. The economic recession is also likely hurting Insight sales, as U.S. sales for almost everything with four wheels has been very poor so far in 2009.