Honda Executive Vice President Koichi Kondo doesn't seem to think that the automaker will hit its worldwide sales goal of 200,000 Insight hybrids in its first year on the market. Why? In an interview with Bloomberg, Kondo is quoted as saying "I think we compromised too much on size in pursuing fuel efficiency" for the U.S. market, he said.
In total, Honda sold 130,445 units of its Insight worldwide in 2009. The car was first introduced in Japan in February and then in the U.S. in March. In the States, the car's second-largest market, Honda sold just 20,572 units in 2009 – a far cry from the 90,000 it hoped to sell here in the first year.
Further, in reference to the long-expected Honda Fit Hybrid, Kondo said:
It remains to be seen whether the upcoming CR-Z can bolster Honda's sketchy hybrid positioning.There are plenty of people who think that the current Fit meets their needs already [when it comes to fuel efficiency]... a hybrid version might seem expensive. Our engineers are really struggling.