Death by diesel? That may be the epitaph of the Honda Insight and CR-Z in Europe, where the Japanese automaker will discontinue sales of the two hybrid models before to the 2015 model-year. A Honda spokesman confirmed the discontinuation to Automotive News, and information on those models has been taken off of Honda's official websites in Germany, Spain and Italy. The European embrace of all things diesel and fuel efficient as well as competition from Toyota are the primary culprits.

The cancellation is not a surprise. Insight sales in Europe fell a whopping 62 percent last year while CR-Z sales there plunged 66 percent. Combined, both models sold less than 2,000 units in Europe last year, Automotive News says, citing JATO Dynamics. Honda is having trouble moving the Jazz Hybrid (also known as the Fit) in Europe as well. European sales declined about 40 percent last year to around 4,500 units. Those numbers compare rather unfavorably to a 43 percent surge in Toyota's hybrid sales in Europe to about 153,000 units.

The Insight may face the same fate in the US. Last year, US Insight sales fell 18 percent to 4,802 units, a small, small challenge to the more than 234,000 Toyota Prius variants sold in the US in 2013. Honda has not made an official statement on the Insight's fate here, but the sales are speaking for themselves.


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  • 19 Comments
      CoolWaters
      • 10 Months Ago
      The problem with diesel: - It stinks - In PA I'm seeing a 90 cent price increase over regular. So Diesel just allows Exxon to PRICE GOUGE you to death. Proving we need gas/hybrids. The insight needs a better suspension and the new honda FIT Hybrid or EV are better cars and hybrids for the market. I think they're quitting too soon on the CR-Z. As batteries improve and you can drop in bigger electric motors the CRZ idea should take off. Sports car guys, maybe don't drive much.
        Marco Polo
        • 10 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        @ CoolWaters You seem to be obsessed with Exxon. ( diesel is produced by over 100 oil companies, Exxon pump price is pretty similar to its rivals). Were you an Exxon employee, axed during Exxon restructuring program ?
        • 10 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Honda should rather admit it's because these models still use IMA and not full mode hybrid systems. The new full mode hybrids get better FE than their diesels. E.g. redesigned Fit Hybrid exceeds Prius mpg (probably around 55mpg EPA).But it's not released in Europe until next year and who knows if we'll ever see it in the US. CR-Z/Insight don't sell well in US for that same reason. Got nothing to do with diesels since Honda is not selling any diesel in US. Not sure if we see redesign of these models with new system. For now the US does have excellent Honda Accord Hybrid but would be nice to see more models.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 10 Months Ago
      So, instead of updating the powertrains to a scaled down version of the excellent accord powertrain and producing some truly smash hit cars; just throw away all that R&D money on making those cars? I wish Honda would stop shooting itself in the foot.
      ninjustin
      • 10 Months Ago
      I like the design of the CR-Z but if I want a sports car I'd get a sports car and if I wanted good gas mileage I'd go elsewhere.
        CoolWaters
        • 10 Months Ago
        @ninjustin
        Too bad, but look around every sports car is planning to add hybrid power to their vehicles, as the electric motor acts like a SuperCharger, and an MPG enhancer. Don't understand the BACKWARDS CEO at Honda.
      Mike
      • 10 Months Ago
      The Honda IMA system in these cars is not good. They should update the CR-Z to the same system as the new Accord Hybrid but with a smaller engine, maybe a 1.6 liter. However, they need to keep the same motor, inverter and battery power. The car will really go with the 100kW electric system. That will be the sporty car that they originally intended. As a side benefit the MPG will be over 50.
      PeterScott
      • 10 Months Ago
      Called this a flop from the beginning. No loss at all.
      David Murray
      • 10 Months Ago
      Yep.. Honda is very much behind the times with their hybrid technology in those cars. They need to move to a full hybrid system or PHEV system if they ever want to get back in the game.
      Ryan
      • 10 Months Ago
      I think it was the Insight that I sat in at an auto show and was disappointed that the blind spots were so big. And why don't they make a diesel hybrid? They should work on solving that problem.
        chanonissan
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Ryan
        you know that diesel engine cost more than a gasoline engine? so the cost for hybrid would be greater, while people could just buy honda efficient 1.6 detc ,116 HP engine.
        Marco Polo
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Ryan
        @ Ryan Diesel hybrids are produced in trucks and heavy vehicles. However, since a diesel engine is heavier, and more expensive to produce than a gasoline unit, it's not a good combination for passenger vehicles. The economic advantage of diesel is largely a creation of the European Tax system. There's no such thing as 'clean diesel' any more than 'clean coal' exists. Both are fossil fuels. The least pollutant fossil fuel is Natural gas, available for transport use as LPG or CNG. Both are preferable to diesel-gasoline. But the really preferable option for those who need that bit of extra range, is the GM Volt or BMWi3.
        Luc K
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Ryan
        They should rather just release the new full mode hybrids which get better FE than their diesels. E.g. the new redesigned Fit Hybrid exceeds Prius mpg (probably around 55mpg EPA combined). But it's not released in Europe until next year and who knows if we'll ever see it in the US. CR-Z/Insight don't sell well in US for that same reason. Got nothing to do with diesels since Honda is not selling any diesel in US.
          CoolWaters
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Luc K
          I just saw diesel in my area priced 90 CENTS More then Regular. EXXON Strikes Again. There's only one way to protect you from GREED, a Hybrid.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Ryan
        Those blind spots in newer cars really kill them for me. This is one example where the safety regs increase the safety for drivers, but not the things they will be more likely to hit because they can't see them.
          CoolWaters
          • 10 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Since I rarely back up in an Insight it's really not a big deal.
      jebibudala
      • 9 Months Ago
      The Insight has grown to a beastly sized car that doesn't get all that great of mileage. They should go back to their roots and revisit the Gen 1. The CRZ was a horrible experiment gone bad. Instead of hybrid, they should put the new 1.0 3cyl turbocharged powerplant in it. It'll probably get same or better MPG and be a whole heck of a lit funner to drive, not to mention a lot cheaper.
      Ducman69
      • 10 Months Ago
      Good. Next time, focus on keeping the vehicle as lightweight and aerodynamic as possible, and just put a small 1.4 liter turbo engine in it, say around 160hp that gets 40mpg highway. Put a sporty suspension on it, and it would have sold like hotcakes.
      Levine Levine
      • 10 Months Ago
      Honda has been scamming consumers with the inferior IMA powertrain long enough. The European consumer is not stupid - he sees the CRZ as a piece of flashy sheet metal concealing the IMA underneath.
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