2011 Honda Insight
  • 2011 Honda Insight
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  • 2011 Honda Insight
  • 2011 Honda Insight
  • 2011 Honda Insight
  • 2011 Honda Insight
  • 2011 Honda Insight
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  • 2011 Honda Insight
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Insight hasn't amounted to even a tenth of Prius sales, and well over half of those sold were JDM.

It's been a rough ride for the Honda Insight, and now its journey appears to be at an end – word is that the five-door hybrid hatchback is going out of production.

The Insight nameplate was first introduced as a two-seat, three-door gas-electric hatchback just before the turn of the millennium, beating the Toyota Prius to market as America's first hybrid by over half a year. That original bantamweight Insight was discontinued in 2006, only to be revived in a larger, more Prius-like five-door form in 2009. But the new model never managed to keep up (let alone surpass) its rival from Toyota, which went on to become the best-selling dedicated hybrid car ever made.

As we reported just last week, Honda discontinued sales of the Insight (as well as its two-door counterpart, the CR-Z) in Europe due to lagging sales. But now word has it that the Insight is being discontinued altogether. The report from Bloomberg notes that the Insight hasn't amounted to even a tenth of Prius sales, and even then, well over half of those sold were in the Japan Domestic Market. Honda reportedly has 237 days' worth of inventory stockpiled, but dealers are said to have been told to stop taking orders.

We've inquired with Honda for official word on the Insight's fate here in North America, but have yet to hear back – we'll update you when we learn more. If the model is indeed dead, it won't be a surprise – we exclusively reported in December that it killing the model was on the table.

Of course, it's possible that the Insight will remain in production for a while to service other markets – potentially Japan only. The decision casts the future of the CR-Z into doubt as well, as the three-door model relies on a similar generation of Honda hybrid technology, and it's the only model in the automaker's lineup that actually sells fewer examples than the Insight. One way or another, Honda would still have its Civic and Accord hybrids to sell, not to mention the FCX Clarity fuel cell and Fit EV. Either way, it appears the Insight's days are numbered.

UPDATE: Honda spokesman Sage Marie tells Autoblog:

"The fates of Insight and CR-Z are not necessarily intertwined as they are very different models with very different missions. Moving forward, our hybrid vehicle strategy will focus on new hybrid models featuring expanded application of our innovative two-motor hybrid system with an eye toward significant volume growth. "



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 60 Comments
      flammablewater
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope Honda realizes that it wasn't the hybrid part that prevented it from selling well (people buy hybrids like crazy) it was just a bad car.
        Seth
        • 1 Year Ago
        @flammablewater
        exactly a manufacturer should need to start with a solid platform and add a high mileage version (or plug in) Lexus did this, Subaru is starting to etc. Honda already does this with the civic and accord. Outside the states they do this with the fit and won't be able to do it stateside until they fix the supply issue. Why they don't with the CR-V and Pilot/Odyssey I don't understand. It can't be pricing since Pilot's are over $40k and Odyssey's reach $50k (including tax). Would it take a dent in the profits of the highest end? yes but that would allow them to brag that they are the leader in hybrid variety which is worth some PR I would think and would get people out of a competitor's showroom (those that shop with mileage as a top concern which seems to be many people nowadays)
        Neil Blanchard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @flammablewater
        At least, it was not good enough to compete with the Prius.
      Kenny Baese
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder if they're canning it in favor of the Fit Hybrid. Last I read, the fit hybrid wasn't supposed to come to the states, but I think it would probably do better than the Insight did just by virtue of not looking like a Honda rip-off of the Prius. Yes, I know the Insight came first, but when people think hybrid they think Prius.
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am surprised they aren't working on the next gen model to utilize the next gen hybrid system they have in the Accord. The size and design of the Insight would lend itself to getting even greater MPG than the Accord hybrid. Plus Honda could beef up the wheels and sound deadening since their new hybrid system is so much more efficient. One reason the current Insight failed was it's tin can build quality and shabby handling. Ok that's two reasons. But both of those issues were done to keep it as light as possible since the hybrid system was not that great. Maybe they will bring it back again some day.
        foxtrot685
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        The Next Gen Fit is supposed to have a Hybrid model. The Next Gen Civic Hybrids system is supposed to get a major overhaul. The Insight would become redundant. The current gen Insight feels like something that would have worked well... in 1997.
          mikeybyte1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @foxtrot685
          I didn't think they were bringing the Fit Hybrid to the US. If they are then yes it would be somewhat redundant. If not then they should consider a dedicated hybrid. As Toyota has proven with the Prius, a unique dedicated design will attract buyers.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Will hardly be missed.
      thecornfedmule
      • 1 Year Ago
      Next up....Ditchline, Crossturd, CRZzzzz, and ILXanax...
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honda... you are ran by idiots, and Soichiro is spinning in his grave. All that you needed to do to make this car a blockbuster is simple - ditch the IMA which has been junk all it's life and go with an atkinson cycle system like the prius or 2014 accord hybrid. Add some noise damping. Or at least if you are going to really drop out of this segment, do those updates to the CRZ and make it actually a decent hybrid instead of a half baked setup...
        thecornfedmule
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        The Insight was doomed from its introduction....looking like a Chinese copy of the Prius. Whoever at Honda greenlighted this should be french-fried in boiling vegetable oil...
      aatbloke1967
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honda's biggest mistake with the Insight was touting it as a Prius competitor. It never was - that comparison was akin to comparing a 1.25 litre Fiesta with a 1.8 litre Focus. The other mistake was to downgrade the materials of the interior to save weight and the result was fabrics that wore quickly and very hard plastics. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the Insight EX I had. I had no problems averaging 46-48mpg (US) and and on flat, Ohio roads at a constant 40-50mph it was child's play to average between 50 and 55mpg. The ride could be a little crashy on rough surfaces, primarily because it's handling was so well honed. A very good looking car, with excellent cargo space but sadly a car which Honda simply allowed to wither on the vine.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's Honda mismanagement at it's finest. They had a product that didn't compete with Prius, and didn't fix that problem! The Insight clearly needed the independent suspension of the previous generation FIT. Since Honda has replace the CVT in the new Fit, they knew it wasn't the optimal solution. But here it is 2014, and there's no replacement in the MARKET? But, you have to wonder about hidden sales incentives as the Honda Dealer Network would clearly try to steer you to the Civic. As for the CRZ, they were just first, as ALL Sports Cars are planning to introduce Hybrid assist. Corvette, Porsche being the two largest. There's a great deal of benefit in riding the Incremental Electric/Battery Imrpovement Wave.
      hokkaido76
      • 1 Year Ago
      Given the new Accord Hybrids and the possibility of the Fit Hybrid being available, I am not entirely surprised. Hopefully they will try a Prius-like vehicle again sometime in the future with their new hybrid system.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honda has been flailing lately.
      carguy1701
      • 1 Year Ago
      They tried to out-Prius the Prius and failed miserably. CR-Z should lose the hybrid stuff as well.
      tbird57w
      • 1 Year Ago
      zzzzzzzzzzzzz i actually thought it had been terminated years ago.
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