• Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda
Honda might be selling more hybrids if it could just get them to dealers. While the second-generation Insight never lived up to sales expectations and production is ending, the Japanese automaker is seeing strong demand for the Accord Hybrid here and abroad. However, there is so much global consumer desire that it can't keep them in US showrooms.

The problem limiting the sales of the Accord Hybrid is its battery pack and its popularity in Japan. "There's a waiting list for the product," said Jeff Conrad, Honda general manager, to Ward's Auto about the sedan's US popularity. While the American Accord is built in Marysville, OH, the batteries are imported from Japan, where the model is quite popular. According to Ward's data, the automaker sold 2,414 examples of the hybrid version from October 2013 to February 2014 in the US, but it shifted 6,000 units in Japan in its first three months on sale. Conrad also admitted that the constrained supply is limiting the amount of marketing the automaker can do for the hybrid.

Honda spokesperson Chris Martin told Autoblog the company is working on a solution to increase production for the near future. "We are going to resolve the battery issue," he said.

Honda has had a rocky road in launching its hybrids. Conrad admits that the Insight never got much of a marketing push after its launch. The CR-Z faces an uncertain future as well. Sales of it are ending in Europe for the 2015 model year, and Ward's data indicates that Honda only sold 4,550 of them in the US last year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      Spec
      • 9 Months Ago
      What the heck is wrong with this industry. First there were not enough batteries. Then there was a glut of batteries and companies went bankrupt. And now there is a shortage of batteries again. Can't they figure this stuff out? I guess they just want a particular battery?
        PatrickH
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Spec
        The battery supply shortage has to do with their raw materials. China has been drastically cutting back it's production of graphite, and you can't make lithium batteries without graphite.
      offib
      • 9 Months Ago
      This is becoming a very common story with EVs and plug-ins. Demand far exceeds the rate of production because battery manufacturing is a timely process. It happened to Nissan, Mitsubishi and Tesla in the space of one year!
        SloopJohnB
        • 9 Months Ago
        @offib
        I'll believe the problem is on the way to solution when/if Tesla builds their gigafactory or whatever they call it.
      PTC DAWG
      • 9 Months Ago
      I drove and almost bought the first edition of the Honda Accord Hybrid...it was quite the performer...unfortunately a sunroof was not offered in the first year of production and I moved on. I understand the current one is built more with economy in mind..probably a good move, but not up my alley.
        Rick
        • 7 Months Ago
        @PTC DAWG
        We just had our new Accord Hybrid delivered. While economy is stellar its performance is quite the surprise. A very satisfying rush of power. About 7.0 - 7.5 in 0-60 dashes. Not muscle car territory but I have no complaints. Think of the new model as an electric car with engine assist rather than the other way around like most Hybrids. Similar to the Chevy Volt without the Volts extra battery capacity and loss of a center rear seat. Eerily quiet but gets down the road just fine.
        Rick
        • 7 Months Ago
        @PTC DAWG
        We just had our new Accord Hybrid delivered. While economy is stellar its performance is quite the surprise. A very satisfying rush of power. About 7.0 - 7.5 in 0-60 dashes. Not muscle car territory but I have no complaints. Think of the new model as an electric car with engine assist rather than the other way around like most Hybrids. Similar to the Chevy Volt without the Volts extra battery capacity and loss of a center rear seat. Eerily quiet but gets down the road just fine.
      Master Austin
      • 9 Months Ago
      If get if they sold 20-40K units from it, as a basis to create a story about there being capacity issues, but its barely a "blip" compared to what the competitors are selling with their hybrid. Looks like a filler piece.
        mary.keana
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Master Austin
        Go review the number of Hybrids Honda is selling in Japan. The new Hybrid Fit has batter supply issues, the new Hybrid Vezel has supply issues, the Accord, the Hybrid Freed, Hybrid Shuttle, Hybrid Spike. Hybrids are VERY popular in Japan. The supply of batteries is being bought up in Japan, hence the reason no Hybrid Fit or Vezel in North America, and why Honda has supplied almost zero CR-Zs and Insights to North America.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Master Austin
        [blocked]
      jebibudala
      • 9 Months Ago
      The 1st gen Insight was probably the best hybrid made. Too bad people hated it.
        turbo_awd
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        In my experience, people who are interested in fuel economy/efficiency are also often family minded (i.e. not teenage wannabe-racers), and a 2-door, 2-seater is not a family-oriented car. The Accord Hybrid, I have some interest in (especially the older, 270+ hp model), although I'm not really in the market for a car at the moment. While a good number of 2-door sports/sporty cars appeal to me, I have zero interest in BUYING one, because it would be too impractical..
      foxtrot685
      • 9 Months Ago
      They wouldn't have had any problems moving CR-Z's if they just did what the people asked for, which was the Si motor and drivetrain. They lost a lot of customers when the word hybrid was thrown into the mix, they lost even more when "motor from the Honda Fit" was mentioned, they lost a few more when they announced "Starting around $20k."
      dannymiller.tamu
      • 8 Months Ago
      I just received my 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring sedan last week after waiting for 2 months. It was frustrating. The most frustrating thing was not knowing where it was in the process of build/ship/deliver. My suggestion to Honda is to figure out how to connect the future owner to the car while it's in it process of build/ship/deliver. In the computer business, we do that all the time, especially when there is a special or custom order. Honda would definitely have a cult following if it could simply do this and make lots of future Honda owners happy. Think about this approach. Each Honda, as it is made, gets a unique identifier, whether its a VIN number or some other identifier that is tied to an RFID chip which is put on a sticker somewhere on the car. As it passes through various stages, all cars passing through the order/build/ship/deliver stages have their RFID number updated. This would work almost exactly like FedEx and UPS do packages, where they assign a unique number to their packages. The recipient of the package can simply go online and see where it is. This would relieve the local sales person of the burden of getting a phone call every few days and make the customer happy.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @dannymiller.tamu
        [blocked]
      mark.bacharach
      • 9 Months Ago
      I bought the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid in Ottawa, Canada on March 6, 2014. I was told it would be in around mid April. I just checked with them yesterday and now I'm being told end of May. It's not good planning on Honda's part. It's unbelievable that it takes this long to receive a car after buying it. I doubt it will be ready at the end of May at this rate. I was excited about the car, but these delays have punched the excitement out of me. If you are looking to buy an 2014 Accord Hybrid in Canada, you better have lots of patience and time on your hands.
      • 9 Months Ago
      [blocked]
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