Bill Moore of EVWorld.com had a chance to pick the brain of Honda’s Gunnar Lindstrom, the senior manager of American Honda’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Programs. The question Bill asked is a good one – what’s up with the Insight?
Through November the Insight has sold only 624 units for American Honda in 2005, with only the hydrogen fuel cell-powered FCX listed below it at six units. Why then go on selling a vehicle that’s remained virtually unchanged since its introduction in 2000?
Lindstrom’s answer is, as you’d expect, that the Insight means much more to Honda than just sales. Every time the EPA and Natural Resources Canada publish their best and worst in the area of fuel economy, the Insight appears in the top spot, conspicuously above the name of one Toyota Prius, the runaway hit of hybrid sales. As long as Honda can squat in that top spot it will, which means the Insight will go on indefinitely until Honda can replace it with something just as thrifty.
[Thanks to Darin at MetroMPG.com for the tip]