Aside from North America, the only other market where hybrid vehicles have really taken off is Japan. Even with the popularity of the Prius and other hybrids from Toyota, none has ever made it to the top of the Japanese sales charts. Until now that is, as the new Honda Insight has gotten off to a strong start in Japan. April 2009 saw 10,481 new Insights registered in Japan, which puts it just ahead of the Honda Fit with 9,443 sales. The Fit was the top selling car in Japan for both the 2008 calendar year and fiscal year. So far through three months, buyers have purchased 19,475 Insights.
It will be interesting to watch what takes place over the next several months as the new Prius goes on sale. While Honda emphasizes that the two cars are not direct competitors, Toyota has seen the writing on the wall and priced the Prius aggressively in order to try and claw back some sales from the Honda Hybrid.
Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.
Insight Becomes First Hybrid Vehicle to Rank as Best-Selling Vehicle* in Japan
TOKYO, Japan, May 11, 2009 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that Insight ranked as the industry's best-selling car among new vehicle registrations* in Japan for the month of April 2009, with sales of 10,481 units (source: Japan Automobile Dealers Association). It is the first time in history for a hybrid model to be the industry's best selling vehicle in Japan for any monthly sales period.
Fit was the industry's best-selling car among new vehicle registrations in Japan for calendar year 2008 and the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. Fit was also the industry's best-selling car for the month of March 2009, for the fourth consecutive month since December 2008, until it was displaced by Insight to become the industry's second best-selling car in April 2009,with sales of 9,443 units. It is the first time Honda has occupied the industry's top two best-selling car positions.
Since its introduction on February 6, 2009, the all-new Insight has been very well received by a wide range of customers due to its excellent environmental performance, easy-to-use packaging, light and comfortable driving and affordable pricing.
* excluding mini-vehicles - under 660cc
♦ Insight sales in Japan (source: Japan Automobile Dealers Association)
Sales of Insight was announced February 5, 2009, and began February 6, 2009
(since sales start)
|Monthly ranking among new vehicle registrations in Japan|
|February 2009 Sales Result||4,906 units||10th|
|March 2009 Sales Result||4,088 units||21st|
|April 2009 Sales Result||10,481 units||1st|