Honda CEO Takanobu Ito has demanded his engineers develop a car that exceeds the fuel economy of Toyota’s Prius. Honda’s head expanded on his plan to reporters today the 2010 Detroit auto show.
With the less-than-exciting sales figures for the Insight, Honda must succeed in order to compete in the popular segment. Ito hinted that Honda may add a vehicle to its lineup rather than reinvent the existing Insight before its model run ends. “We want to develop and expand our hybrids,” said Ito. “We made some major sacrifices to shift people and resources to do that.” Ito mentioned that Honda’s hybrid system was ready to be expanded into other small vehicles, but its large vehicles wouldn’t get the treatment quite yet.
As it stands, the Insight is capable of 40 mpg city and 43 on the highway, while the Prius achieves a much more impressive 51 city and 48 highway. Sales figures for the Insight in 2009 were 20,572, compared to 139,682 for the Prius. While Honda undercuts Toyota by $2600 with its offering, price obviously isn’t the only factor in purchasing a gas sipper.
Honda will debut its production CR-Z sports oriented hybrid today at the Detroit auto show. While fuel economy figures haven’t been disclosed yet, could this be Honda’s silver bullet? With the hybrid and price wars at full tilt, it seems that it can only benefit consumers.
Source: Automotive News