Production of the Honda Insight is ending, the victim of poor sales, according to a report by business wire Bloomberg. Honda had informed dealers as far back as last November to stop taking orders for the car.
While the Insight is credited as being the first hybrid on the U.S. market, having been launched in 1999, seven months ahead of the Prius, it was a subcompact two-seat hatchback that was a far cry from the current compact 5-door model that was launched in 2009. And unlike the Prius, which could run in pure electric mode, the Honda Integrated Motor Assist is a mild hybrid that uses the electric motor to boost the output of the drivetrain which relies primarily on a conventional 4-cylinder engine to drive the front wheels.
Only 4,802 Insights were sold last year, an 18-percent drop from a year earlier and according to Automotive News, Honda has a 237-day supply of the car on hand far above the 60-day inventory that is considered the industry norm. That surplus is reflected in the KBB Fair Market Price, about $1,000 below the Insight's MSRP, which ranges from $19,525 for base models up to $24,705 for the EX with navigation.
While the Insight will be discontinued, there's no word on the fate of the CR-Z two-seat hybrid which is also based on the same platform. Honda also sells hybrid versions of its Civic, Accord and an EV version of the Fit.
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