New Insight Makes Hybrid History by Topping Japan's Best-Seller List

By Editors on May 12, 2009 8:01 AM

Although the Toyota Prius may have a longer and stronger total track record, Honda's new Insight has managed to outdo its prime rival in one critical area: It has just become the first hybrid vehicle to ever top the automotive new-car best-seller list in Japan. According to data generated by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association, the Insight Hybrid tallied 10,481 sales in April, a figure that leapfrogged it ahead of the vehicle that had previously held top spot in the monthly rankings, Honda's own Fit. This one-two punch for Honda is the first time the manufacturer has filled both best-selling positions. While the Toyota Vitz (sold here as the Yaris) placed third in the April sales tallies, the Prius only managed to garner 21st spot on the list -- ironically enough, the same position the Insight held in the March results. However, that stat also reflects the fact that the all-new Gen III Prius doesn't go on sale in Japan until later this month. Surpassing Prius sales here in the U.S. will likely prove a much tougher task. Nonetheless, Honda execs can't help but be encouraged by the initial impact this affordable new gas/electric sedan has had in the home market.