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Koji Sasahara/AP
The Honda FCX Clarity

Honda to Show New Hybrid at Auto Show

September 08, 2008 10:47 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
The automaker Honda has decided to revive an old name for a new hybrid car it plans to debut in October.

The Insight

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After unveiling its hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity earlier this year, Honda is now planning to showcase its new ‘Insight,’ a hybrid car, at the Paris Auto Show in October.
 
This isn’t Honda’s first Insight. An older version of the vehicle was introduced as the first mass-produced hybrid in 1999. However, the company phased out the vehicle in 2006 because of weak sales.
 
Chuck Squatriglia of Wired says the new Insight bears “more than a passing resemblance to the Toyota Prius.” According to Squatriglia, the first Insight and the Civic Hybrid “were all but ignored as people flocked to the Prius, which has outsold Honda’s gas-electric models 4 to 1.” Research and development chief Masaaki Kato admitted that the company has misinterpreted what the public wanted to purchase. Hybrid sales have been low as a result. “I must admit that Toyota was better with its strategy of focusing on the Prius and trying to build an environment-friendly image,” Kato said.

Pricing information
for the new Insight is still limited. However, it’s estimated to be around $19,000, which would make the car the world’s cheapest hybrid, according to Wired. The new car won’t be sold until April 2009, but when it reaches the market, Honda hopes to be able to sell 200,000 a year.

The company believes it can continue improving its hybrid car quality, as well. Ultimately, Honda’s goal is to sell 500,000 hybrids annually by early next decade.

Related Topics: Electric cars; the world’s cheapest car

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