Honda is warning that it may not meet its forecasted sales target for the all-new 2010 Insight hybrid and is citing both the worldwide recession and the low cost of gas as factors.
The Japanese automaker set an ambitious target of 200,000 units for the car's first year, with almost half of those vehicle sales being in the U.S.
"Given some dramatic change in things, I don't think we'll get to 90,000. At 50,000 to 60,000, we will be just fine," said Honda America VP John Mendel to Bloomberg. Despite this news Honda is not updating its forecast.
According to a Reuters report Honda is also concentrating on sales in Japan right now, as unfavorable exchange rates with the U.S. mean that profit margins are slim for cars sold in the U.S.
In Japan, the Insight was the best selling car in the month of April, but Honda lost that title in May to the 2010 Toyota Prius.
U.S. Insight sales may get a significant boost in the second half of 2009 if the Cash for Guzzlers legislation comes into effect. With an average fuel-economy rating of 41 mpg, the Insight will be an ideal candidate for those looking to get a deal as they trade in their high-mpg car or truck.
The Cash for Guzzlers bill gives as much at $4,500 for new vehicles that exceed the traded-in vehicles' fuel-economy rating by 10 mpg. And at a starting price of just $19,800, there are a lot of 31 mpg cars that can be traded in to make that total just $14,300.
More: Honda Insight Sales Lower Than Expected in U.S. on AutoGuide.com