Inventory is probably a bit more complex than we understand. I'm not sure that orders are "slowing down". Here are the factors I believe to be true:
1. During the first year of production, the US allocation of Insights was raised to 6,800 cars. It has remained fixed at this rate ever since.
2. This number includes both special orders (made by customers like me) and normal orders (made by dealerships for cars intended to sit in their showroom).
3. Dealerships tend to order automatic transmissions in cars. They make no exception for this when they use up their 6,800 orders for Insights. If someone wants a 5-speed, dealers call around and swap vehicles to get the car to the person willing to buy it.
4. In the past six months, the Charlottesville, VA Honda dealership has sold more Insights than in the previous three years. Most (or maybe all) of those were 5 speeds. They now have two Insights on the lot with automatic transmission (one blue and one silver).
5. The national inventory has a lot of automatic transmission cars in it. These are not as easy to sell as 5 speeds. Dealers see themselves as being stuck with Insights and they'd rather make more money selling SUVs, so many dealerships don't want to talk to you if you want an Insight. Insights with 5-speed transmissions are harder to get than other cars, so the dealers can't just call each other up to get one anymore.
6. Special ordering an Insight can take months. I ordered mine in March and am expecting to get delivery in June.
So, if you want to get an Insight with an automatic transmission, just call around. You can definitely get one. If you want a 5-speed, you probably need to order one.
Each ordering "cycle" has a one month interval. Information given me at the time of my order implied that there were at least two more ordering cycles following mine, because I ordered one without air conditioning and was told:
1. Honda USA decided that, even for special orders, there would be no Honda Insights ordered for the US without air conditioning during the ordering cycle that includes my car.
2. People complained because a lot of people ordered Insights without air, so Honda USA said, "Okay, okay. We'll make one more order that can include Insights without air conditioning, but not on this ordering cycle. We'll do it on NEXT ordering cycle, but only as a one-time offer. After that, we will discontinue the option of getting an Insight without air conditioning."
I decided to cut a deal with the dealership on the air conditioning. I pay half the cost of the air conditioning I didn't want and I get the car a month sooner. My first car had air conditioning. This will be my seventh vehicle. None of the others had air conditioning, and I didn't want to pay $1,200 for a feature I know I don't need. Paying $600 bothers me less.
So, if you want an automatic transmission and the local dealer won't get one for you, make some long-distance calls. There are plenty of Insights around with automatic transmissions. If you want a 5 speed and the local dealer is so uninterested in your money that they won't order one, find another dealer. There are definitely people out there who can order one for you and would like to exchange it for your money.