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Hi all! Just thought I would share this.....

http://www.autoblog.com/entry/1234000890073126
Why the Insight soldiers on
Posted Dec 19, 2005, 1:30 PM ET by John Neff
Related entries: Coupes, Hybrids/Alternative

Bill Moore of EVWorld.com had a chance to pick the brain of Honda’s Gunnar Lindstrom, the senior manager of American Honda’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Programs. The question Bill asked is a good one – what’s up with the Insight?

Through November the Insight has sold only 624 units for American Honda in 2005, with only the hydrogen fuel cell-powered FCX listed below it at six units. Why then go on selling a vehicle that’s remained virtually unchanged since its introduction in 2000?

Lindstrom’s answer is, as you’d expect, that the Insight means much more to Honda than just sales. Every time the EPA and Natural Resources Canada publish their best and worst in the area of fuel economy, the Insight appears in the top spot, conspicuously above the name of one Toyota Prius, the runaway hit of hybrid sales. As long as Honda can squat in that top spot it will, which means the Insight will go on indefinitely until Honda can replace it with something just as thrifty.
 

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I just can't believe 624 vehicles in 2005 (I'm one of them)

I love my Insight, it is such a cool car, its fun to drive, looks interesting, gets great MPG yet has decent power. It is very comfortable, big inside, holds me and all my stuff. It really doesn't cost very much to buy or own. Why aren't these cars selling?
 

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The reason I can see that it is not selling is that the market for a 2 seater with such a peculiar look lies within a small demographic piece of the big pie.

A lot of folks, interested in a hybrid other than the Prius, look toward the HCH. For almost the same price you could have 2 more doors and seats, more kewl gizmos. The practicality of such a choice is obvious....at a certain age range, lots of folks are making that big decision to start a family or will be in a short time. The HCH gives you more options for change in a person's life.
 

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One of my local dealerships told me they only get one a year. So I suppose if they're not willing to order one, that's a limited selection. Still, that's good news to hear it will be kept in production (possibly).
 

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"Why aren't these cars selling?"

Honda doesn't want to sell a lot of them, because they cost more to build than they're sold for. They want to get that top spot on the mileage lists, and the practical experience of using hybrids in the real world, and are willing to invest a certain amount of money to get them.

Suppose they built & sold a lot of hybrids, and they turned out to have issues that only showed up after several years of use. There would be the potential for major losses from warranty recalls & liability issues. This way they get the good publicity and experience, while limiting their exposure. Seems sensible to me.
 
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