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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know if Insights will be offered
in 2005? The dealer doesn't know. I've contacted
customer relations and they said they'd get back
to me with an answer. I'm planning to sell my 2k
Insight and get a new one. There appears to be
only a few new '04s left and will have to make a
decissoin soon.
Jackmpg
2kRed 56k
100k war lmpg 72.8
 

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honestly, i don't know if the dealers know.

i am finally reaching the end of the gargantuan saga that has led up to me getting my Insight.

to anyone who wants a silver 5spd with no A/C, you're out of luck, it seems i got the only one left. it's not the one we originally ordered ( feb14 ), apparently that didn't make the march cutoff...

the prevailing non-professional/non-official opinion between me and my contact at the dealershp is that they will probably have another teensy window for ordering them come wintertime or new model year, or whatever... apparently the '04s have all been built for what seems about a month or more now, so if you want an '04 that's not on your favourite dealer's lot; KISS UP HARDCORE TO YOUR CONTACT AT THE DEALERSHIP. he will probably have to spend each day searching all 50 states on the locate for you ( tho this might be completely wrong, as i wanted specifically no A/C, so if you fancy A/C or don't care, your chances are likely better ).

apparently Honda is also rolling out a new dealer/inventory/management interface front-end system which, according to my guy, means he can't hit up the dealer-only www pages from home anymore. this is not in place yet, but is likely to be rolling, i'd guess, sometime before the leaves turn.

my dealer has literally been pulling locates about 3x daily, and has rounded through the greater 48 states each at least 8 times in the past week to find this puppy. needless to say, and currently unbeknownst to him, both he and the guy from the dealership we're trading with are getting some good singlemalt for their efforts. ( the kicker is that the guy at the other dealership wants an element for trade <G> ).

now only if i can get those bitchin' black/gray seats from an '00-'03 swapped out for the grandma tan in the '04s, i'll be ecstatic.

but as far as '05 goes, i would be surprised to not see them. the Civic Hybrid is certainly their cash cow, as far as hybrids go, but there is probably going to be more market for the Insight next year than at least two of the smallest-demand previous years combined, so, and again, i believe him to be a reliable source, but i also believe him when he says he knows absolutely nothing for certain and we're just agreeing on conjecture and gut-impressions, that it smells at the moment like the '04s are done but there should be some '05s...

of course, now that i say that, watch and see the insight be removed from honda's www lineup or something...
 

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E ticket said:
I'm looking at Insights right now and all the dealers I have talked with have said this is the last year for the Insight.
one thing to keep in mind, with respect to the end of production for the '04 model year, is:

- how many individual insights and has that dealer/dealership ever sold?
- which model years?
- at what times of year did they sell them?

it is very conceivable that your dealers/dealerships have just not had much experience with this car. it's conceivable ( but i might be COMPLETELY WRONG ) that honda has suspended model-year-specific productions [of the Insight] before and that dealer would not have known just because it so happened that nobody approached them wanting an Insight during that time -- could be that the few times they ordered them they were in production so there was no reason to know anything to the contrary...

i hope i am not saying hope-inflating things in vain and it turns out the production of the Insight, for all time, ceased this year, this month, but *maybe* it is just that worst-case you need to wait it out?
 

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Congradulations on your find. Things are just starting to warm up for hybrids so I can not imagine why Honda would quit on the Insight now.
 

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My take is that making and selling the Best MPG vehicle is a prestige point for honda. Production of the insght will stop when one of 2 things happen. A) Honda builds another model which will be number 1. It does not have to be more effiecent than the Insight, a more efficent Civic would do. It just has to be number 1. or B) Some other company builds a vehicle that surprises honda and takes the crown away from the Insight. Honda will stop Insight production and maybe, after a year or 2, you might see the IMAS or whatever take the crown back.

All MHO.
 

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I'm looking at Insights right now and all the dealers I have talked with have said this is the last year for the Insight.
That may not be a totally unbiased opinion, though. "This is the last year...buy this one now while you can" is better for the car salesman than "They may make them next year, come back in 6-7 months and find out."
 

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b1shmu63 said:
Congradulations on your find. Things are just starting to warm up for hybrids so I can not imagine why Honda would quit on the Insight now.
One reason Honda would quit on the Insight is that the sales have gone down each of the last three years. They sold less than 2000 last year, so they are losing money on them. Losing money is a good reason to stop production. Maybe if they advertised them they might sell more. I have never seen them advertised. How many people out there complaining about the price of gas even know there is a car out there that can get 70+ MPG? I have only seen the Insight in one Honda commercial, and all they did was show all the cars they made, saying nothing about them.
 

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I've never seen Honda dealerships display an Insight :shock: You'd think they would use the US highest MPG car as a trophy. Dodge dealerships sure put the Viper and Prowler on display.

When I bought Insight it was on the back row!
 

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cakley said:
I've never seen Honda dealerships display an Insight
I used to see them often on display inside the showroom back in 2000 and 2001, often right next to an S2000, which made a real impression on me, the commonalities between the two. Since the release of the Civic Hybrid I have rarely seen Insights on the lot, and none in the showrooms.
 

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Honda should take every chance to brag about the Insight. I've had my car for three years now and just yesterday driving down the highway in traffic I was asked about the car.
Perhaps it wouldn't help in the sales for the Insight but it would surely help "Honda".
 

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cakley said:
I've never seen Honda dealerships display an Insight :shock: You'd think they would use the US highest MPG car as a trophy. Dodge dealerships sure put the Viper and Prowler on display.

When I bought Insight it was on the back row!
When the Hagerstown, Md dealership has one, they have it right outside the showroom by the entrance where everyone entering the lot can't miss it. Had one there on Friday. Thanks to everyone for their Mobil 1 comments.
 

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"Losing money is a good reason to stop production. Maybe if they advertised them they might sell more."

I believe Honda has always lost money on the Insight. According to all reports, each one costs more to build - I think $25K or more? - than the list price, so they don't WANT to sell too many of them :)

I think the point of the Insight was to introduce hybrid technology to the market, and get real-world experience that they could then build into their whole line, while snagging whatever public relations benefits come from having the highest MPG of any US production car. Losses on their sale could thus be written off to R&D or PR.

In that light, I think it makes sense for them to continue limited production until they have a next generation - maybe the IMAS - to offer.
 

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I've never seen actual documentation, but auto magazines such as Car and Driver and also AutoWeek have reported in the past that Honda does in fact take a $3K to $5K loss on each Insight it sells. I can't remember where I saw it, but some time ago I remember reading something quoting someone from Honda basically saying exactly what James was talking about, that Honda was doing the Insight as a real-world proof of concept vehicle that they could get real world data on how normal drivers like, react to, and use a hybrid car, and that doing this would give the company data they wouldn't get running a bunch of miles on a fleet of cars at a test track or on dynos or similarly instrumented machines. I think I also remember hearing or reading, maybe in this forum, about Honda trading a '03 Insight to an owner of an '00 Insight who was amongst the first to take his Insight past 100K miles so they could tear the car down and find out what 100K miles of real-world miles had done to the car.

Certainly even though they might take a loss on the Insight, Honda takes that loss in production so they'll want to sell every last one they produce to mitigate their costs as much as possible. But if the car is not at least able to get to a break-even point based on costs of production versus revenue from sales, then they won't make it forever. With the introduction of the Civic Hybrid, and with the Accord Hybrid going on sale later this year, its obvious that even if the Insight survives into the '05 model year that its days are numbered. We should also remember that hybrid technology is not the only factor in why it costs so much to produce. The extensive use of Aluminum, which is not cheap, is also a major contributor to the increased production costs compared to a conventionally powered steel bodied car of the same class as the Insight. The Civic and Accord hybrids are fairly conventional in the sense that they don't have aluminum body structures like the Insight.

Honda can take this loss per car and still do okay because they're a huge company which is taking big profits on the rest of the cars in its line. At the same time, as an engine company, Honda has always been interested in innovations in the engine compartment (CVCC in the '70s and '80s, VTEC in the '90s, and now hybrid technology in the '00s), so spending some money to get their newest technology out in and in the public mindset is less a "loss" and more of a long term investment. Figure they've sold probably less than 30,000 Insights worldwide (the figure might be less than that, I'm not sure), so at worst Honda has "sunk" $150M into the car that won't be recouped. For a company with revenues well into the billions of dollars, and considering development costs on any car these days often escalate into the hundreds of millions of dollars or more, I'm sure Honda's doing okay despite their losses on the Insight.
 
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Hi Hambone:

___As for $150M to produce, I would bet it is more in the area of $300 - $500 M. Most automobiles cost ~ $250M - $500M from the initial decision to “go” to the time the first automobile drives off the dealers lot IIRC? Remember this was Honda’s Hybrid test bed with new tech in the engine fabrication, construction, design, aluminum uni-body and sheet design/fabrication, Hybrid pack and MG set assist, regenerative braking, HW and SW to control the Hybrid electrics and on and on and on. I don’t think much was taken from the Civic’s for our Insight’s (maybe the Cassette based Radio from the early to mid-90’s Accord’s) which just makes it all the more costly! The electric’s themselves had to be god awful expensive in the initial year or two of production? Adding insult to injury, you have 30 - 50 a day being hand built over the entire 4 years production run. That ain’t cheap in that small a quantity by any stretch of the imagination!

___In the case of the Prius, Toyota borrowed the ICE from the Echo, the suspension and brake HW (non-regenerative) from the Corolla/Echo, Radio from the Corolla/Camry (I think?), the CVT is a much less costly tranny then any other automobiles automatic, and they added the lux features from any of their higher end Toyota/Lexus models. Albeit with a loss of some basics like adjustable and heated seats, telescopic steering column, CD/MP3 player, warm air ducts to the rear … I digress, the Insight was an almost from scratch high tech design and with that, design and fabrication costs probably far exceeded just about any other automobile I could imagine?

___Real amortized losses for our little beauties are unfortunately probably on the order of $10 - $30 K per vehicle, not $3 - $5K. $150M to $500M is just the initial investment, not the recurring cost of production with no possible way to recoup any of it. This just means a slow and non admirable death for our little beauties even though we are probably driving the best high mileage automobile of our time.

___Just my opinion of course ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3acalxc5][email protected][/email:3acalxc5]
 

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I was only talking about the per car losses when I referenced the $150M Honda has probably lost on the Insight, I'm sure that the development plus the production costs of the Insight would probably exceed a Billion dollars for Honda if added up.
 
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