Jan 5, 2009

Honda Plans New Hybrid for Earth Day 2009

Honda Motor Company plans to roll out a new five-door, five-passenger hybrid for April 22, 2009, (this) year's "Earth Day."

The yet to be named hybrid will below be priced below the Toyota Prius and Civic Hybrid, according to the Japanese automaker. The starting price for the Honda Civic Hybrid is now $22,600.

"We believe our hybrid system is best suited for smaller vehicles where the fuel-efficiency gains are the greatest," said Dick Colliver, Honda's executive vice president for U.S. sales. "The challenge, especially with small cars, is to bring the price down to where more people can afford it."

Honda hopes to sell 200,000 hybrids worldwide with sales eventually reaching 100,000 units in the U.S. The automaker will build the new hybrid in Japan.

Honda also plans a hybrid version of the Fit along with a hybrid sports car called the CR-Z which will be based on the discontinued Honda CRX

So far in 2008, Honda has sold 22,472 Civic Hybrids in the U.S., well behind sales of the popular Toyota Prius. Toyota has sold 106,225 Prius Hybrids.

In 2008 Toyota sold 277,000 hybrid vehicles, roughly 80 percent of the hybrid market.

By Joe Benton

August 14, 2008

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