Honda to Cut Price Delta of Civic Hybrids; May Phase Out Gasoline-Powered Civics
22 December 2005
Bloomberg. Honda said it will cut the extra cost of hybrid powertrains on the Civic (earlier post) by a third within 5 years and possibly will begin to phase out the gasoline-powered version in some markets, including Japan.
The additional cost of a Civic’s hybrid powertrain will fall by a third to ¥200,000 yen ($1,702) each, as development costs are halved, President Takeo Fukui told Bloomberg in an interview. The Civic Hybrid has a four-month waiting list in Japan.
Once we are able to cut costs and lower the premium price of the hybrids, there is a possibility that in some markets like Japan, we will only sell Civic Hybrids and no more gasoline-powered Civics. We plan to install diesels in bigger models and hybrids in smaller models.—President Takeo Fukui
Honda may put diesel engines in light trucks in North America, where it sells about 49% of its vehicles, according to Fukui. Last month, Nissan indicated it may put diesel engines in US pickup trucks and SUVs to cut emissions and address market concerns about fuel economy. (Earlier post.)
Honda may have to expand its factories in East Liberty, Ohio, and Alliston, Canada, to meet growing demand for its Civic and Fit compact cars. The Ohio factory is now running at full capacity and the automaker imports Japan-made Civics to fulfill US demand.
Honda begins sales of the compact Fit in the US in 2006, and expects monthly sales of 4,000 to 5,000 units in the first 12 months.
Hum, if Honda begins phasing out non-hybrid gasoline civics, does this mean there will be a hybrid Civic SI on the horizon? Or maybe the Si will go to a seperate platform (a new CRX?)
Guess we'll see... I'd personally like to see a hybrid S2000 (no CVT though please).
Posted by: Ash | 22 December 2005 at 11:52 AM
They've done the Civic and Accord, their two highest volume models, now maybe they'll move onto the next two. They already put VCM on the Oddesy minivan, I would think theres a lot of accord hybrid tech that could be carried over. Same with the four cylinder CRV and the civic. They couldn't use the civic's smaller engine but they're both FWD 4 cylinders...
Posted by: eric | 22 December 2005 at 01:38 PM
As a prius and s2000 owner, I don't see a near-s2000 happening. Hybrids are too easily defeated by tire choice. Folks have killed their Prius mileage by getting "aggressive looking" tire/wheel combos. And you've pretty much got to stick with the "high mileages special" tires to keep your 50 mpg. I'm sure it takes a lot to push those fat sticky s2000 tires down the road (and that's why I always get 22mpg in that car). They do stick though. ;-)
I'd go for a less agressive, open top, two seat hybrid.
Posted by: odograph | 22 December 2005 at 03:36 PM
The one good think about the GM 'hybrids' is that someone is probobly going to figure out how to take the Saturn Green Line hybrid system and drop it in the Solstice. That would be kinda cool.
I think when they talk about phasing out the 'gasoline powered Civics' they might phase out the base gas model but not the SI. The SI is its own market and now with the new model doing fine. Of course they will not phase out the gasoline powered civics, because even the hybrid is galsone powered. :)
Posted by: hampdenwireless | 22 December 2005 at 07:38 PM
Yeah I don't think an S2000 hybrid is comming soon, just saying it'd be nice. As for tire/wheel choice, that effects gas milage always, but I wasn't talking about an S2000 that gets 50mpg :) But an S2000 with some decent torque, along with slightly increased mpg and lowered emissions would be welcome imo.
Tire choice isn't the only thing that makes hybrids get better mpg :)
Posted by: Ash | 24 December 2005 at 06:31 PM