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Insight Becomes First Hybrid Vehicle to Rank as Best-Selling Vehicle in Japan

Insight sales in Japan from launch. Click to enlarge.

Honda’s Insight (earlier post) ranked as the best-selling car among all new vehicle registrations in Japan in April—excluding mini-vehicles with displacement of less than 660cc—with sales of 10,481 units, according to data from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

This marks the first time a hybrid model has been the best selling vehicle in Japan for any monthly sales period.

The Insight G. Click to enlarge.

The Honda Fit was the best-selling car among new vehicle registrations in Japan for calendar year 2008 and the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. Fit was also the industry’s best-selling car for the month of March 2009, for the fourth consecutive month since December 2008, until it was displaced by Insight.

Fit then became the industry’s second best-selling car in April 2009,with sales of 9,443 units. It is the first time Honda has occupied the industry’s top two best-selling car positions.

It the first three months of sales, Insight has sold 19,475 units in Japan.

The Insight combines a 1.3-liter SOHC aluminum-alloy i-VTEC engine and CVT, with the fifth generation of Honda’s IMA hybrid system. The Insight’s IMA system includes a 10 kW (13 hp) electric motor that delivers 68 lb-ft (92 N·m) of torque and a compact Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) consisting of a 5.75 Ah, 100.8V NiMH battery pack, Power Control Unit (PCU), motor Electric Control Unit (ECU), and cooling system

In the US, the Insight carries an EPA city/highway/combined fuel-economy rating of 40/43/41 miles per gallon US.



Compare this at $20k in the U.S. with a Camry hybrid at $30k or a Fusion hybrid at $31k. The Fusion still gets 40 mpg city and has more room. Classic market think would tell you Americans would buy the Fusion or Camry. However, the Honda lots all have dozens of the new Insights and it is my guess they will sell like the proverbial hotcakes.


i sat in the back seat, and being Asian my head is touching the roof! not cool!

Front seat was good though, but I'd hate to sit in the back of the new insight.

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