WhichCar
Powered by
  • WheelsWheels
  • MOTORMOTOR
  • 4X4 Australia4X4 Australia
  • Street MachineStreet Machine
  • Trade Unique CarsTrade Unique Cars

Top of the charts

By Peter Nunn, 13 May 2009 Features

Top of the charts

Sales figures prove Honda's green Insight hybrid is far from a passing ideological fad. Peter Nunn reports from Japan ...

Honda has truly hit the ground running with the Insight, which in April became the first hybrid-powered car to top the sales charts in Japan.


Honda's compact 1.3-litre Insight hybrid stunned the industry by going number one with 10.481 sales.

In the process, it overtook Honda's Jazz (9443 units) which had been Japan number one, to make it a dominant Honda 1-2 in the charts.

That's according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association, the august body that oversees domestic sales statistics over 660 cc.

In this compact class, Japanese consumers love anything that is new, hi-tech, eco friendly and, ahem, value-based. Honda's Insight which has been in strong demand right from its launch in Tokyo on February 6 strategically ticks all those boxes.

The Insight's sales performance must have raised a few extra smiles inside Honda's Aoyama HQ as well because it comes just days before Toyota is about to pull the trigger on the third generation Prius.

It's not often that Honda puts the skids on Toyota in the hybrid wars, but this sales "first" with the Insight counts as one such occasion, an indicator as well perhaps that hybrids are starting to get closer to going mainstream.