Saturday, January 12, 2008

Three more Hybrids coming up for 2011

It’s game time for Honda as they challenge their rival Toyota in the arena of Hybrid vehicles.

While Toyota’s Prius may be dominating the Hybrid market in the US, Honda is not one to be let down. Its “ambitious” plans for their fleet of Hybrid vehicles include two new hybrid-only vehicles and an upgrade of one of their hybrids in the next three years. By 2009, Honda already has set its goals of adding a new dedicated hybrid which is more affordable than the Civic hybrid. Already, they are expecting to sell 200,000 units of the new hybrid-only vehicle in its first year in the market, with 100,000 being sold in the States.

It was Honda President Takeo Fukui who said that the next-generation Civic hybrid and the recently debuted CR-Z were to be expected by 2011. The company however, did not confirm if whether or not the CR-Z will be sold in the US. Honda did not reveal any pricing details yet, but according to Fukui the new models are targeted to be more affordable than their current lineup of hybrids.

“Around 2011, all those three models are ready to go, so we’ll be achieving 400,000 to 500,000 global production of hybrids,” Fukui said in a conference, speaking through an interpreter. “These models we worked on the cost to reduce their costs because MSRP is very important to customers, so we think these vehicles will be very appealing.”

Dating back to history, it was Honda who first introduced the States to hybrid vehicles through the Insight back in 1999. But when Toyota introduced the Prius after a year, it quickly gained sales and overshadowed the Insight. Honda’s fleet was eventually phased out, as they were planning a new approach in their next generation of hybrids. President and Chief Executive of American Honda Motor Co. mused that the Insight was not practical, which made it an easy competitor of the Prius.