LOS ANGELES -- The launch advertising declared the Honda Insight "the hybrid for everyone."
"We don't want a car for a sliver of the market," Steve Center, Honda vice president of advertising and public relations, said at the launch in March.
And in a transparent dig at the Toyota Prius, he added, "This is going to be a populist's car, not an elitist's car."
But so far, the Insight's sales look like a sliver.
Honda's initial 90,000-unit U.S. sales goal was revised to 60,000 because of the weak economy. But sales of the Insight since its March launch total just 17,530, for an annual sales rate of about 25,000, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
The conclusion after eight months: The Insight badly trails the segment-leading Prius, although the Insight is selling better than other rival hybrids. … Read more