The eco-friendly automobile is in full effect these days, and Honda is proof of that after announcing that they’ve now sold one million hybrid vehicles globally.
Honda was one of the first automakers to embrace hybrid technology, and they actually came to market in the United States before Toyota did – launching their Honda Insight hybrid in 1999 while the Toyota Prius came stateside in 2000.
Today, Honda sells eight hybrid models around the world and four in the U.S. It may take us Americans a little longer to accept new technology, but sales indicate that the world is exponentially growing more willing to make their next vehicle a hybrid. It took Honda six years to finally sell 100,000 hybrids around the world, but since 2009 they’ve sold at least 200,000 per year until they finally surpassed the 1,000,000 milestone in September of this year.
These days, Honda boasts the second-generation Insight Hybrid, plus the CR-Z and Civic Hybrid. This year they also launched the Acura ILX Hybrid in the U.S. and Canada. Don’t be surprised if Honda soon celebrates the 2 million hybrid sales mark.
Taking the recent growth of sales and their hybrid lineup, Motor Trend poses the question of whether Honda will be able to catch Toyota in the global hybrid sales race. It’s an interesting question -- until you look at the numbers.
Though Toyota came to the U.S. market a few months after Honda, they’ve sold four million hybrid vehicles in the same time it took Honda to reach one million. In fact, the Toyota Prius has sold 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S. in the same time Honda sold 1 million around the world.
Part of that is volume, because Toyota now sells 18 hybrid models globally. Honda is about to introduce the NSX Hybrid and Acura RSX Hybrid, so that should help both sales and their image as a hybrid leader. In the same time, though, Toyota plans to roll out plenty of their own new models, so it seems their sales lead is safe for the foreseeable future.
The race for hybrid supremecy has had interesting effects on the auto industry as a whole, as the frenzy to buy eco-friendly led to automakers like Ford finally building hybrid models, and Chevrolet trying something groundbreaking with the Volt. Even luxury cars are in the mix; Porsche sports the Cayenne and Panamera hybrid models plus the upcoming 918 Spyder, and rumor has it the new Ferrari Enzo replacement will feature a hybrid powertrain nearing 900 horsepower.
Even with all that competition, Honda still produces some of the most advanced and reliable hybrid powertrains in the world and we expect to see much more of the same in years to come.
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