By on June 24, 2010

Hybrids are flying off the lots in Japan, with Toyota’s Prius leading the charts for the 12th month in a row. Before, that spot was taken by another hybrid, the Honda Insight. In the Battle of the Hybrids, Honda introduces a fighter that hits below the belt, at the wallet: Honda will launch a hybrid in Japan that will cost around $17,000 in today’s dollars, “making it the most affordable hybrid in Japan,” The Nikkei [sub] says. The Nikkei sees a hybrid price war erupting in Japan.

The so far unnamed Honda hybrid will be based on their Fit, and will share core components with the Insight. It will be priced around $4,500 below Honda’s Insight, and only around $2,200 above the gas-powered Fit.

Toyota’s Prius goes for around $23,000 in Japan. According to the Nikkei, Toyota is “planning to release a new hybrid next year for a comparable price but equipped with better batteries,” and “competition between Japan’s two leading automakers looks likely to intensify.”

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12 Comments on “Honda To Introduce Budget Hybrid...”

  • avatar

    Didn’t they already try making a cheaper hybrid with the Insight, which lacks key safety features (ESC not standard) and was almost universally panned in reviews?

  • avatar

    Surely Honda and Toyota are stepping up their hybrid game in preparation for when the Chevy Volt is introduced in Japan.

  • avatar

    Economies of Scale WAR is going on.
    This may really make things interesting.

    At the Volt’s price point, they won’t even be in the race.
    [ But I’m sure you knew that. ]

    The Japanese PEOPLE are doing something about their Oil Addiction, Global Warming, Pollution and Balance of Trade.

  • avatar

    How well does the Civic hybrid sell (if at all) in Japan ?

    I thought the market had already decided that a hybrid must look like a hybrid before large numbers of people will buy it.

  • avatar
    Some Guy

    If price is the primary goal, Honda is going to wear the crown for the crappiest, slowest, tinniest, noisiest, and least refined hybrid on the planet.

  • avatar

    The Japanese are building products for money. Really.

    Swapping the mechanicals over to the Fit shouldn’t be difficult, since it’s the platform donor for the Insight, and has all that space in the back for batteries (since the fuel tank is under the driver). The problem is, the industry has already shown that people buying hybrids want their car to look… hybrid-y.

    Still, good news. May mean that hybrids are coming that people other than Japanese or American buyers can afford.

  • avatar

    When Honda came out with the Insight, every salesperson to lot porter wondered why they didn’t just make the Fit a hybrid. The Civic type of hybrid wouldn’t cut it and it didn’t. So now they’ve decided that the guys washing the cars at the dealerships are smarter than they are. Hey guys grab the hose.

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