First Official Honda Insight Image

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
first official honda insight image

This is the first official shot of Honda’s upcoming Prius-fighter. And if anyone can take on the Prius (which despite being down 50% in November compared to November 2007, still sold 8600 units), it’s Honda with this car. I say that because (1) Honda has genuine hybrid building experience with the Insight, and (2) unlike previous hybrid efforts from many manufacturers, it’s not merely a hybridized version of an existing car. It looks unique, and that carries the image that’s so critical in the hybrid market. Previously, we reported that the Insight was targeted to go on sale this Spring for less than $20,000. With continuing reports that Toyota may be taking a loss on every Prius, I’m not sure how Honda plans to pull this off. Still, if you’er into this sort of car (and I’m really not at all), you probably won’t care what Honda’s bottom line is.

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  • Justin Berkowitz Justin Berkowitz on Dec 03, 2008
    ExtraO : “And besides, when has Occam’s razor ever applied to cars?” With that flip remark you just guaranteed one less reader of any posting under your byline. It wasn't flip at all. I think it's a fair point to say car marketing and sales are way too complex to summarize with a single "simplest theory fits" method of analysis. Still, if you choose not to read anything I write again, you'll probably find yourself in good company. If not good, then plentiful. It does sound quite funny in the abstract: "I refuse to read anything that moron writes - he doesn't even think Occam's Razor applies to cars!"
  • Justin Berkowitz Justin Berkowitz on Dec 03, 2008
    KixStart: [M1EK disagrees with the importance of the look and the impact of image on buying a Prius...] Justin Berkowitz: “You’re putting other people’s words in my mouth.” Didn’t look like it from here. Oh seriously, come on. I think it's really deeply unfair to respond to my claim that he's putting words in my mouth and then paraphrase what he was saying in the first place. And if you read his posts, it was clear that I never said much of what he was suggesting. I never said hybrid cars are a fad. I also never said that they sell exclusively because of a green halo. M1EK: That’s _possible_ but if the green halo was THAT strong, the Insight would have sold far better than it did. Much MORE likely is what I and everybody else keep telling you: there are some objective reasons for buying the Prius over the CH that have nothing to do with the green halo and that are common metrics people use for deciding between ANY two cars. Yes, I agree with you. Quite honestly, I am completely confused as to why you think all buyers think the same way. My initial claim is that green image is a necessary component in making a hybrid car a sales success. Or, as I said in the post originally, "It looks unique, and that carries the image that’s so critical in the hybrid market." There are many necessary elements in a hybrid car being a success: 1. Function as a car 2. Price 3. MPG 4. Image I said "You have to have green image to be able to sell a hybrid successfully (i.e. on a large scale)." You said "No, people buy cars for many different reasons." These aren't mutually exclusive. All I am saying is that without the image component, it's much harder to sell a hybrid car to large numbers of people in the U.S.
  • M1EK M1EK on Dec 04, 2008

    The implication of "so critical" would be: 1. Image 99. Everything else "Quite honestly, I am completely confused as to why you think all buyers think the same way." Once the Prius became a top-20 car, it is beyond reason to continue to claim that it's selling simply or even primarily because of image. The numbers are large enough that it's ridiculous to claim that there's such a substantial difference, now, between Prius drivers and, say, Camry drivers. There simply isn't. While I appreciate your later comments as more rational than the original post, surely it's clear you're backing away from an unsupportable position that many of the troglodytes still hold? Throw red meat to the animals and then wash your hands kind of thing? Again, Occam's Razor suggests that the simpler explanation is right more often than the more complicated one, absent strong evidence either way. We have a simple theory on the table that isn't contradicted: the Prius is bigger than the other hybrids, much more useful, and gets better mileage. Your theory, on the contrary, dies as soon as you look at the (old) Insight. QED.

  • Debushau Debushau on Dec 09, 2008

    I thought the concept was attractive and about the only hybrid I would have seriously considered buying. And it would have been even better if offered with a nice 4 cylinder turbo engine sans hybrid motor and a nice sorted Euro-Ford type suspension. But this is just a sad, cheap Prius copy.