While we are fully supportive of a proliferation of powertrains, one thing struck us about the need for the alternatives to be nurtured.
Last week Honda Motor Co.—as in the HQ of the global OEM—announced that by the end of September, 2012, after 12 years, 11 months, the company had sold more than 1-million hybrid vehicles.
The first model, the Honda Insight, went on sale in Japan in November 1999, the same year that hybrid sales started in the U.S. with the model year 2000 Insight, which was the first gasoline-electric hybrid sold in the U.S. (No, the Toyota Prius wasn’t the first hybrid in the U.S. market.)
Since then, cumulative sales of Honda hybrids in the U.S. have been approximately 318,000 units.
2013 Honda Insight
And here’s the thing.
At present, there is no Accord hybrid (though one is coming next year—and there had been one starting in 2004).
Through the end of September, 2012, Honda of America sold 247,847 Accords in the U.S.
Which is about 70,000 fewer units than the total number of Honda hybrids sold in the U.S. after nearly 13 years. It is not inconceivable that Honda will sell nearly 318,000 Accords in the U.S. by year’s end.
This is not to say that selling hybrids is a marginal activity, as going forward, it is going to become more and more important. (E.g., according to the California New Car Dealers Association, during the first nine months of 2012, Prius was the #1 selling name plate in that state, and if you don’t think the California car market is significant. . . )