Honda announced a milestone achievement this week. After 12 years and 11 months of global sales, the Japanese automaker sold its one-millionth hybrid.
Honda’s hybrids have come a long way since the original Insight first went on sale in Japan in 1999. In the U.S., Honda introduced the Civic Hybrid, original six-cylinder Accord Hybrid, CR-Z, and the Acura ILX Hybrid, which has the distinction of being the one millionth Honda Hybrid ever sold.
While the original Honda Insight arrived less than a year after the first-generation Toyota Prius in Japan, it actually beat the Prius to the market here in the hybrid-loving United States. Despite that advantage, Toyota has long surpassed the million mark for its hybrid vehicles. In fact, as of May of this year, Toyota has sold four million hybrids globally. Its popular Prius lineup alone has trumped Honda’s hybrid sales; Toyota reached the million marker in U.S. Prius sales back in April, and has sold over two million of the gas sipper globally as of October 2010.
Honda isn’t taking rival Toyota’s hybrid sales lead sitting down. Within the next couple years Honda will be introducing a new generation of hybrids it hopes will slow Toyota’s lead. The new Accord will be getting a plug-in hybrid variant next year and a traditional hybrid after that. In the coming years, Acura may get three new all-wheel-drive hybrids: the four-door RLX hybrid sedan, the reborn Acura NSX, and possibly even an MDX hybrid crossover.
So why have Toyota hybrids thoroughly outsold Honda hybrids? Some say it might have to do with the technology while others might point to the original Prius’ more traditional four-door sedan body style.. Either way, we want to know what you think Honda needs to change in order to attempt to catch Toyota’s hybrid sales. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.