Honda Motor Raises Sales Forecasts for Insight HEV
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (Traverse City, MI) said it has raised sales forecasts for its gasoline-electric-powered Insight car, and expects the technology to turn a profit when it is introduced in the mass-market Civic. According to Kazuihiko Tsunoda, chief engineer of research and development, Honda lifted its estimate of US sales to 6,500 units from original estimates of 4,000.The gasoline-electric engine technology allows the Insight to get 70mpg of gasoline in highway traffic and 61mpg in the city, and it never needs to be charged. Tsunoda promised that the hybrid Civic will get better gas mileage than the Prius, which gets 52mpg in the city and 45mpg on the highway. Currently, Honda loses money on the two-seater Insight, which sells for around $20,000 in the US, but the hybrid-powered Civic will be profitable, Tsunoda told reporters. "When the hybrid Civic is introduced, we will make some profits," he said through an interpreter.