Remember when selling 100,000 hybrids was something to tout? Today, Honda comes calling with the news that, since putting its first-gen Insight on sale in 1999, the company has sold more than a million hybrids around the world.
Clearly, the company’s gas-electric sales pace is quickening – it took Honda until 2005 to sell its first 100,000. At the time, only the Insight, Civic Hybrid and Accord Hybrid were available. By 2007, with no new models added to the list, another 100,000 had been sold. Honda introduced the second-gen Insight in 2009 and the CR-Z and Fit Hybrid in 2010. By December of that year, the company had cleared its decks of 600,000 units, and the pace of new introductions was about to increase.
2011 saw three new hybrid models (in Japan only), the Fit Shuttle, Freed and Freed Spike. This year, Acura introduced the ILX Hybrid in the US and Canada and, last month, after almost 13 years of offering hybrids, cumulative sales for the two brands hit seven digits. The US is responsible for 318,000 of those. Next year, a new Accord gas-electric and Accord Plug-In Hybrid will arrive with improved powertrains.
To compare, the world’s hybrid leader, Toyota, is now making and selling over a million hybrids a year and has sold over four million through the years. That’s impressive, but let’s remember that it has taken over a decade for Honda and Toyota to reach these numbers, which can help put the White House’s goal of having one million plug-ins on the road by 2015 into perspective.