We brought you news a few days ago that the Honda Insight is the best selling car in Japan. Which would be big enough news if it was the best selling hybrid, but it is in fact the single best selling car at the moment. But as we commented then, Toyota will be fighting back with the new Toyota Prius, which launches in Japan on Monday (18/05/09).
But it looks like despite the Honda Insight’s success, the Toyota Prius may be about to eclipse it. Toyota are claiming to have 75,000 orders for the new Toyota Prius in Japan already, which is more orders than they had sales in the last twelve months. Quite remarkable, and if orders keep coming in at this rate the new Prius is going to be a runaway success.
But then, apart from the US, where the somewhat ‘head-in-the-sand’ attitude to temporarily lower oil prices has resulted in a big drop in interest in more fuel efficient cars, the majority of the world, and particularly areas like Europe where fuel taxation is huge, is still lapping-up anything that uses less fuel. So even Toyota’s target of selling 400,000 Prius a year could be conservative.
In Japan, sales of both the New Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight are expected to keep rising after the Japanese Government introduced a range of incentives for buyers of Hybrid Cars, so at this rate we could see the Prius and Insight being the best-selling Japanese cars bar none.
But really, apart from the fact that we feel the Honda Insight to be the better all-round package, this Hybrid war between two of the biggest car makers in the world can only be good news for car buyers.