Death by diesel? That may be the epitaph of the Honda Insight and CR-Z in Europe, where the Japanese automaker will discontinue sales of the two hybrid models before to the 2015 model-year. A Honda spokesman confirmed the discontinuation to Automotive News, and information on those models has been taken off of Honda's official websites in Germany, Spain and Italy. The European embrace of all things diesel and fuel efficient as well as competition from Toyota are the primary culprits.
The cancellation is not a surprise. Insight sales in Europe fell a whopping 62 percent last year while CR-Z sales there plunged 66 percent. Combined, both models sold less than 2,000 units in Europe last year, Automotive News says, citing JATO Dynamics. Honda is having trouble moving the Jazz Hybrid (also known as the Fit) in Europe as well. European sales declined about 40 percent last year to around 4,500 units. Those numbers compare rather unfavorably to a 43 percent surge in Toyota's hybrid sales in Europe to about 153,000 units.
The Insight may face the same fate in the US. Last year, US Insight sales fell 18 percent to 4,802 units, a small, small challenge to the more than 234,000 Toyota Prius variants sold in the US in 2013. Honda has not made an official statement on the Insight's fate here, but the sales are speaking for themselves.