Europe: Honda still committed to hybrids image

Many of us don’t know, but the first generation of the world famous Toyota Prius hybrid was beaten (to the US market, at least) by Honda’s own hybrid model – the Insight.

History has proven that being the first somewhere is certainly not enough – at least when it comes to the hybrids and the auto industry. In 2014, Toyota’s extended lineup of hybrids (which span from the humble subcompact Yaris to the Lexus flagship sedan and SUV) is thriving, while Honda has pulled off both the hybrid sports car CR-Z and the more traditional Insight hatchbacks off the European and North American markets.

“There is no obituary on hybrids,” says Honda Motor Europe sales chief Philip Ross. He did add that for now, their focus for the European market has been on the new 1.6-liter diesel.

During the 2014 edition of the Paris Motor Show the Japanese automaker officially presented the Jazz prototype – essentially a near-production Euro-spec version of the Fit car, sold in Japan and the United States. The sales of the series production model are scheduled for the summer of 2015 – but the model is initially coming with traditional engines. Later on, the company would also bring the Jazz hybrid, based on the Japanese Fit and the official said the engineers expect the version to have CO2 emissions lower than the 100 g/km threshold that needs to be passed in order to receive subventions from certain European states.

Via Automotive News Europe