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Video: 2011 Honda CR-Z Selling Strong, Could Redeem Honda's Hybrid Hopes

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2011 Honda CR-Z

2011 Honda CR-Z

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2011 Honda CR-Z

2011 Honda CR-Z

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One year ago, Honda was ramping up for the roll-out of its 2010 Honda Insight hybrid. The company made big predictions about the Insight, boasting that it would outsell the 2010 Toyota Prius in showrooms around the globe. Sadly for Honda, those dreams didn't come true -- not by a longshot -- but if sales in Japan are any indication, the 2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid could put the company back on the hybrid playing field.

The CR-Z is the hybrid successor to Honda's wildly popular Civic CRX coupe. When the CR-Z launched last month in Japan, Honda had set a conservative goal of moving 1,000 units per month, but the company has already taken orders for 10,000. If sales continue at that pace, the CR-Z will meet its Japanese annual goal of 12,000 units within the next two weeks.

Honda plans to launch the CR-Z in Europe and the U.S. later this year. Chastened by its ill-founded boasts about the Insight and fearful that the CR-Z may be too small for Americans in its two-seater form, Honda has set a cautious goal of 40,000 - 50,000 sales in the CR-Z's first year.

However, we wouldn't be surprised to see sales climb much higher. Demand for the car in Japan is one promising factor. Honda's improved market position thanks to Toyota's recall stumbles is another. And as for its size: Americans have proven that they don't mind smaller cars as long as they're stylish. The Mazda Miata, and the MINI Cooper are good examples of that principle in action -- although slumping sales of the Smart fortwo shows what happens when styling goes off the rails.

For additional details about the CR-Z, check out Bengt Halvorson's overview of the production model from the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. In the meantime, here are a couple of video clips for your amusement: the first CR-Z commercial to run in Japan, and a longer (and slightly more hilarious) promo piece that shows the CR-Z in action.

[WSJ]

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Comments (4)
  1. Hope this keeps up & doesn't take later on like the Insight.
     
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  2. Poor mileage for a hybrid, huge front overhang ensuring snowplow-like handling, FWD, battery pack questions down the line, quirky styling--all questionable. The things the Miata and Mini have in common: fun to drive, good driving dynamics, decent gas mileage, reliable, good resale. The Japanese may like the CR-Z but I'm betting it doesn't do anything for american drivers. Forecast: 6-10K in the first 12 months here. Does Acura have a spin-off?
     
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  3. @R2Dad: I agree, the styling isn't my taste either. But then, my idea of aesthetic (if not mechanic) perfection is the BMW 2002, so what do I know?
     
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  4. The insight sold exceptionally well in japan upon it's release. That didn't translate into strong sales outside of Japan. It won't sell long term because the new CRZ is a turd; lacking the originals agility enabled with a decent independant suspension and super low weight and replacing it with morbid obesity riding on a suspension a camry would be embarrassed to have. shame on you honda.
     
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