Honda Fit to Become the Cheapest Hybrid on Market
Around $16.5k in JapanHonda seems to have figured that if it isn't going to win the hybrid war on technology, it should at least try to win based on price. The first salvo was the Insight hybrid V2.0, which was about $3k less than the 3rd generation Toyota Prius, and the second on is coming soon under the shape of a hybridized Honda Fit which should sell for about 1.5 million Yen in Japan (that's about $16.5k in US dollars).
The new car will cost around 1.5 million yen ($16,570), making it the cheapest hybrid in Japan when it goes on sale this autumn, the Nikkei business daily said.
It will cost about 400,000 yen less than the Insight, Honda's other hybrid offering, and about 200,000 yen more than Honda's popular gasoline-powered Fit compact car, it said. (source)
200,000 Yen is about $2.2k, so if it can deliver high MPG numbers, it should sell like hotcakes. No word yet on when it's coming to North-America or Europe, though.
Hybrid Price War?The fear of some analysts is that this could lead to a price war between Honda and Toyota and reduce the already slim profit margins on hybrids. Personally, I'm not too worried about that. Toyota's not going to stop making hybrids any time soon, and as long as they have the superior drivetrain, they'll probably keep them priced higher than the competition. The only thing that I could see happening in the short-term to make Toyota drop its price significantly is if Ford comes out with a really high-MPG hybrid Focus that could more directly compete with the Prius in the same way that the Fusion hybrid competes with the Camry hybrid. Otherwise, I think Toyota will probably consider that Honda's hybrids are simply aiming for a different segment of the market. They response will probably be a hybrid version of the Yaris at some point in the future.
More Hybrid Cars
VW Unveils New Jetta, Hybrid Model Coming in 2012
The 2011 MKZ is Lincoln's First Hybrid (41 MPG City Projected)
Hyundai Unveils the 2011 Sonata Hybrid (Lithium-Polymer Batteries, 37/39 MPG)