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Production Challenges Surround the Honda Insight

Honda Insight image

The all-new Honda Insight has recently gone on sale, and has already met huge demand and positive editorial coverage. But despite the demand for the Insight, which officially is the most affordable hybrid in the U.S., Honda struggles to boost production to meet the lofty sales projections.

In Japan, sales of the Insight have already tripped what Honda had originally projected, causing concern among San Francisco Honda dealers that a similar scenario will also occur here in the U.S. At the moment, Honda is only capable of manufacturing a reported 600 new Insight models in a single day at the company’s Suzuka plant in Japan. Unfortunately with demand skyrocketing at home and in North American, Gardena Honda dealers believe that plant is at near capacity.

The obvious solution to the production strain will be to move production facilities to the U.S. Considering most Insights are destined for the U.S., Honda Longview Texas says it makes perfect sense that facilities are established closer to their ultimate destination. Unfortunately, new facilities will not come anytime soon. One problem is that more affordable components are sourced from Japan, while the automaker also has concerns with developing human resources for such facilities.

In the near-term, Honda is ramping up production further at its current facilities, boosting production from 200,000 units per years to 250,000 units. This may help somewhat according to Honda Philadelphia, but with intense demand for the affordable hybrid it may not be able to appease eager buyers. This is especially concerning considering that the third generation Prius is also arriving in Toyota showrooms. To make matters worse, Toyota is also reportedly working on a less expensive Yaris-based hybrid to compete directly with the Insight in terms of price. If Honda doesn’t act fast, competition and production limitations could cool demand for the hot new insight. Continue reading ‘Production Challenges Surround the Honda Insight’