Sales of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist petrol electric hybrid cars have rocketed past the 50,000 mark in under five years – and they are projected to grow even stronger during the next five years.
Newly released data from R.L. Polk reveals that in the USA the Civic Hybrid alone accounted for half of all hybrid sales during 2003, with sales increased by 26 per cent versus the previous year. Here in Britain, the same car (badged Civic IMA) was even more dominant, taking over 80% of the UK hybrid market – and coincidentally accounting for nearly three quarters of all European Civic IMA sales. And this despite the car not being launched until part way through the year, in May.
Now, with a full year of sales approaching, the model has found 1000 British customers, with the IMA variant currently taking about 3% of all Civic sales.
Sales of Honda IMA models began in 1999, with the pioneering Insight taking just 252 sales, mainly in Japan, in 1999. From this small beginning, sales have progressed to other markets and the numbers have risen dramatically.
In 2002, the Civic Hybrid became the first truly mainstream hybrid vehicle by combining the functionality and features of the regular Civic with Honda’s high-efficiency IMA hybrid technology. Honda is committed to making hybrid cars mainstream and the company will this year introduce an IMA version of its best-selling Accord into America.
"We are pleased to see more and more customers embracing IMA technology as a means of improving fuel economy, reducing emissions and helping the environment," said Honda (UK)’s General manager, David Strangeway.
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