AsÂ Honda slips well behind Toyota in Hybrid car salesÂ it is time to get creative. After looking at the new Accord sedan some may wonder if Honda possesses any creativity, but we try to remember the S2000 to give them some credit.Â Honda’s most recent attempt to swayÂ hybrid sales their way looks to be a far better effort than the Insight was. But can the CR-Z Hybrid conceptÂ really helpÂ Honda gain ground on Toyota, or in the hyrbid market in general?Â
The popular mythos about what sells on the hybrid market has been that those cars that look like Hybrids (meaning unique, if not strange) sell well, while pre-existing models fitted with hybrid systems fare moderately to poorly in sales. The popular examples given are the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight as the unique and the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima as the ho-hum. Ofcourse there are other factors that resulted in those differences in sales volume and popular perception.
So with the CR-Z Honda has taken their gasoline-hybrid system and encased it with a modernizedÂ redesign of the 1980’sÂ CRX body. Some people may not recall the CRX, but it was a super compact for its day. Well the design and hybrid drive of the CR-Z puts a whole new spin on that old concept.
With Toyota boasting over 1 million hybrid vehicles sold and Honda not even touch one-quarter of that total it is easy to say that Honda has a lot of ground to cover. Will the Honda CR-Z help them to cover that ground? I guess we will only know if the car actually comes to market. Look for the CR-Z concept to make an appearance at the Tokyo Auto Show and maybe and the NAIAS in Detroit this January. It is at least pleasing to see that Honda is taking a chance in style and design with this one, but will it be appealing enough to a market still hungry for some interesting hybrids?