Honda Motor Company is known for making a wide variety of passenger vehicles and has earned a reputation for investing in new automobile technology. The Japanese auto manufacturer’s parent company also makes automobile components, powersports equipment, industrial equipment, and commercial vehicles. Honda Motor Company is the parent of the Acura brand, which makes and sells luxury vehicles that are usually based on Honda’s vehicles, and often benefit from Honda’s technological innovations. Among the vehicles in Honda’s portfolio are a popular lineup of Honda hybrid cars. Thanks in part to the Honda hybrid vehicle lineup, Honda Motor Company has earned the distinction of being the second largest automotive manufacturer in Japan, and one of the most popular vehicle brands in the world. Honda passenger cars, including gasoline-electric Honda hybrids, are sold in a wide variety of global markets, and are produced in manufacturing plants around the world. Some Honda hybrid cars make particularly good examples of how the brand has found success in the hybrid market. In 2013, Honda invested about 5.7% of the company’s revenues into researching and developing new technology to improve the brand’s vehicles.
The Honda Insight, the first Honda hybrid car, was the first mass produced gasoline-electric hybrid to be sold in the United States. The Insight beat its main competition, the Toyota Prius, to market by just one month, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel economy ratings, this Honda hybrid was the most fuel efficient production vehicle available at the time. Production of the first generation Honda Insight continued until 2006. The second generation Honda Insight was released in Japan in early 2009, with a gradual rollout to other global markets throughout that year. The second generation of this Honda hybrid car is a five-door hatchback body style.
In the meantime, other Honda hybrid cars have hit the market, drawing from the brand’s experience with the Insight’s development and marketing. The next Honda hybrid was a gasoline-electric version of the popular Civic compact car. The Honda Civic Hybrid was released in the United States in 2002 as a 2003 model year vehicle. Honda followed a similar strategy with the 2005 Accord Hybrid, simply adapting hybrid technology into a popular existing model. The Accord Hybrid proved less popular than expected, though, and was discontinued in 2007. A new Honda hybrid car, the CR-Z soon joined the lineup, making its debut in Japan in early 2010. Honda’s hybrid technology has also been expanded to modify and modernize its Acura luxury brand, and more new models are on the way.