With gas prices reaching record high levels and increasing public interest in environmentally friendly technologies, usually any car labeled “hybrid” would sell easily.
Honda Motor Co. on Tuesday announced it will discontinue the hybrid version of its Accord sedan, citing disappointing sales.
Analysts reported that despite the Accord’s superior performance compared with some of its higher-volume competitors; it just doesn’t fit with the current consumer demands for the smallest, cheapest hybrids with eye-popping fuel economy.
Brian Chee, an analyst with the vehicle research firm Autobytel.com, said the Accord’s relatively low fuel economy and high-price tag compared with other hybrid vehicles make it a tough sell.
The hybrid Accord gets an estimated 28 miles per gallon in the city and starts at about $31,090, while the hybrid version of the company’s smaller Civic sedan gets about 49 miles per gallon and starts around $22,600, according to Honda’s Web site.
By comparison, Toyota’s market-leading Prius model gets an estimated 60 miles per gallon and carries a $22,175 price tag, and the Toyota Camry hybrid gets about 40 miles per gallon and has a $26,000 sticker price.
“The Accord gets good mileage and that’s just it. Hybrids have to get great gas mileage in order to sell,” Chee said.