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Insight: 'The most significant fleet car in the past decade'

Date: 15 October 2008   |   Author:

Honda is claiming its new hybrid Insight is the "most significant car for the corporate market in the past 10 years".

The new five-door hybrid will be launched this March, and Honda is predicting something in the region of the Civic Hybrid's 109g/km and 61mpg, but with a price tag around the £14,000 mark.

The company is bullish about its corporate potential, which is why fleet boss Graham Avent hosted managers from big fleets including Sky, Ikea and the 2012 Olympic Committee for the car's world debut in concept form at the Paris motor show.

"They came because they were interested in what the car can offer," Avent told BusinessCar. "Insight will have a lower price point than any other hybrid - it's a win for drivers, companies and lease firms in whole-life costs terms."

Avent said Honda's biggest problem is likely to be maintaining the balance between supply and demand.

Somewhere in the region of 10,000 units should be allocated to the UK next year, 60% going to fleets. But Avent thinks there would be potential for 20,000 sales across fleet and retail.

"We've already had leasing companies coming to us, looking to shore-up supply," he said. "We have to manage customers carefully and where there are Honda-specific deals we have to look after those first, then with any extra supply look after conquest business."

The Insight, the second generation of Honda hybrid to wear that badge after the two-seater launched nearly a decade ago, has an advantage over its sub-120g/km rivals in that the low-CO2 versions of the Ford Focus and VW Golf are both diesel-powered, meaning they incur a 3% benefit-in-kind tax penalty, taking them to the 13% banding compared with the Insight's 10%.