Honda revs up hybrid sales strategy with sports model

Honda has reaffirmed its commitment to hybrid vehicles by announcing plans for a new hybrid sports car.

The company will unveil a concept version of the car at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and has also revealed that it plans to sell three times as many Civic hybrids in the UK this year.

If the Small Hybrid Sports Concept, as it is known, is launched in the UK it would be the second hybrid model in Honda’s line-up alongside the Civic, which went on sale in April last year.

Honda launched a lightweight hybrid coupé called Insight in 1999, but it was discontinued two years ago.

A Honda spokesman says of Insight, which was a two-seater sports coupé: “It showed the reliability and credibility of the technology. We can now talk about hybrid vehicles with confidence.”

Honda says it has increased the supply of Civic hybrids to the UK to meet customer demand and predicts that sales will jump from around 1,000 in 2006 to 3,000 this year.

The company is reviewing its digital advertising business as it looks to ramp up its online activity, as first revealed in Marketing Week (October 26, 2006).

Honda’s brand chief Matthew Coombe, one of the key figures behind its award-winning advertising, left the car manufacturer last year to join Vodafone UK as head of brand.

Honda is looking for a replacement for Coombe, who was marketing communications manager.

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