Honda adds two hybrids to range

Honda has stepped up its commitment to hybrid technology by announcing it will launch two models in addition to the existing Civic Hybrid. The Japanese marque says hybrid cars will account for 10% of its sales by 2010.

Honda, which was the first manufacturer to offer a hybrid in the UK when it launched the Insight in 1999, is aiming to make hybrid technology more “affordable” with the launch of what it is calling the “Global Hybrid” next year. The car will go up against the market-leading Prius, which is made by rival Toyota.

Honda will also unveil a sports hybrid at this month’s Detroit Motor Show based on the CR-Z concept that it revealed at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

Honda president Takeo Fukai admits the business environment is “challenging” due to rising energy costs and the slowdown in the US economy but he says he remains optimistic for this year following a strong 2008. Honda forecasts it sold 380,000 vehicles in Europe last year, up 23% on 2006.

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