Honda hybrid takes on Toyota

Honda is to launch a new hybrid model next year aimed at taking on Toyota’s successful Prius. The company says it hopes that annual sales of the new vehicle will reach 200,000 globally.

The car marque says its goal is to make the new hybrid affordable to a new generation of car buyers. Although Honda US executive vice-president Dick Colliver denies the new car will attack any one brand, he added that it will be cheaper than Toyota’s Prius.

Toyota is due to unveil a larger version of the popular Prius and its US general manager Bob Carter says the company is “not worried” at the prospect of an affordable Honda hybrid.

The five-door, five-passenger Honda will be built in Japan and is to be launched globally next year on April 22 – Earth Day. The as yet unnamed vehicle is part of Honda’s effort to reach annual hybrid sales of 500,000.

Last year, Toyota sold 277,00 hybrids, which represents 80% of the total market.

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