Honda has announced an important milestone has been reached in the world of its hybrid vehicles. The company has announced that cumulative global sales for its hybrid vehicles have passed the 1 million unit mark. That goal was reached at the end of September 2012 and took Honda 12 years and 11 months from the date it first started selling a hybrid vehicle, the Honda Insight, in Japan.
The Insight went on sale in Japan in November of 1999. Honda started to sell hybrid vehicles in the United States in 1999 as well with the 2000 model year Insight being the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle sold in America. Honda says that it sold 318,000 hybrid vehicles in the US since it launched, primarily made up of Insight and the Civic Hybrid.
The hybrid sales numbers also include some Acura models, including the ILX Hybrid. Honda also sells a version of the Fit called the Jazz Hybrid around the world. The automaker will be introducing new hybrid systems for mid-sized car models using a two-motor hybrid system. Honda is also talking up a new highly efficient high-output three-motor hybrid system called the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD standing for Super Handling All Wheel Drive.
That hybrid system will be used in the new Acura NSX and RLX Sport Hybrid. Honda is well behind rival Toyota in the hybrid market. Toyota reached 1 million global cumulative hybrid sales on May 31st, 2007. In August of 2009, Toyota reached the 2 million sold mark. In May of 2012, Toyota announced that it sold 4 million hybrid vehicles cumulatively around the world with the Prius family making up 72% of that number.