Takeo Fukui, president of Honda Motor Co Ltd, said that about 10% of the company's car unit sales will come from hybrid cars in about 2010.
Currently, Honda is selling a hybrid car "Civic Hybrid." In 2009, the company will bring a new hybrid-only brand to the market. Moreover, it plans to sell another hybrid car based on the sport car "CR-Z," which was exhibited at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show, in the world's markets.
Fukui estimated that the 10% of the car unit sales will be 400,000-500,000 units. The company plans to achieve that goal by launching the new hybrid-only brand at a price lower than the prices of the company's current hybrid cars.
"We have been selling hybrid cars by their (green) images. But we will drastically reduce their costs to strengthen the business model," Fukui said. "We have to close the price gap between gas-fueled cars and hybrid cars so that our customers choose hybrid cars for economic reasons."
"I guess that the price gap will be less than 200,000 yen (US$1,766). It is the amount of money that hybrid car users can save in two years by using less fuel," he added.
The new hybrid car that will hit the market in 2009 will be equipped with a newly-developed lightweight and compact IMA (Integrated Motor Assist), and its cost will be much lower than those of Honda's existing vehicles. The company expects to sell 200,000 units of the new hybrid car per year in the world's markets.