TOKYO — Honda Motor Co. has not yet begun to fight when it comes to hybrid vehicles. That's the vow from CEO Takeo Fukui, who says the automaker will make a comeback with a rival to Toyota's Prius.
Honda suffered a misstep by rolling out a hybrid version of its Civic instead of a hybrid-only model, Fukui conceded last week at the company's year-end press conference here.
Honda will make up lost ground starting in 2009 with a new moderately priced hybrid, Fukui said. And by around 2010, hybrid vehicles will account for 10 percent of Honda's global sales, he predicted.
"The real competition has just begun," Honda's chief said. "Until now, it has been an image-based competition, not a business-based competition."