Fleet News

Geneva Motor Show: Honda stresses its new hybrid is a 'normal' car

WHILE steps forward in vehicle technology are often accompanied by fanfare and grand claims, Honda had a very simple message for fleets at the Geneva show about its new petrol-electric Civic IMA: it's normal.

The firm is keen to ensure acceptance among fleets for the IMA and according to Honda head of corporate sales James Daulton, the key will be getting the message across that there are no special requirements needed or compromises to be made for running the car.

And to ensure good leasing rates and high residual values for fleets, the IMA will come in four-door saloon form with high-spec SE Executive trim.

Daulton claimed the car would be a strong proposition for local authorities and Government departments looking to run environmentally-friendly cars. He said that with carbon dioxide emissions of 116g/km, which qualifies for the 12% benefit-in-kind tax band in 2003/2004, user choosers looking for low tax bills would be looking at it as well.

The car will go on sale from May 1 at £14,995 on-the-road, though with the confirmed £1,000 PowerShift subsidy the net price becomes £13,995.

The Civic IMA achieves 57.6mpg on the combined cycle, which means a claimed saving of £1,200 over a standard 1.4-litre petrol-engined model after 60,000 miles.

The firm also used the show to launch the Accord Tourer, which Daulton claims is an out-and-out load carrier, and apart from Daimler-Chrysler's luxury Maybach, is the only car on the to have a fully-powered remote-control tailgate. Honda says the Accord Tourer (pictured) has class-leading boot space with the seats in place – 576 litres – rising to 921 litres with rear seats folded. It also comes with a 50-litre underfloor storage option in place of a spare tyre. The Tourer will go on sale on May 3.


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