SAN DIEGO – The failure of the Honda Insight hybrid-electric vehicle to sell in higher volumes came down to a lack of promotion.

“We never put a lot of marketing muscle behind (the) Insight,” Jeff Conrad, Honda Div. senior vice president and general manager, tells WardsAuto in an interview here during a ’15 Fit media preview. “We had an initial launch, we spent a few dollars, but then we wanted to grow volume in other places, and that’s where the marketing dollars went.”

Also making the Insight’s path difficult in the hybrid segment was the car being a “new nameplate,” Conrad says. Honda had a first-generation Insight but took a 3-year break from the vehicle until the current model was introduced in spring 2009.

He figures Honda sold many Insights to brand loyalists “but didn’t necessarily draw a lot of conquest business in.”

The Japanese automaker announced last month it will discontinue sales of the car later this year, when production of the ’14 model ends in Japan.

When the second-generation Insight launched, Honda was hopeful the dedicated hybrid could outperform sales of its predecessor, thanks to the move from a 2-seat coupe to a 5-seat hatchback with generous storage space.