Orders for Honda's new Insight ultra fuel-efficient hybrid hatchback topped 10,000 units just 10 days after its 6 February showroom launch in Japan, the carmaker said.

The tally was more than double the monthly sales goal set for the five-door Insight, Honda told Kyodo News.

The environmentally friendly Insight ''had a buoyant marketing start,'' although Honda and other automakers had been hit by the global economic woes, an official at the automaker said.

The base model retails for JPY1,890,000 (US$20,600) in Japan, compared with JPY2,331,000 ($25,400) for the base Toyota Prius rival. A redesigned Prius, expected later with a plug-in option, is imminent.

Consumers appear to have been attracted to the Insight due to its affordable sticker price, industry analysts said.

Honda said the Insight had landed advance orders for 5,000 units by 5 February, when it took the wraps off at a high-profile news conference.

On the first Saturday and Sunday after its showroom debut, the carmaker received additional orders for 1,500 units, it said, adding that the backlog has been growing steadily.

But it remains unclear whether orders will continue growing at the pace Honda has enjoyed so far, given the current state of the Japanese economy, the analysts told Kyodo News.