Honda CEO Takanobu Ito announced earlier this week that Acura will add a hybrid drivetrain to its models. Ito made the announcement at the Detroit auto show, during the unveiling of its new sporty compact Honda CR-Z hybrid model. He provided no further details.

In December 1999, Honda became the first car company to introduce a hybrid in the United States. It also was the first company to introduce a hybrid system in a conventional model, when it began selling the Honda Civic Hybrid in 2002. However, last year, it nearly lost the second place position in the hybrid market—behind Toyota—when the company failed to reach sales goals for the 2010 Honda Insight. Strong consumer interest in the award-winning 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid helped Ford come within a few thousand units of bypassing Honda in hybrid sales.

Honda is expected to attempt a comeback with hybrids. Ito said, “We will apply hybrid systems which are compact, lightweight and affordable to a wider range of products in the near future.”