Although combined sales of hybrids dipped 9.4% from October to November, dropping to a total 8,632 units, November was the second-strongest sales month in 2004 for hybrid vehicles. So much for breaking through the 10,000 mark as I’d hoped last month.
Toyota maintains its dominant marketing and delivery lead, with 5,866 Priuses sold—it’s second-strongest month this year. Honda’s Civic Hybrid posted a solid month with 1,867. The Ford Escape hybrid dipped from its debut month down to 864 units in November.
At CALSTART’s California 2020 conference today (earlier post, and much more on this later), Robert Bienenfeld, Senior Manager of Automobile Product Planning for American Honda, noted that Honda has found over the years that sales of its hybrids closely tracks to the stimulus of increased gas prices. Price up, sales up. Price down, sales down. In other words, in the aggregate, the hybrid sales still reflect a short-term reactive response on the part of consumers, rather than a longer-term, more measured change in buying criteria. Still, we’ll take it.