|Sales of hybrids in the US closed out the year on a strong note. Click to enlarge.|
Sales of hybrids in the US rose 24% in December 2006 compared to the prior year, with 22,625 units sold. That was sufficient to push the total number of hybrids sold in the US in 2006 past the quarter million mark to more than 251,000 units—an increase of 22% compared to 2005.
That figure does not include sales of GM’s Saturn VUE Green Line hybrid.
|Hybrids increased their share of the new vehicle market to 1.5% in 2006. Click to enlarge.|
Overall, the light duty vehicle market in the US shrank 3.6% in December 2006 from the year before, and declined 2.6% for the year to 16,556,433 units, according to Autodata. Hybrids thus represented 1.58% of the total light duty vehicle market in December, an increase from 1.2% in December 2005. For the year, hybrids represented 1.5% of the light duty vehicle market, up from 1.2% in 2005.
Toyota—which closed out the year as a member of the “Big Three”, having bumped DaimlerChrysler to fourth place—led with 9,291 units of the Prius sold in December, up 2.9% from December 2006. The Camry hybrid had a strong December showing of 4,005 units sold, representing 10.1% of all Camrys sold. And the Highlander Hybrid closed out the year with 2,354 units sold, up 7.1% from December 2005, and representing 20.1% of all Highlanders.
On the Lexus side of the house, the Rx 400h posted 1,981 units, down 8.8% from December 2005, and representing 15.5% of combined Rx 350/400 models sold. The luxury performance GS 450h posted 252 units, for 84.3% of combined GS 430/450h models sold. The 450h represented 11% of all GS models sold (300, 430 and 450h).
Overall, Toyota’s US hybrid sales captured more than 75% of the total hybrid market in 2006.
Ford, with a total sales drop of 12.8% in December 2006 compared to the same month in 2005, saw a 26.9% increase in its sales of the hybrid versions of the Escape and Mariner to 1,968 units representing 11.2% of the combined sales of both models.
Total sales of Ford’s trucks were down 14% in December, and total sales of cars were down 9.9%.
Honda’s Civic hybrid posted 2,408 units in December, down 4.7% from December 2005 and representing 12.0% of all Civics sold. The Honda Accord hybrid closed out the year with 363 units sold in December, down 49.6% from December 2005, and representing 1.6% of total Accord sales. Honda sold 3 units of the Insight.
|Hybrid car sales.||Hybrid SUV sales.|
|Hybrid sales as a component of total model sales.|