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US Hybrid Sales Increase 11% in January 2007

2 February 2007

Hybrid_sales_jan07_1
Total monthly hybrid sales. Click to enlarge.

Combined US sales of light-duty hybrids exceeded 17,591 units in January 2007, according to sales reports from automakers, up 11% from January 2006. (GM is not yet breaking out the sales of its hybrid models, and so GM results are not included in that figure). Hybrids represented 1.6% of all new light duty vehicle sales in January 2007, up from 1.4% in January 2006.

Sales of all light duty vehicles in the US for the month dropped 4.6% year-on-year, according to data from Autodata. Passenger car sales dropped 9.1% from the prior year, while light truck sales almost held steady, with only a 0.3% decrease.

Hybrid_sales_jan07_2
Hybrids as a percentage of LDV sales. Click to enlarge.

Toyota accounted for more than 80% of the hybrids sold in the month. Prius sales reached 8,299 units, its best January showing yet, and up 8.4% from January 2006. The Camry Hybrid came in with 2,801 units, for 8.9% of total Camry sales. The Highlander hybrid posted 1,810 units—down 20% from January 2006, and representing 17.5% of brand sales.

The Lexus Rx 400h came in with 1,245 units, down 15.7% from January 2006, and representing 19% of combined Rx 350 and Rx 400h sales. The luxury GS 450h posted 167 units for 91.3% of combined GS 430 and 450h sales. The 450h accounted for 10.8% of all GS model sales (including the GS 300).

Hybrid_sales_jan07_3
Hybrids as a percentage of brand sales. Click to enlarge.

Combined sales of Ford’s Escape and Mariner hybrids hit 1,238 units, up 37.7% from January 2006 and representing 11.2% of brand sales.

Sales of Honda’s Civic Hybrid Honda were 1,783 units, down sharply 43.7% from January 2006, and representing 9.7% of Civic sales. The Accord Hybrid posted 248 units, down 29.3% from January 2006 and representing only 1% of brand sales.

February 2, 2007 in Hybrids, Sales | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Good trend! Prius supply no longer an issue around Chicago, they had 8 new Prii parked in front of my dealers lot yesterday. Don't think the GM #s would have added much to this report, either.

I hope GM can follow through on the Volt. But if Toyota can come up with their 80mpg PHEV Prius, I'm trading in my Corolla.

Honda Mexico started selling the Civic hybrid in 2006.
Honda Mexico expected to sell about 50 units during 2006 and they sold almost 500 units in Mexico.
For now, this is the only hybrid vehicle available in Mexico.

GM doesn't yet make what I call a hybrid. They call it that.

Given how far Honda has fallen behind Toyota in hybrid sales, maybe it is now clear why they are calling on performance based tax credits rather than credits specifically directed to specific technology like the hybrid.

If you're going to buy a hybrid, their really isn't much of a contest between the Prius and the Civic hybrid. I have had both and am glad I sold my civic hybrid and then bought the Prius.

Having said all that, I still agree with Honda that incentives should be performance, i.e., mpg based. If you buy a 40mpg civic, you get nothing. If you buy a faux hybrid pickup from GM, you get a tax credit.

Compared to passenger vehicles, trucks are surging again. No surprise here, as it's all about gas prices.

Given how far Honda has fallen behind Toyota in hybrid sales, maybe it is now clear why they are calling on performance based tax credits rather than credits specifically directed to specific technology like the hybrid.

Or, maybe it's just because they're right. The method in which high MPG is attained isn't as important as the result. Why should one technology be favored, instead of one result?

Hybrids are a method to accomplish a goal. Hybrids may or may not be the best method. Why reward the method -- just reward the accomplishment.

t:
"Compared to passenger vehicles, trucks are surging again."
I don't know if I would call a .3% decrease a 'surge'. Light Duty Truck demand should be more constant than other passenger vehicles, because there is a large number of companies and individuals who ligitimately need a utility vehicle for economic reasons. The drop, in my humble opinion, represents the people who do not need a light duty truck, but choose to drive one anyhow. I cannot stand how many people I see driving home from the office, alone, in a suit, in a full size extended cab pickup, with no cargo in the box. Further, here in Minnesota, the roads tend to get slick in the winter, and so the illegitimate truck drivers must add sandbags for traction, further reducing their already dismal fuel economy.

t -

there appears to have been a proliferation of (pork-barrel) tax credits that related to itemized qualifying technologies. Beyond electric hybrids, the "alternative motor vehicle credit" covers clean stratified GDI, clean diesel, CNG/LNG, LPG, H2 and FCVs. It is available through 2010, subject to quantities sold. See IRS notice 2006-9 for details. The 2006 list of qualifiying vehicles and the size of the credit available is listed here:

http://taxes.about.com/od/deductionscredits/a/hybridtaxcredit_3.htm

It will be interesting to see how the IRS rules on eligibility for the upcoming T2B5 diesel LDVs, since the requirements explicitly state that fuel economy must exceed 125% of the 2002 model. This appears to preclude models that were not even on the US market at that time.

Aftermarket conversions are also eligible, subject to restrictions laid out in IRS notice 2006-54.

http://alternativefuels.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=alternativefuels&cdn=autos&tm=11&f=00&su=p284.5.420.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/progs/view_ind_fed.cgi%3Fafdc/348/0

A separate credit is available for qualifying BEVs:

http://alternativefuels.about.com/od/incentiveprograms/a/taxcredits.html

"fuel economy must exceed 125% of the 2002 model"

It's not so specific, what must be exceeded is the average fuel economy for that weight class of vehicle in 2002, not the exact same model car, otherwise the new Prius would be getting no credit because the 2002 Prius was already very efficient.

T:

Mentioned tax credits provide initial support for new technologies. After some quantity vehicles sold, they diminish and eventually evaporate. It is already happening with Prius.

Erick -

thank you for clearing that up.

Andrey -

correct, and a good thing too. Without end-of-life clauses written in from the very beginning, government handouts tend to persist well past their sell-by date. Cases in point: the ethanol import tariff and subsidies, the CAFE/gas guzzler tax loophole for E85 etc. Europe is even worse by far when it comes to subsidies in general.

woah, lexus should really cancel the gs 430 and just sell the 450h. 90%, that's something.

i'm really curious about the sharp drop-offs in every single model except the prius though.

Bud Johns said "If you're going to buy a hybrid, there really isn't much of a contest between the Prius and the Civic hybrid. I have had both and am glad I sold my civic hybrid and then bought the Prius."

I just traded my 03 Civic hybrid (70k miles) for a new 07 Prius, and at this point I'm not sure I made the right decision. Scanning the Prius sites, there is a lot of talk about chassis reinforcement, grille blocking in winter, et cetera, none of which was needed in the Civic. I was getting better mileage in the Civic than I've managed this far in the Prius.

Undecided.

Bud Johns said "If you're going to buy a hybrid, there really isn't much of a contest between the Prius and the Civic hybrid. I have had both and am glad I sold my civic hybrid and then bought the Prius."

I just traded my 03 Civic hybrid (70k miles) for a new 07 Prius, and at this point I'm not sure I made the right decision. Scanning the Prius sites, there is a lot of talk about chassis reinforcement, grille blocking in winter, et cetera, none of which was needed in the Civic. I was getting better mileage in the Civic than I've managed this far in the Prius.

Undecided.

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