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Reported US Sales of Hybrids Almost Double in March 2007; 2.25% Share of New Vehicle Sales

6 April 2007

Hybrid_sales_mar07_1
US hybrid sales. Click to enlarge.

Reported US sales of light-duty hybrid vehicles almost doubled in March 2007 from the year before, reaching 34,637 units—an increase of 94% from March 2006. Total light duty vehicle sales in the US increased 0.8%, with a 4% increase in passenger cars and a 1.9% decrease in light truck sales.

These results, which do not include hybrid vehicles sold by GM as the company does not yet break those out, push the share of hybrids in monthly new light-duty vehicle sales over the 2% mark for the first time.  With some 1,542,229 light duty vehicles sold, according to Autodata, hybrid sales represented at least 2.25% of the total. Adding GM’s results in would push the figure higher.

Hybrid_sales_mar07_2
Hybrid share of new US LDV sales. Click to enlarge.

Although all automakers had a strong month for hybrid sales, Toyota was the engine for the sharp increase, with Prius sales shooting up to 19,156 units and the Camry hybrid posting 5,144 units. The two models accounted for 70% of total US hybrid sales. (Earlier post.)

The Highlander Hybrid sold 2,501 units, down 16% from March 2006. The Lexus Rx 400h sold 1,471 units, down 40% from the prior year. The Lexus GS450h sold 181 units, representing 92.8% of the combined GS 430/GS 450h models sold, and 8.6% of all GS models (including the GS 300).

Toyota’s calendar-year-to-date hybrid sales in the US totaled 61,635 units, an increase of 68% over the same period last year.

Hybrid_sales_mar07_3
Hybrids as components of their model family sales. Click to enlarge.

The Honda Civic Hybrid posted 2,813 units, up 26% from March 2006, and representing 9.5% of all Civic models sold. The Accord Hybrid posted 385 units, down 34% from March 2006, and representing 1.1% of all Accord models sold. Honda also sold 1 Insight, even though production has ceased on the model.

Ford had a strong month for its Escape and Mariner hybrids, with 2,523 units sold, an increase of 50% from the year before. The hybrid models represented 12.9% of total combined model sales.

Nissan saw its sales of the Altima Hybrid, offered in only eight states, increase to 462 units in the car’s second month on the market.

April 6, 2007 in Hybrids, Sales | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack (0)

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It's interesting to see how Toyota has soared on hybrid sales, while the other automakers haven't taken advantage. Did you notice that, except for the Escape/Mariner and the Prius, all other hybrid model sales are down for the first quarter?

The Prius is doing a great job of masking the issues other automakers are having. I wonder if we could generalize and say that the Prius and Camry Hybrid, through their success, are taking away sales from the others?

According to Consumers Reports Toyota's big advantage is that they build the most reliable cars in the world. On the other end of the scale are the Germans.

Don't let these figures fool you. Toyota has been offering incentives of up to $2,000 to help sell their hybrids.

Mike--

Text says that Honda Civic Hybrid sales are up 26% YOY.

Which now makes the hybrid priced the same as any other average car. I don't believe I've ever bought a new car that didn't have some incentives (I don't typically buy high end sports cars or luxury vehicles).

The numbers are quite legitimate, since now Prius has ramped up production to the point that it gets marketed with some socalled incentives. Also, consider the fact that the tax credits have decreased in value and the Prius is setting records, anyway.

Consider, also, that Toyota said they were going to cut the additional cost of a hybrid in half over two years ago. Maybe it has already happened and they are able to make a profit even while reducting their price.

Toyota has also shown that you can put out a family car (Camry) with great gas mileage. Just shows that Honda missed the boat with their Honda Accord Hybrid. People who buy hybridd want great gas mileage; mainly boosting horsepower as an incentive is not the way to market these vehicles. All those vehicles which emphasized increased power over mileage are doing extremely poorly.

I guess since GM is not breaking hybrids out, they are not a serious competitor. Much better to sell all those E85 flex fuel vehicles and get those bogus numbers to meet their CAFE standards.

Not all marketed for power are doing poorly tom, The Lexus GS450H is an example that performance sells when marketed in a performance oriented vehicle.

The message here is clear.

All Hybrids with V-4 engine INCREASED (Prius, Camry, Civic, Escape, Mariner, Altima)
while those with V-6 engine DECREASED (Highlander, RX400h, GS450h, Accord)

Altima which sells in just 8 states could outsell Accord sold in 50 states. Nissan can slowly increase the offer to other states as well.

So its high time, that automakers better look into fuel efficiency instead of performance.

Why GM does not publish Vue sales is puzzling. I think the last Insight has been sold out.

Wow, Hybrids capture 2.25 % market share. Also the Car sales are up and Truck sales are down. Actually the CUV's took the Top-4 slots among SUV's and increased, while the truck based SUV's share must have gone down.

All these events happened in March, lets see what will happen in Summer.

>Don't let these figures fool you. Toyota has been offering incentives of up to $2,000 to help sell their hybrids.

RCA: ... Is that supposed to be a bad thing? Since the government has designed the tax incentives to phase out for Toyota and later Honda, this marketing strategy is sure to keep buyers from getting discouraged about their brands. Anything to encourage hybrid sales over conventional fuel cars I would consider as favorable. Wouldn't you?

Automakers cannot continue to offer Hybrids at deep discounts, so the easiest thing, they can do is to remove the extras and sell it at a lower price.

And then, it will grab more market share from Non-Hybrids.

Whether state gives tax rebates or not, the higher gas prices will push more people into Hybrids.

Here is the catch. They say that total light duty vehicle sales increased 0.8 %. If we exclude the Hybrids, then it has actually declined.

0.8 % * x = 1542229
and thats obtained by computing 0.6 /100 * 1542229
which is 9253.

And they Hybrid sales must have increased around 16000.

So Hybrids increased while non-hybrids decreased.

Market acceptance of the Hybrid Electric Vehicles, HEV, is greatly encouraging.

The larger the manufacturing scale, the lower the component costs. The benefits of mass manufacturing start to be a part of the economies of scale. Every hybrid sold drives down the cost of electric steering, electric-assisted power brakes, electric driven water pumps, electric driven AC compressors, electric motors and most important Batteries.

Today's hybrids, as primitive as they are, are enabling the development of a lot of manufacturing expertise, that will find easy application to PHEV and BEV vehicles. Those vehicles will truly alter the hydrocarbon usage in the world, reducing demand by 70-80%. Fission and eventually Fusion electric generation could reduce fossil requirements to slightly more than 10% of todays usage.

The electrification of ground transport is proceeding apace; and it appears that it may have reached the point where it is now unstoppable.

So much for all the Global Warming concerns. Western civilization can move away from hydrocarbon fuels without much trouble, it now is apparent.

Merely doing so in the next two decades, will leave the Cassandras of Global Warming a few hundred years short of the time needed, before the present Warming anthropogenic or not, becomes not beneficent as it is now, but malicious in its effect.

Regardless if the Warming measured is Anthropogenic or Solar caused, the wasting of convenient hydrocarbon feed stocks as "fossil fuel" is all together to be applauded.

Sooner or later the convenient hydrocarbon stocks will be depleted. The dislocations before source substitution must happen, can be delayed for a several hundred years it would appear.

An Engineers' faith in "Efficiency is Its own Reward" is both reaffirming and heart warming.

Max, where does it indicate the GS450H sales were down? It only says 181 units and 92.8% of GS430/450H sales and 8.6% of all GS sales.

Some group predicted that the hybrid sales would top out at about 2% by 2010 and stay there. This sort of disproves that projection.

In Mar-2006, GS450h was not there, but its sales are not very bright. Its < 200 units / month.

But 1 good part of GS is that the Hybrids hold 90 % among GS 430 /450h models.

They can very well stop the non-hybrid GS430.

SJC : you made a very valid point, some predicted hybrids share of 2 % in 2010 and thats achieved 3 years ahead of schedule.

Stan : You mentioned Fission & Fusion. Fission is reality, but Fusion is decades away. Meanwhile Wind and Bio-fuels are growing at 25 % / year while Solar PV is growing at 40 %. Dont forget that there are 40 million solar water heaters in China and 4 million in Japan.

Nick, the 26% is without adjusting for day sales rate--i.e., how many days cars are actually sold. The actual figures from Honda for the Civic are 2,813 for March 2007, 2,232 for March 2006--an increase of 26% YOY.

Okay, the absolute numbers (181) related to other hybrids are not great but put it in perspective of the relative numbers...

181 of the ~2105 total GS sold which isn't too bad.

They should put a camry hybrid drivetrain in an IS.

They can't put the Camry drivetrain in an IS, the IS is rwd, Camry is FWD.

The unsung secret of the Prius' appeal is its HSD. I'll never buy another car with a conventional transmission.

These numbers look promising.

Ford seems to be doing good with its Escape/Mariner hybrids.

"Real world fuel economy improved for 2008 models by as much as 3 mpg for front-wheel drive models in city driving."
"The 2008 Escape and Mariner Hybrids qualify for Federal income tax credits of up to $3,000 –the highest of any hybrid."

I was searching the Ford site for dealers with Escape Hybrids a few months ago. I found like 12 on a lot within 25 miles from my home. Now I search and there are 1 or 2 on a few lots and most of those were the more expensive models with added features. I do not know what this means, but Ford has stated that they want to consolidate the dealer network. I hope they keep a good supply of affordable hybrids on every lot. I imagine that Toyota, Nissan and Honda will and if they are not available with a good inventory to choose from, buyers will go elsewhere.

We bought our first Prius a couple of months ago. Best driving car we've ever driven. Best Gas Mileage Car we've ever driven. Best Car we've ever driven. I use to drive a Saturn, I'm never going back.

One thought occurred to me about the higher priced Escape hybrids on the lots. Toyota has sold a lot of hybrids and so get less of an incentive from government to the consumer. But Ford still gets more of an incentive and as such can sell the $28k model instead of the $26k model. Since the consumer gets a $2,000 break, they can load it down with $200 navigation gear and make higher profits. A form of indirect corporate welfare.

Nice to see a substantial increase in Hybrid Sales overall. Unfortunately it took a spike in gas prices to push it along.

One suggestion I would like to make, especially for Toyota, is to divvy up that $100 million they plan to spend on Tundra advertising, and show some real allegiance towards fuel efficiency by applying that money to reduce the cost gap between regular ICE vehicles and Hybrids. In other words, if a Prius runs $3000 more than a regular non-hybrid car of that size, use a portion of that advertising money from the Tundra kitty to eliminate the cost difference on every Prius sold. $100 million may not be able to totally erase the cost difference, but it would put a good dent in it. That is, if Toyota is truly serious about being green. When I see Tundra ads all over the place, I seriously have my doubts.

Toyota has been offering incentives lately on the Prius to help pay for the more costly models with navigation systems. This seems like it has to do with the reduced incentives for Toyota from the government and people like Ford still getting those incentives because they have not sold as many vehicles. A lot of the consequences of the legislation stems from how it was written in the first place.

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