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US Sales of Hybrids Set New High; Close to 3% of New Vehicles in May

Sales of hybrids in the US set a new high in May 2007. Click to enlarge.

Sales of light-duty hybrid electric vehicles in the US set a new mark in May at more than 45,000 units sold, up 91% from May 2006. Those numbers do not include sales of GM hybrids, as GM does not yet break those figures out separately.

Overall, light duty vehicle sales in the US rose 5% in May 2007 compared to the prior year, according to Autodata. Sales of passenger cars increased 6.1%, while sales of light-duty trucks increased 3.9%. The combined hybrid sales from Toyota, Honda, Ford and Nissan represented 2.9% of new vehicle sales in May—the highest percentage yet.

Hybrids hit a new mark for new vehicle penetration. Click to enlarge.

Toyota accounted for the bulk of the May results with the Prius selling a record high 24,009 units and the Camry Hybrid selling a record 6,853 units. (Earlier post.) Toyota’s other hybrids, however, all declined relative to last May: 3,312 Highlander Hybrids (down 12% from May 2006); 1,746 Lexus Rx 400h units (down 13% from May 2006); and 181 GS 450h units (down 38% from May 2006).

Honda’s sales of the Civic Hybrid increased 56% to 4,520 units in May, representing 11.3% of all Civic models sold. Sales of the Accord Hybrid dropped 16% to 439 units, representing 1.4% of all Accord models sold in May. Honda has decided not to offer a hybrid version of its upcoming new Accord. (Earlier post.) 

Percentage change in sales, May 2007 from May 2006, by model. Altima Hybrid was not on the market in 2006, and the Insight is no longer in production. Click to enlarge.

Ford’s hybrid Mariner and Escape had their second best month to date, with sales increasing 12% to 3,214 units representing 13.8% of all Mariner and Escape models sold.

Nissan turned in its best results yet for the Altima hybrid, with 821 units representing 3.4% of all Altima models sold. The Altima hybrid is on sale only in eight states.



Great news all around!
This posting should be required reading for all middle management at all automotive companies. Hybrids are not bad business; they sell.

All the 4 cylinder hybrids are seeing increased sales; all the 6 cylinder hybrids are seeing decreased sales.


I wish they had posted figures just for CA. I see Priuses
(or is it Priusi?) everywhere.


New York City, too. Last weekend I was walking around Tribeca in Manhattan and saw 5 shiny new priuses within a couple blocks of each other. Awesome!


They're all over the Boston metro as well. Good stuff.

Mark R. W. Jr.

The genie's out of the bottle...the electric-hybrid is here to stay. And as time goes on, they'll keep getting better and better.

Travis Rassat

I've been seeing a lot more around the Indianapolis area, too. It might be because my wife and I have a Camry Hybrid so we just notice them more, but it does seem the numbers are growing considerably. It's especially refreshing to see here in Indiana, where people apparently hate trees.


"This posting should be required reading for all middle management at all automotive companies."

Upper management. Middle management doesn't make major decisions about product direction, marketing, etc. You've got to change minds at the top.

hampden wireless

Wow. Pretty clear... All without exception 4cyl hybrid sales increased while all without exception larger hybrid sales decreased.

Its a shame its going to be so long before the next 4cyl hybrid is released.

Lisa Morgan

I am one of the proud owners on a new Toyota Prius purchased on May 5 2007! I absolutely love my new hybrid! You gotta test drive the Prius if you are in the market for a new car!


The "experts" predicted several years ago that hybrid sales would "level out" at about 2% of car sales and stay there. So much for so called experts.

Eric H

They would be Prii.

Yep, as politicians line up behind CAFE because "the market" won't do it, consumers line up to buy Prii and turbodiesels. And is that a slight acceleration I see over the past few months?

C. Spangenberg

I think they should not focus on Hybrid but on CO2 .
As i have shown you can build a car as big as the Prius2 with less CO2 / KM w i t h o u t Hybrid ( Audi A2 1.2 81 G / Prius2 104 G / KM )

What counts in the end is fuel usage and not Hybrid ( where you often forget the CO2 Input in Building the Hybrid Car and the Life Cycle CO2 of the accumulator )

The same with electric cars : you need a live cycle Analysis of the hole system including the Factory where you produce the Electricity .

C. Spangenberg



Senator Dodd supports a CAFE standard of 50 mpg, achievable over the next decade. This is achievable if Americans give up their beloved and hated SUVs.

These sales figures vindicate my view, expressed when the Accord Hybrid come out, that emphasizing performance over economy is a loser in the hybrid market. If all people care about is performance, they can pay up in other ways.

Here's hoping Honda doesn't give up, though. Thus far, they've been outfoxed and out technologied by Toyota.


I think they should not focus on Hybrid but on CO2 .

Perfect is the enemy of the good. Why do so many people feel so strongly compelled to attack the things that are doing the most good among all the products in the marketplace? I'll tell you why. Because it's not their pet little "silver bullet" and it frustrates them that the market is going in directions that they either don't prefer, or in multiple directions.

There's plenty of room for small and efficient conventional ICE vehicles, HEVs, BEVs, clean biodiesels, hydrogen fuel cells, transit, carsharing, ridesharig, walking, biking, location efficiency, and so on. That's the entire point of this website.

Bud Johns

The article states that GM does not post figures for it's hybrid sales. How appropriate, they may call thier cars hybrids, but they are NOT hybrids. Not yet. Idle stop does not constitue a hybrid, at least in my book.

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