DOE Joint Genome Institute Completes Soybean Genome
Chrysler, Chery Drop Small Car Talks

US Sales of Hybrids Down 50% in November

Us_hybrid_sales_2008nov1
Monthly hybrid sales in November were the lowest since February 2006. Click to enlarge.

Reported US sales of hybrids dropped 50% in November to 16,571 units from November 2007—a volume slightly above that of November 2005. Overall light duty vehicle sales in the US in November dropped 36.7%. (Earlier post.) For November, hybrids represented 2.22% of the new vehicle light duty market; year-to-date, hybrids hold a 2.4% share of new vehicle sales. November 2007 and 2008 had the same number of selling days.

Toyota. Sales of the market-leading Prius were down 48.3% to 8,660—its lowest sales month since January 2007. Camry Hybrid sales were off 57.5%, down to 2,174 units. That accounted for 8.6% of all Camry sales. Total Camry sales for the month were down 28.8%. Sales of the Highlander Hybrid were down 64.8% to 907 units, representing 11.5% of all Highlander models sold. Total Highlander sales were down 35.9% in the month.

Us_hybrid_sales_2008nov2
Hybrid new vehicle sales market share. Click to enlarge.

The Lexus Rx 400h posted 624 units, a drop of 62.7% from the year before, and representing 10.7% of all Rx models sold. Total Rx sales were down 27.2%. The GS 450h posted 42 units, a 58% drop from the year before, and representing 4.2% of all Gx models sold. Total Gx sales were down 45.4% in November. The LS 600h sold 37 units, a 78.2% drop from the year before, representing 8.7% of all Lx models sold.

Ford. Ford posted combined sales of the Escape and Mariner hybrid of 1,361 units, a 38.8% drop from the prior year, and representing 11.4% of all Escape and Mariner models sold in the month. Combined sales all Escape and Mariner models dropped 17.9% in November.

Us_hybrid_sales_2008nov3
Hybrids as a component of brand sales. Click to enlarge.

GM. GM posted a combined 1,335 hybrid units in November. The company sold 767 units of the two-mode hybrid versions of the Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade full-size SUVs, representing 9.3% of total model sales for those vehicles.

GM posted 328 units for the Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid (BAS), representing 9.7% of all VUE sales. The company sold 195 units of the Malibu BAS hybrid, representing 2.1% of all Malibus sold, and 45 units of the Saturn Aura BAS hybrid.

Us_hybrid_sales_2008nov4
Hybrid sales as a percentage of total light-duty vehicle sales by OEM. Click to enlarge.

Honda. Honda sold 1,043 units of the Civic Hybrid, a 67.8% drop from the year before, representing 5.9% of all Civics sold. Total Civic sales were down 29.6% for the month. Honda posted no sales of the Accord Hybrid; in November 2007, it had sold 204 units.

Nissan. Nissan sold 353 units of the Altima Hybrid, a 70.4% drop from the prior year, representing 3.3% of all Altima models sold. Total Altima sales dropped 45.3% in the month.

Chrysler. In the first month of reported sales, Chrysler posted 35 units of the Aspen and Durango two-mode hybrid SUVs, representing 1.0% of combined model sales.

Comments

Aussie

This seems to be saying that green cars won't save the auto industry anytime soon. Maybe long term industry job losses of at least 50% are unavoidable. I've suggested before that CNG refits to the millions of late model and unsold SUVs might help, but that is a job for workshops not assembly lines. As of now more factory closures look certain so perhaps after a couple of years of the Green New Deal it might be clearer who will be able to buy new cars and what type of car they want.

zard

EU will like this very much because CO2 emission is going to be decreased.

It's probably better to look at the market share than the total volume - with a price premium on hybrids and fuel costs plummeting, short-term economics could be expected to depress the hybrid market share with respect to normally fuelled vehicles.

However, looking at the market share, hybrids held up well month-on-month - the percentage drop year-on-year looks to be more due to an anomalously high November 2007 figure than it does anything else.

Gerald Shields

It's doesn't matter what car you buy if you can't get credit. The TARP was supposed to get banks loaning money again, but it seems the banks aren't trying to loan you anything.

Kit P

The problem with ‘green’ cars is that they are more expensive and do not reduce the environment impact of driving. This is called green washing. Car manufacturers use different tactics to get consumers to spend more. While I can respect car manufacturers for wanting to make a profit, I only have contempt for poorly informed consumers.

HEV have been around long enough for a LCA to document the benefits of real world driving conditions. Most of you know the practical ways of reducing fuel consumption:

• Not driving aggressively
• Not carrying extra weight
• Living close to work
• Car pooling

If you practice these habits, HEV will not improve your fuel consumption significantly to justify the added costs.

While hauling batteries around is a spectacularly bad idea, ethanol is reducing the environment impact of driving and providing other benefits. Case specific LCA have been posted on GCC providing data that allows a debate about the benefits.

Willy Bio

Kit,

You're saying that ethanol is better than BEV? Are you clinically insane?

Jer

With year-over-year reductions in hybrids being greater than the drop in overall light-duty vehicles, and all else being equal, I can only assume that customers are not enjoying the hybrid 'experience'. it's time to get higher performance vehicles into the PHEV marketplace because people that can afford performance can afford hybrid.

TypePad Support

Test comment for support purposes.

wintermane

The problem is people are trying most of all to save MONEY right now as they have very little of it and a great many of em KNOW they are going to be homeless or jobless in 2 years.. so no new cars in works.

Also everyone knows far better cars will have to come out in 5-10 years so realy unless you hate or MUST replace your old car why buy now?

Hybrid fan

"far better cars will have to come out in 5-10 years so realy unless you hate or MUST replace your old car why buy now?"

How true. Cars have already gotten much better, and last much longer, than they did 30 years ago. The recent downturn forced many people to revisit their old habit of replacing every few years like everybody HAD to back in the day.

BTW, the credit crunch is overblown. As a test, in the last 60 days I applied for 3 credit cards and got instant approval for all three. I'm not going to use them, I just wanted to see how things actually worked getting new credit. I also can get a 100% car loan at 5.5% and I'm STILL not going to buy now- my current 11 year old car works just fine. THAT is Detroit's problem.

It looks like there will be hybrids on the lot with incentives come time I let the moths fly out my wallet (I'll pay cash). :)

TM

• Not driving aggressively
• Not carrying extra weight
• Living close to work
• Car pooling

If you practice these habits, HEV will not improve your fuel consumption significantly to justify the added costs.

I don't car pool, but do the others. My 1st car - Cadillac Catera cost ~$29,000. 19mpg. Something would break on it every 6 weeks.
Next car: Prius. Cost: $24,000. 55mpg (range is 47mpg to 65mpg over the past 2yrs). I like the Prius as a car more than the Caddy. (no more GM for me). Sure I could have bought a Corolla for less money, but I don't want to drive a corolla.

Pablo

I'd be interested to see the number of hybrid cars built, but not sold. I have a feeling (with the Prius and Escape Hybrid at the very least) that this has to do more with a shortage of batteries than the cars not being sold.

kum dollison

Meantime, ethanol is powering the equivalent of 20 Million U.S. autos.

It's doesn't matter what car you buy if you can't get credit. The TARP was supposed to get banks loaning money again, but it seems the banks aren't trying to loan you anything.

Please site your source(s) for this. I have found no (zero, zip, nada) sources that claim that people are going into car dealers wanting to buy cars but told to go away because the dealer/bank won't give them a loan. Multiple sources showing that people are told to go away will be helpful to the discussion. Or, was that made up for dramatic effect?

Will S

Jer wrote:

"I can only assume that customers are not enjoying the hybrid 'experience'. it's time to get higher performance vehicles into the PHEV marketplace because people that can afford performance can afford hybrid."

A short term drop in hybrid sales is only indicative of the current low gas prices. Few are naive enough to believe they will stay that low unless the recession deepens and lengthens (in which case even fewer cars will be purchased).

I'd say this is the time to really shine with energy efficiency technology, and have cars developed that will exceed 65mpg. Indeed, this has already been the case with the GM Precept, Ford Prodigy, and Chrysler ESX-III, though Bush killed the PNGV program that was incubating them.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)