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January 2006 US Hybrid Sales Almost Double from Prior Year

Hybrids continue to outperform other sectors of the new vehicle market. Hybrid sales in the US in January 2006 almost doubled from January 2005 with a total of 15,868 units sold, compared to 8,455 the year before. By contrast, sales of total light duty vehicles in the US increased by 3% in January 2006 from the year before.

Hybrid sales from December 2005 to January 2006 dropped 13%. Total light duty sales dropped 26% in January 2006 from December 2005.

Toyota sold 7,654 units of the Prius, an increase of 38% over the same period last year. Both the Highlander and the Rx 400h had relatively lower results in the month, although since neither was on the market in January 2005, there is no basis for comparison.

The Rx 400h, however, posted its lowest results yet for the 10 months it has been on the market, dropping down to 1,477 units. The Highlander reported 2,263 units, an increase over its December 2005 results.

The new Honda Civic Hybrid had a very strong month, reporting 3,165 units sold—an increase of 171% over January 2005 and its strongest results since April 2005.

The Accord Hybrid posted its worst month yet, with only 351 units sold. The Insight stayed steady within its performance band, with 59 sales.

Ford is now opting to report the sales of its Escape and Mariner Hybrids as combined. The two together posted 899 units sold in January 2006—down 1% from the January 2005 total of 908 units (for the Escape hybrid alone).

Hybrid_sales_jan061 Hybrid_sales_jan062_1



Love to see the prius (and all of the hybrids, really) doing well. I'm sure a lot of the DEC slump was on account of the tax credit. Hopefully the HAH results will convince the auto mfgs that souped up hybrids are not the way to go. Now, when is Ford gonna make a hybrid sedan or hatchback?


Nah they'll definately still make performance hybrids, just not in cars where the hybrid trim has a MSRP of $31k and looks more or less identicle to the base trim level you can get for $16k. Keep the four cylinder hybrid cars in the Ford/Chevy/Honda/Toyota brands and the V6 hybrid cars in the Lexus/Acura/Cadillac/Lincoln brands. Toyota did a smart move with the new Camry hybrid in keeping it a 4 cylinder, especially that they gave it more power than the Prius. Now they don't have to worry as much about making the next Prius more powerful and they can use system similar to the RX400h in their new ES350.

Mark Clarkson

Finding a fuel alternative to our car is a huge help to our economy. There is a study, states that ethanol is more difficult to ignite than gasoline, especially in cold temperatures. Thus, making an engine to operate on 100 percent ethanol, the ignition and fuel systems itself may need some modifications. But when ethanol is used as an additive to gasoline, it becomes more economical with every positive results. The Toyota Nut


In Brazil they have E9X (close to E100) and those cars have a tiny gasoline tank that is used to start the engine if it's too cold for ethanol to do so reliably, then once it's warm enough it switches over to ethanol. Similar in concept to the diesels that run on CNG and use a tiny amount of diesel to ignite the CNG, except this would only need to be used briefly.


wow, any reason for the huge delay in these numbers becoming available?


oh mike and also, the 3d chart only goes to november 05 and the stacked chart only goes to december.


That's better. thanks.


The market has spoken. The Accord hybrid was a dumb idea. If I just want more power, there are better ways to do it than buy an Accord hybrid.

I agree that Camry may have hit the sweet spot, at least sweeter than the Accord. But we shall see.

The Escape/Mariner was pretty pathetic as well. Ford better get cranking if they think they will ever meet their Hybrid goals. Perhaps the SUV/Hybrid combo will never really be a big seller. Could it be that people who buy SUVs generally couldn't care less about gas mileage. It would seem so from the sale figures.

When is Totota or Honda going to come out with a hybrid on their "low" end SUVs, the CR-V and the RAV4? This may hit the sweet spot for some and would probably render the Escape Hybrid virtually extinct.

Harvey D

Should hybrids be 'economy' or 'performance' vehicles? It is difficult to get both in the same vehicle unless the basic design is changed. The new Toyota Celica Hybrid may satisfy both in 2008?. Better, lighter, quicker charge and discharge, more powerful batteries could help to bridge both requirements.

Tim Russell

I have been reading auto news from various souces.

Ford is developing a hybrid Fusion for the '08 model year. A bit slow out of the blocks but they want to souce all the parts from dedicated suppilers. This will avoid the problems they had with producing the Escape hybrid. (They used the same tranny supplier as Toyota and Toyota owns around 40% of the supplier so guess who got gets product first.) This problem limited them to 20 to 24K units a year.


I would have thought the sales of the Ford Escape (or other hybrids for that matter) are determined by supply. You can't get one off the lot.

And I was under the impression the supply of hybrids is limited by batteries, not the availability of trannies.

quote: When is Totota or Honda going to come out with a hybrid on their "low" end SUVs, the CR-V and the RAV4? This may hit the sweet spot for some and would probably render the Escape Hybrid virtually extinct.

The Saturn Vue is on its way to do just that.


I wanted to leave a trackback, but blogger doesn't support it. But I wanted to let you know I referenced your post, anyways:

Tim Russell

The Vue is a mild hybrid compaired to the Escape.

BTW until the Superbowl add and the Kermit ad's Ford wasn't advertising the Escape hybrid in a big way. Again until they have their own dedicated supply of hybrid trannys they can only build about 24K vehicles a year. Most of what's holding up the other automakers is getting hybrid drivetrain parts. The major transmission suppliers are all tooled to produce conventional trannys so it's gonna take years for them to ramp up to hybrids.

Back to the Vue, using the stop/start assist motor/generator system is clever, no hybrid tranny, uses fewer batteries which makes it a great stepping stone. If GM puts this system on as many Ecotech SP? 4 cyl engines as they can and has thousands of vehicles getting 5MPG better than they did it starts adding up to a lot of fuel saved.


Did you know that treehugger is posting your numbers and your excel spreadsheet?

I did not know that about the trannys and drivetrains being the roadblock. I guess I was just assuming about the batteries....

Well... if you assume, you know what happens.

John Acheson

WOW, wonderful work!!! Great job, you've complied the most beautiful hybrid sales graphs I've seen!!

If you had to pick a point in time when the slope was steepest, when would that be?

March to April?

Susan K

Why is the Accord hybrid a dumb idea? I have an Accord, was thinking when I go hybrid next time it would be cheaper than a Prius hybrid.
I'snt any car better as a hybrid? Why is the Civic hybrid selling and the Accord hybrid not?

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