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US Sales of Hybrids Top 25,000 Units in July for a New High

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Buoyed by strong results for the Prius and the Camry hybrid, sales of hybrids in the US hit a new high in July, with 25,626 units sold—a 32% increase from July 2005.

Propelled by a sharp 29% drop in the sales of light-duty trucks and SUVs, total sales of light-duty vehicles in the US market fell 17.4% to 1,493,078 units in July 2006 from the prior year. Passenger car sales increased 0.6% in July from the year prior. Hybrids represented 1.7% of the total new light-duty vehicle market in July 2006.

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Toyota Prius sales cracked the 11,000 mark for the first time since April 2005, racking up 11,114 units sold. In its third full month of sales, the Camry hybrid posted 5,023 units, maintaining its new position as the second-best selling hybrid in the US behind the Prius. Hybrids represented 12.0% of all Camry models sold in the month. Overall, hybrids represented 8.4% of Toyota’s total light-duty vehicle sales in July.

The Highlander hybrid delivered a steady performance, with 2,784 units sold, up 8.6% from July 2005. Hybrids now represent 23.2% off all Highlanders sold. The Rx 400h hybrid posted 1,220 units—a sharp drop of 46% from its sales in July 2005. The hybrid represents 14.4% of combined Rx 350/Rx 400h sales.

The luxury GS 450h hybrid sold 157 units—52.5% of combined GS 430/GS 450h sales, and 7.6% of all GS model sales (GS 300, GS 430 and GS 450h).

Honda’s Civic Hybrid sold 2,673, an increase of 14.8% from July 2005. The hybrid represents 9.3% of all Civic models sold. Sales of the Accord hybrid continued at a much lower level relative to 2005, with 504 units sold—a decrease of 63.4% from July 2005. The Accord hybrid now represented 1.3% of all Accords sold in the month. Sales of the Insight were a strong 91 units—up 33.8% from 2005—as the model approaches its end. Hybrids represented 2.2% of all Honda light-duty vehicles sold in July.

Ford posted strong results for its Escape and Mariner hybrids, selling 2,060 units combined, an 81% increase from July 2005. The two hybrids now represent 14.1% of the model sales for the two marks. Overall, hybrids represented 0.9% of total Ford vehicle sales in July.

Hybrid_sales_jul06_3_1 Hybrid_sales_jul06_4
Hybrid car sales. Hybrid SUV sales.
Hybrid_sales_jul06_5 Hybrid_sales_jul06_6
Hybrid sales as a component of total model sales. Hybrids as percentage of total light-duty vehicle sales.


Phil Trella

Hi. I really like your site. What would be really neat is if you had a monthly graph of the percent of total car sales that are hybrids. In other words, of all the vehicles that were sold in the U.S. this month, what % were hybrids?

Also, in the first paragraph of your story, you should probably change July 2006 to July 2005.


Any news on when Honda will finally drop this "performance" version of the hybrid Accord and use a 4-cyl/IMA setup?

Harvey D.

Hybrids up 32% and gas guzzlers down 29% is good news. If this trend keeps up it will have a drastic effect on overall gas consumption within a few years.

PHEVs (big and small) will further cut sales of current gas guzzlers and could drastically reduce Oil imports.

Joseph Willemssen

Good news.


I would like to see info added with this article about the market share of diesel light duty vehicles, and weither thier % is up, or dwn, and how the total % compares to hybrid % of the market.

Adrian Akau

I must say that these charts are the most beautiful I have seen for a long time. They show that we are moving toward hybrids, gas savings and national energy security.

[email protected]


I wish someone could do some math and figure out what the average mileage is of the new car fleet sold each month. I'll bet it's going up a lot faster than the government-regulation CAFE standards. My opinion is that CAFE is obsolete and that mileage is going to climb a lot faster than CAFE would have ever dared mandate. Does anyone know if the information needed for this kind of calculation is publicly available? Multiply the mileage for a car model or type times the number of those sold, and average it out.



I agree this is good, but if hybrids only represent 1.7% of light duty vehicles, this is not likely to make a big difference soon. The trends are encouraging, though.

I think we will see a larger impact sooner from the business sector, as they seem to be moving quickly to adopt hybrids for delivery and mass transportation. I don't know what percent of gasoline use is represented by commercial transport vs. private autos. Does anyone have this information?


Phil, thanks for the correction and new graph is added.


Toyota: Great decision to ship the Camry with a 4 cylinder ice vs. the Accords’ 6 cylinder. Forty mpg trumps the Accord’s 30 mpg. I wonder if the same logic would apply to whoever comes out with a 100+ mpg PHEV??!


JM- go to the bureau of transportation statistics website. They list the energy content of fuels used by sector (commercial, personal, multi-axle, two-wheel, etc).

Mike- Could you please cite your source for this data?

Charles S

"I would like to see info added with this article about the market share of diesel light duty vehicles"

Here's what I found for 2005 statistics from

"Year-on-year figures suggest that diesel registrations within the light duty segment rose by 30% in 2005. Move the accounting period back to 2000 and broaden the scope out to include light and medium duty vehicles, and the increase is over 80%, from just over 300,000 units to 543,777 last year. But stick with just the light duty segment, and the increase is one of 95%, from 22,543 units in 2000 to 44,031 in 2005."

It seems US sells quite a few light duty diesels, relative to hybrids. I know there are a lot of die-hard fans of diesel out there. I believe diesel has its place, but sometimes I view this as people fighting over two-halves of a pie.

JD Power predicted that diesel ownership in US will TRIPLE in the next ten years. Some people may think that is a good thing, but it could also end up to be a double-edged sword.

We are all well aware that the diesel gospel is that diesel vehicles are more efficient. But let's say that refining capacity will not change significantly, people trading in a gasoline car for a diesel will add to the demand of diesel, but ease on the demand of gasoline. So while overall fuel usage is lower, the price of diesel could spike under such a scenario.

Sure, there will probably be an increase in capacity in the future, and biodiesel plants will help, but somehow I have a feeling that will not be enough. For now, luckily the price premium of a diesel is on par with some hybrids. In 2008, 2009, when next generation of diesels and hybrids are released... if diesel wins the popularity contest, I have no doubt that diesel prices will increase substantially.

High diesel prices will not only affect diesel owners, but the cost of transporting goods will also increase, adding more pressure to the dreaded "I" word.


These numbers are great. Jan 05 less than 1% and now almost 2% of total sales, and Camry all out hit. This is great cause toyota pays royalty on batteries shipped in and buy batteries on domestically built to Michigan based Cobasys. I agree with mike the 4cy decision by toyota was brilliant stategy. This is not the fast and furious demographic though app the accord can be for them. The combined diesel and hybrid % will be at 10 before we know it, and I think the camry will get us past the point of no return that the electric car never could.

Joseph Willemssen

I would like to see info added with this article about the market share of diesel light duty vehicles

Hmm. VW pretty much owns that market for MY2006. I believe the only two others are the Liberty and the 320 CDI.

VW sales in July were 22,627 units. An earlier GCC post indicated the company reached a record level of 22% of total US sales being diesel in April. So, assume it's now about 25% at the upper end. That's about 5,700 diesel vehicles.

The Liberty (all fuels) sold 9,702 units in July, and the entire E-Series for Mercedes sold 4,479 units. Assume 10% for each one, and that's about 1,400 more.

Ballpark I'd say around 8,000 units for July would be a good guess. That would come to around 0.5% of LDV sales and about 1/3 of hybrid sales.

I'm pretty sure VW isn't offering MY2007 diesels, and I also believe the Liberty CRD is being discontinued next model year as well.

Joseph Willemssen

Ballpark I'd say around 8,000 units for July

Correction: about 7,000 units

Harvey D.


Hybrids (+ PHEVs soon) market share will increase rapidly with many more models coming to the market + relative cost coming down, reducing the current price difference to about $2000.

A carbon/gas tax of $1 to $2/gal would also help to accellerate the transition but it won't come in an election year nor with the current administration.

The Middle East ongoing instability may achieve the same results but many $$ billions will be going to different-unfriendly hands.



You make good points about nore models and relative price. The incentives may come from the market. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal (Mexico's Biggest Oil Field Sees Decline, By JOHN LYONS
August 2, 2006; Page A4)
"Output at Cantarell oil field -- responsible for about six of every 10 barrels Mexico produces -- fell to 1.74 million barrels a day in June from 1.92 barrels in January, according to figures released by Mexico's Energy Ministry. ... an internal oil-company report that suggested earlier this year the field's output could fall by nearly 75% by the end of 2008."

If other oil producing nations see declines anything like this, oil prices alone will be incentive enough to buy hybrids.


Carbon tax isn't coming in any off election year either. Only in a treehuggers wet dream.

Joseph Willemssen

Must be a Friday night. The cranks are out.


The luxury GS 450h hybrid sold 157 units—52.5% of combined GS 430/GS 450h sales, and 7.6% of all GS model sales (GS 300, GS 430 and GS 450h).
thanks for remembering this Mike!


Other than the E320, Liberty and VW trio all of the current diesels are commercial trucks and vans. VW will not be offering any diesels for 2007, but they should be back a year later. Mercedes is adding two diesel SUVs in 2007.


Patrick, each automaker's data comes from the automakers either directly or in their monthly sales reports. The total LDV data is from Autodata.


Toyota has exceeded 60,000 in sales of hybrids. Therefore, the tax credit for Toyota hybrids will begin to decline. Bush called for a lifting of the quotas but so far no action by congress. Wonder if this will put a stop to the healthy increases in sales we have been seeing. Of course, some of this could transfer to Honda or even Ford.

Frankly, I would be more interested in the sales figures for high mpg vehicles in general, whether they be diesel, hybrid, or conventional. Progress is progress, regardless of the technology.

Congress should go back and redo the tax credits by rewarding gas mileage, not technology.

Adrian Akau

I am also interested in the sales figures for high mpg vehicles in general as well because some people cannot afford the hybrids and yet want to purchase vehicles with better gas milage. An article and chart with this information would better reflect the mentality of the people making purchases with regard to their concern for rising gas prices.

[email protected]


"I wish someone could do some math and figure out what the average mileage is of the new car fleet sold each month."

The problem is that the transmission build figures are not released by Ward's until about 6 months after the end of the model year. The EPA mpg ratings between manual/auto is almost 7% for many vehicles such as the Focus and up to 11% for the BMW 550i.

The EPA releases its fleet estimate annually.

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