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Reported US Sales of Hybrids Up 26% in April

US hybrid sales. Click to enlarge.

Reported US sales of light-duty hybrid vehicles rose 26% in April 2007 from the year before, reaching 27,351 units. The results, while a drop from March 2007’s more than 34,000 units sold, still represent a more than 2% share of the new vehicle market—the second month in a row for that level of penetration. These results do not include hybrid vehicles sales for GM as the company does not yet break those out.

Total light duty vehicle sales in the US dropped 7.6% in April, with sales of passenger cars falling 12.5% and sales of light-duty trucks and SUVs decreasing by 2.9%, according to Autodata. (Percent change calculations are based on numeric comparison, not adjusted for the selling days in the period.)

Hybrid share of new vehicle sales. Click to enlarge.

Toyota reported 13,056 units of the Prius sold, its second-strongest month ever and a 59% increase from April 2006. The Camry Hybrid posted 4,410 units sold as it moved into its second year of sales. The hybrid version represented 11.6% of all Camry models sold this April. The Highlander Hybrid posted 2,394 units, a 39% drop from April 2006, but represented 23.7% of all Highlanders sold in the month.

The Lexus Rx 400h sold 1,384 units, a drop of 38% from April 2006, and represented 17.6% of all Rx 350/400 models sold in the month. The 174 GS 450h units sold marked a 23% increase from April 2006. The model represented 93.5% of all GS 430 and GS 450h models sold, and 9.2% of the entire GS family, including the 300.

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

Honda sold 2,855 units of its Civic Hybrid, down 8% from April 2006, and representing 9.8% of the total brand sales. Honda sold 318 units of the Accord Hybrid, down 48% from April 2006, and representing 1.1% of all Accords sold. Honda also moved two units of the discontinued Insight.

Ford saw its sales of the Mariner and Escape hybrids drop 33% to 2,275 units, representing 12.7% of the combined sales of the two brands.

Nissan sold 483 units of the Altima hybrid, for 3.0% of total Altima sales. Sales of the hybrid are limited to 8 states.



The US car companies are going out of business in the US not because of costs but because they are building the wrong models, meanwhile other global manufacturers are producing cars that easily meet the increased CAFE requirements, but some of these cars are not allowed in the US (probably because of lobbying pressure from the big 3)
Eventually one of the big 3 will split away and charge full steam into PHEV and BEV because they will figure out that is the only way they can survive.
If GM has not figured out that it should build the VOLT with a 20 mile EV range with a modular battery space, the contents of which can be changed at a later date, more fool them!
If they have not figured out that Toyota lost some money on the Prius early in its production cycle, but now owns the space, more fool them!
If GM has not figured out they can lease the batteries and replace them when improved capability arrives, and that lease revenue is effectively generating revenue that used to go to the oil companies, more fool them!


The big three have a cost per car of about 2500 more then others. It varies gm has it the worst. So any car where the average profit margin would be under that will loose money or barely break even with cost cuts that screw up the car.

Also the us car market is on a looong downturn and the big 3 are spending money elsewhere... china india mexico.


There is no law that says the big 3 have to shrink, and there is effectively no limit to toyota's growth.

For as long as the big 3 play a defensive game they will lose!

The US became the global powerhouse that it was/is through innovation, stagnation of ideas in the US auto industry is killing it.

This is not a cost based argument, its a paucity oif managment vision. If GM makes more cars that people want to buy, it will have to discount less and the fixed incremental cost per car of pensions and healthcare will fall


There are over 450,000 people who would consider buying a 40mile EV VOLT,

Maybe GM should ask how many would consider buying a 20 mile EV Volt in 2008 or 2009

It would probably only be 250,000 or so, so not really worth them doing !! (this is sarcasm!)


It's not even Memorial Day yet and gas is at $3/gal!
It's going to be a banner year of Toyota & Honda.


I'd like to see a breakdown of Camry sales:

V-6 units for the month of April
I-4 units for the month of April

Typically the 4 cylinder sells best so I'm really interested in seeing how many V-6s are sold compared to hybrids, given the performance and cost of the hybrid over the 4 cylinder.


To me, hybrid sales figures this year have been a testament to Toyota's vision and marketing. The vision is introducing the Prius years ago, sticking with it, and refining it even with mediocre early sales. The marketing has made Prius *the* hybrid automobile. Lay people where I live (suburban Philadelphia) are referring to the Prius as "The Hybrid", as in "did you buy The Hybrid." At first, I thought this usage was as in "did you buy the hybrid version of the Camry", but discovered that many people think the Prius is the only hybrid.

That lack of knowledge of hybrid-other-than-Prius also dovetails with three families I know with other hybrids, one Camry, one Highlander and one Civic. None of the three were even aware that these vehicles were available as hybrids, but purchased them when they visited dealers to buy straight ICE versions (and found out about the tax credits for buying them).

Of course, to some degree this is less about marketing (Toyota really did not run a lot of Prius ads and just within the last half year or so started running the hybrid TV ads), than about having a hybrid-only model, but Honda had the same with the Insight and was not able to capitalize on it.

Anyway, I expect the Prius to continue to sell well straight through to the introduction of the next revision, at which point I hope to finally become a Prius owner myself. Meanwhile, I think hybrid sales for Honda, Ford and GM (and Nissan here in PA) will continue to lag due to lack of consumer awareness.


The insight shows that, no matter how fuel efficient and "green" consumers still need to be able to get more utility out of their vehicles least that is their mindset.

Max Reid

In a month when vehicle sales declined 7.6 %, Hybrids increased 26 %, thats great.

Seems GM sold 939 units of Saturn Vue Hybrid and that takes Hybrid sales to 28,330
and thats a share of 2.11 %
Also GM sold 42 units of Saturn Aura Hybrid. Still they dont say about the sales of their Hybrid Trucks.

Going forward, expect more sales of Hybrids with V4 engine. Meanwhile Honda can reduce some extras and the price on their Civic.

Nissan can make available Altima Hybrid to all 50 states, after all summer is coming up.

Also April started with gas prices around 2.6 / gallon while May started with 3 / gallon.

Kevin : Actually more people will buy EV Volt at 20 mile range, since the cost will
be atleast 3 K lesser. Driving 20 miles / day means 7000 miles / year
which is like 50 % of the driving range. Infact 10 mile range will be better.

Patrick : I guess Hybrid Camry must be outselling V6 Camry, just like GS450h outselling
GS430. If things continue this way, Toyota may drop both GS430 (V8 engine)
and Camry (V6 engine).

Max Reid

Hybrid sales have exceeded 100,000 mark this year in just 4 months, at this rate they may hit 300,000 mark this year.

Meanwhile the sales of Big SUV's and Pickups and Minivans are falling, clearly the trend is towards fuel efficiency.

Max Reid

Hybrid sales have exceeded 100,000 mark this year in just 4 months, at this rate they may hit 300,000 mark this year.

Meanwhile the sales of Big SUV's and Pickups and Minivans are falling, clearly the trend is towards fuel efficiency.

Max Reid

Seems GM sold around 3000 units of their Hybrid pickups.
Now they have stopped it.


Excuse me for stating the amaxingly obvious but it seems some flunked basic math.

If the same car costs toyota 15000 to make and costs gm 17500 guess whose car will sell?

If gm cuts out 2500 ib stuff to reach the 15000 mark guess whose car will sell?

If you dobt understand that... kindly never breed.


It certainly wasn't regulation (CAFE) that screwed up the "free market" of american car makers. It seems like glutuney did. When toyota and honda can get those six cylanders out of the accord and highlander and replace them with better batteries maybe their sales will increase instead of nosedive. I don't need to go 100 mph+. but I'd like to get 100 mpg!


Max, none of the big automakers produce a V4 engine anymore.

ed, you are a minority.


What do you mean, car companies no longer produce 4-cylinder engine cars? The following midsize cars come with 4-cylinder engines: Chevy Malibu, Chrysler Sebring, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Optima, Kia Spectra, Mazda 6, Mercury Milan, Mitsubishi Galant, Nissan Altima, Nissan Sentra, Nissan Versa, Saab 9-5, Toyota Camry, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Passat. Is that a good enough selection?

There are 13 station wagons and 15 SUVs that come with 4-cylinder engines but I won't bother listing them all. I think I already made my point.

Gas is already $3 per gallon and it is still early May. What will be the price of gas in the summer? $4 per gallon? $4.50 per gallon? The next ten years will see a massive shift in the way we drive. More station wagons and less SUVs, diesels, biodiesel, gas-electric hybrids, diesel electric hybrids, Plug-in hybrids, etc.


V4 not 4 cylinder.
All 4 cylinder engines are inline, or I4.

Shaun Williams

Still nice numbers despite missing the recalcitrant GM's input.

So why doesn't GM release their figures on hybrids? Is it because they don't sell many and they're embarrassed or because they don't want to look too green and risk alienating their macho market? Come on worlds biggest auto manufacturer, this is childish!

Mark A

To keep the argument going for just a second, not all 4 cylinders are I-4. Some are flat 4, in the boxer design or "H" design, made popular by VW, and then Porsche. Subaru also used the flat 4 in some of its later offerings. And as far as efficiency, some "big" four cylinders are most likely less efficient than some "small" V-6 engines. So the 4 is better than 6, which is better than 8, may not always be the case. Too broad.

But back to the main hybrid story, some of you tried to chastise GM for not having numbers in the story, even though the story states that GM's totals are not included in the story!

While hybrids are most likely wonderful vehicles, until they can compete with a standard model, head to head, price to price, they will not ever become the sole offerings. Why pay a $1500 dollar premium for a hybrid, over a standard model, when you can take that $1500 and buy 500 gallons of $3 gas and go an extra 10,000 miles at 20mpg? Obviously those numbers arent etched in stone. They could go up! They also could go down! And thats the rub.

The general, less informed, larger public still feel that hybrids are generally wimpy, finicky, complex designs that are better to stay away from, as opposed to getting their tried and true models they understand. I'm not saying its right, but just that its there. Everyone wants a choice, and can always vote with their pocketbook.

Lou Grinzo

Every month I look at not just car sales but the incentives car companies use to make those sales.

Check and you'll see that in April incentives ranged from $3,994/vehicle (Chrysler) to $944/vehicle (Toyota).


I would like to see an American hybrid sedan, like a Fusion from Ford. BAS is interesting from GM, but it is not a full hybrid. The only full U.S. hybrid is the Escape. If people want a sedan hybrid, they would have to choose from Camry, Prius, Civic, Accord or Altima. This does not give the people that want to buy a U.S. hybrid sedan much fact no choice at all but to buy Japanese.


All of the latest Subaru engines are flat in the US.


I'm with SJC - I'd like to buy an American hybrid sedan. If I could get a plug in Volt, I would, even though I have not liked any of the Chevys my parents have owned. I've even seriously considered an Escape, but that would be like buying a Camry powertrain with dead weight added by Ford.


Check out this website:

Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan will be offered as a hybrid next year, as well as other brands.


I see the Prius is a little under 50% of total hybrid sales. This is apparently the first time since Feb/Mar last year (when Prius production was curtailed to get the Camry hybrid initially produced). Since this comes when the Prius isn't production-constrained, apparently it's from increased choices in the hybrid marketplace.

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