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Reported US Sales of Hybrids Up 26% in April

Hybrid_sales_apr07_1
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_sales_apr07_2
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.

Hybrid_sales_apr07_3
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.

Comments

Patrick

I could do with a Ford Fusion Hybrid. The 4-cyl Ford is not quite as frugal as the 4-cyl Camry but I'm sure it will be a slightly less expensive vehicle. It will probably be 150lbs lighter than the Camry Hybrid as well (looking at the 4 banger weights for both).

K

GM introduced a not-very-attractive-hybrid with the Vue. Quickly they made it worse by announcing a better configuration would be available next year.

That really makes you rush to buy the current model. They have kept the hybrid cost penalty down.

I think I have seen a thousand TV adds for the Silverado and none whatever for a GM hybrid. It is a miracle that they sold any.

wooglin

Top story neglects to mention GM Hybrid sales (Saturn Vue and Aura). GM stopped producing the Silverado PHT hybrid, I believe that was really just a pilot launch.

At the end of the year the Tahoe/Yukon 2 mode hybrid will arrive. I think this is what alot of Americans are looking for, a large SUV that gets 25mpg and can still tow a boat. There will be a cost premium though...

If you can get 50,000 Tahoe/Yukon 2 mode hybrids on the road this will probably save more gas than all the Prius hybrids.

Charles S

I never realized that "price" alone sells more cars. If that is the case, I wonder why Chevy Aveo isn't the best selling car for all of GM?

If profit margin is the only factor in determination of success, brands like Cadillac would trump the price-model of Toyota any day. Legacy costs is obviously a disadvantage, but that doesn't change the fact that the domestics strategy is to bet the farm on high-margin vehicles and trucks, and that has backfired.

How about focusing on American successes like the transformation of Saturn product line?

Saturn was a strong brand with high customer loyalty, but GM killed it. The late Saturn Vue had terrible quality problems and the aging ION is the least liked among critics and potential buyers. Now that someone has decided to refresh the brand, the sales numbers are UP and it is attracting desirable demographics.

On the other hand, I don't think people should view higher hybrid sales as a "trend" as this post is mainly a report about hybrids. Other factoids include higher Jeep sales (SUVs) and Ford also reported better numbers for the Ford Expedition.

Yes, that's right, Ford Expedition sales number is UP (27%), when gas prices is edging toward its all time highs.

SJC

Gasoline prices have gone up 70% in recent years but gasoline consumption has not gone down. I have seen one Saturn Aura on the road among the many Camrys and Altimas. It seems like the U.S. car makers have given up on sedans in favor of trucks and SUVs. Now that the Prius has been out for more than 5 years, and there are Camry and Altima hybrids, where are the U.S. hybrid sedans? I hear comments of "real soon now", but is not like they have not had advance notice and time to plan and execute a strategy.

wintermane

You know its things like the OBVIOUS 2500 bucks matters alot in the car market that your not getting makeseverone else ... wonder about you. Its right up there with just say no for dumbest words of all time.

kevin

wintermane,

Why do you keep going on about the $2500. I agree it is a major issue, but GM's only hope of survival is based on increased volume, which can only be profitable if they innovate to get ahead of the pack, that either means winning the fuel consumption wars in trucks in some sustainable way, or innovating accross the range.

Also of course they have too many brands, diluting R&D and marketting effectiveness

James

David - not all engines are V's.

BillW - the subaru outback has a flat 6.

David Grenier

Wintermane,

That's a red herring put out by mismanaged corporations who want to blame their own failures on their workers and weasel out of their health care and pension obligations.

If the $2500 cost (not verified) were the only issue, then GM would have cars as efficient and reliable as Toyota and Honda for only $2500 more, and they would sell like hotcakes. I'd gladly pay an extra $2500 for a car that's union made in the US, but I won't buy any car at any price that's inefficient or unreliable.

wintermane

Sorry when it comes to shopping I will buy something made with child slavw labor as long as its cheap.. While shopping I have the morals of Ghengis Khan and the compassion of Jefery Dhomner.

As far as gm goes the main reason I dont look at em is they smell like old people.. on top of that they hve all the fasion sense of Carrot Top.

BUT even when they randomly dont suck I STILL would just wait for someone to do it cheaper/better because hey im a cheap bugger.

Oh Canada

Since when (in the last 50 years) has buying a ford, GM and chrysler meant buyer american/canadian. I am proud to have purchased a Corolla and Matrix both built right here in Ontario, employing thousands of hard working Canadians under the supervision of efficiency and good working conditions at their Ontario plants. Next year there will be another plant in Ontario producing 800,000 vehicles a year including the Rav4. I'm proud of my Canadian purchase and more importantly because they work do brilliantly.

sorry for the off topic comment, but i thought it was valid given the direction of some comments.

sherred

While the pissing contest over what is what in engine cofiguration is fasinating, I would like to pose a question. Why is it that car manufacturers choose the most boaring of car designs for the hybrid selection?

sherred

In my opion american car manufacturers need to improve the overall reputation of the respective vehicle lines, a hybrid Focus is fine but it is still a Ford. that being said be careful about your so called european superior engineering a good segment of those companies are owned by or partnered with Ford, Chrysler and GM. Look, until car manufacturers balls up and go full forward and consumer demand a repectable selection of Hybrids, car manufacturers will continue about there business of playing the numbers game, with low quality, high quantity, high mark up and high pressure sales,it will be a slow race to the hybrid finish line.

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