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Midwest Fastest Growing Region for Hybrid Registrations; West Still the Volume Leader

Polkhyb
Regional growth in hybrids. Click to enlarge.

New hybrid vehicle registrations have grown more than 49% nationwide in the first seven months of 2007 when compared to the same timeframe in 2006, according to data from R. L. Polk & Co. The Midwest region posted the highest increase of 56.9% when compared to the South, Northeast and the West regions.

The West region leads in total volume, anchored by the number one hybrid vehicle registration state, California. Oklahoma led all states with growth of more than 143% compared to the first seven months of 2006 while Hawaii was the only state showing a decline in new hybrid vehicle registrations, dropping 5.3%.

Hybrids are being adopted by vehicle buyers in all regions at an increasing rate for many factors which include fuel prices, differentiating themselves from other consumers and environmental activism. The data indicates that hybrids have not hit plateau and that there is room for continued growth within the marketplace in all regions.

—Lonnie Miller, Polk director of industry analysis

Large gains were made in the Midwest due in part to the Toyota Prius, which boasted an 88.3% increase, and the Toyota Camry with a 214.9% increase from the first seven months of 2006, which marked the entry of the Camry hybrid in the US.

While the majority of sedan hybrid registrations increased, both the Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX400h declined sharply in every region. Highlander registrations were down 24.6% while the RX400h was down 16.3%.

Following the Toyota Prius at just over 50% share of the hybrid segment, the Toyota Camry was the second highest registered hybrid model, taking 15% of the category, followed by the Honda Civic, with 9.1% of all new hybrid registrations. Continuing leadership in this segment, Toyota and Lexus own more than 78% of the hybrid market, compared to 74% in the first seven months of 2006.

While the overall US vehicle market is down, hybrids are a bright spot in the automotive industry with this category projected to easily exceed 300,000 vehicles this year. At this point, hybrids account for more than two percent of the total US vehicle market, which is supported by the regional growth we’ve seen.

—Lonnie Miller

Comments

jack

"I don't want to drive a Prius. I had one for 6 months"

If you don't want to drive a Prius, why did you buy one in the first place?

Paul

Jack, that's a really silly question. I leased a Prius because I wanted to get better mileage (I was driving the Lexus RX400h hybrid at the time) and I thought I would like it, but it turned out I didn't. That's how I KNOW I don't want to drive a Prius - because I drove one for 6 months and I didn't like it. Duh. Have you NEVER bought something that you thought you would like and then later realized you don't like it? It happens all the time.

jack

Jack, that's a really silly question. I leased a Prius because I wanted to get better mileage (I was driving the Lexus RX400h hybrid at the time) and I thought I would like it, but it turned out I didn't. That's how I KNOW I don't want to drive a Prius - because I drove one for 6 months and I didn't like it. Duh. Have you NEVER bought something that you thought you would like and then later realized you don't like it? It happens all the time.

Nice that you can afford $50,000 vehicles, Paul.

Paul

Thank you Jack.

Ron Rose

Tested the Prius last week.
Drove from So Cal to Nebraska via us 70 thru Colorado and some of the longest steepest mountain climbs in the us sea level to 11,100 At Lookout mountain.
Battery monitor showed a drained battery on 2 occassions but performance of car was not a problem. Results- at speeds between 60-65mph set with the cruse control car exceeded 55mpg. The speed limit is 75 on much of the trip and when using the cruise control at that speed the fuel consumption was 46 mpg. In 2800 + miles the overall average was 46 mpg. I did not baby the car in anyway. I was not attempting to get the best fuel economy
It a great car with fine performance, comfort and road handling. I was amazed at the cars performance in the mountains.

Anon Ski Apparel

@paul:

Why so pessimistic? Well, considering that the 2-mode-equipped gasoline-powered trucks from GM does not show aything more than a 25% improvement in fuel economy at the very most, I remain pessimistic that you will be able to jump from a 30MPG to 46MPG improvement (which is a 50% improvement) with the Mercedes hybrid, which is due to incorporate that very same 2-mode system.

I hope I'm wrong, because a 50% improvement in fuel economy would be very nice in a Mercedes. But as I said, we've all be sold worthless bill of goods before.

the 400H can be bought with a giant discount and along with the tax credit, is a good deal. Clean and much better gas mileage than any comparable mid suv

Paul

Um... Anon, the E320 diesel that I drive today, which gets about 30 MPG, has a great big ol' V6 engine. The diesel that will power the 2010 E300 hybrid will be a tiny lil 4 cylinder. This smaller engine, combined with the hybrid system, should easily increase the mileage from 30 to 46. Just because GM is too stupid to figure it out doesn't mean Mercedes is! By the way, if you guys would like to read about the upcoming Mercedes hybrids (it's very exciting), the article is right beneath this one under the topic "Hybrids."

Mirko

Ron Rose,
your result might have a meaning in US, with 75MPH limit that is enforced. Where I live (continental Europe), speed limit is also 75, but no one cares for it. It's usual to drive Prius-sized car at least 90. I usually keep it about 100, and that is when I'm not in the hurry. And if you have an E-class car, 120 is far more often then 75. Try that in Prius.

Andrey

Mirko:

“Try that in Prius”

Some already tried:

“According to police, Orange County Sheriff's deputies spotted the younger Gore's blue Toyota Prius going more than 100 miles per hour and when they stopped him, they smelled marijuana.”

http://www.starmagazine.com/al%20gore%20son%20dui/celebrity_news_gossip/entertainment/12405

Anon Ski Apparel

@paul:

FYI, the 2-mode hybrid systems Mercedes will be using are developed in collaboration WITH (in your words) "too stupid to figure it out" GM. That is why I remain unconvinced.

Yes, GM stuff in a Mercedes. A few years ago that would have been sacriledge. :-P

middleoroad

Many of us don't want hybrids because you can't bring it to your local independent car repair guy.With Ethanol you can convert your current car for under $1000 and burn clean renewable fuel that is creating well paying jobs all over the US.Corn based ethanol may have been a necessary evil first step because you need some rich guys looking to get richer if you are going to take profits away from other rich guys.Corn based ethanol production will hopefully shrink as 2nd gen becomes more viable.

Paul

Anon, the point you seem to be missing is the SMALLER ENGINE. By going from a 6 cylinder to a 4, and by adding a hybrid system (regardless of who developed it), Mercedes will create a car that gets significantly better mileage than the current model. The GM hybrid truck you referred to, which only managed a small increse in mileage, didn't use a small gas engine. That's where they went wrong. Lexus made the same mistake (3 times). Looks like Mercedes will finally get it right and the result will be a true luxury car that gets great mileage!

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