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US Hybrid Sales Down 6% in July

Us_hybrid_sales_2008081
Total reported hybrid sales. Click to enlarge.

Reported US sales of hybrids in July dropped 6% year-on-year to 26,877 units, representing a new vehicle market share of 2.4% for the month. Through July, reported 2008 sales of hybrids in the US are down 1.6% compared to the same period in 2007, representing a new vehicle market share for the first seven months of 2008 of 2.5%.

Total sales of light duty vehicles in the US dropped 13.2% in July, according to figures from Autodata. (Earlier post.) Through July, total light duty vehicle sales have declined 10.5% compared to the same period in 2007.

Us_hybrid_sales_20080802
Hybrid new vehicle market share. Click to enlarge.

Toyota. Still challenged by availability, according to Toyota, the Prius posted 14,785 units sold in July, down 8% from July 2007. Camry Hybrid sales were down 38.9% to 2,645, representing 6.3% of all Camry sales, which increased 1.5% year-on-year. The Highlander Hybrid posted 1,371 units, up 13.8% from the year before, representing 20.3% of all Highlander sales. Total Highlander sales dropped 23.7% in the month.

Us_hybrid_sales_20080805
Toyota accounted for 76% of hybrids sold in July.

The Lexus Rx 400h sold 1,439 units in July, up 3.9% from the year before, representing 20.3% of all Rx models sold. Sales of all Rx models dropped 15.6% in July.

The GS 450h sold 40 units, down 71.8% from the year before, representing 3.1% of all GX models sold. GX sales were down 42.3% in July. The high-end LS 600h sold 83 units, representing 5.7% of all LX models sold in the month.

Us_hybrid_sales_20080803
Hybrids as a component of model sales. Click to enlarge.

Honda. Sales of the Civic Hybrid reached 3,440 units in July, up 38% from the year before, and representing 11.8% of all Civic models sold. Sales of all Civic models rose 4.6% in July. The Accord Hybrid sold 3 units, down 98.8% and representing 0.01% of all Accords sold. Sales of all Accord models rose 11.4% in the month.

Ford. Combined sales of the Escape and Mariner hybrids dropped 19.8% in the month to 1,265 units, representing 10.1% of the combined total model sales. Total sales of Escape and Mariner models dropped 16% in July.

Us_hybrid_sales_20080804
Hybrid component of total OEM sales. Click to enlarge.

GM. GM posted 351 units for its two-mode hybrid Tahoe and Yukon SUVs, representing 3.2% of their sales in July. The Saturn VUE Greenline hybrid with the BAS GM Hybrid System posted 362 units, for 6.7% of VUE sales. The Saturn Aura BAS hybrid sold 29 units, for 0.4% of total sales, and the Chevy Malibu BAS hybrid sold 349 units for 2.1% of all Malibu sales.

Nissan. Nissan sold 715 units of its Altima Hybrid, a 36.8% drop compared to last July, and representing 0.8% of all Altima sales for the month, which were down 0.1% compared to the year before.

Comments

Golly, the cost of gasoline does not change behavior? Or maybe VR sims make poor reality substitutes.

Treehugger

The problem is avaibility and delai plus overcharging, when you go to your dealership to buy a prius and you are told there is 300 peoples on waiting list plus they over-charge 3000 $ on top of MSPR you turn to something else.

but people want hybrid believe me

TM

These figures do not indicate lack of hybrid interest. Toyota is having production issues. They sell the vast majority of hybrids. If they could have miraculously doubled their production numbers, hybrid sales would have skyrocketed (they sell all they make) and then everyone would say, "wow, the hybrids are really catching on."

These graphs are no more than Toyota's production stats. Don't read anything more into them

Joe

I agree, if you have to wait long for a hybrid and the prices are fixed or even over MSRP, people will turn elsewhere. Besides, the 6% decrease is less that the total decrease in car sales, which is over 13%.

Roger Pham

If full HEVs having relatively small battery pack and small electrical power plant are having production problem, think of the greater impact this production problem will do for PHEVs like the GM Volt, or for serial-hybrids with larger motor, inverter, and battery pack.

The mild hybrids like the Honda Civic requires far less electrical hardwares than full hybrids, and hence enjoys 38% increase in sales, and the latest-model Honda Civic almost match the Prius in overall fuel efficiency. This will bode well for the 2009 dedicated new Honda hybrid using similar IMA architecture.

Boom in Honda Civic sales tells the real demand story--I'm betting better availability than the Prius has caused some would-be Prius buyers to buy the HCH as an almost-as-good second choice. Ford Escape/Mariner is output constrained. BAS hybrids from GM are lame.

Market share graph tells the real story--increasing share in a down market, despite supply constraints.

John Taylor

We see hybrids climb from 0.5% @ 5,000 units in 2004 to about 3% @ 25,000 units in 2008. This is clear and positive growth even if it is slow growth.

This market is one that is made and encouraged by Toyota, with other car mfg competing somewhat. If availability were not such a restricting factor for Toyota, then we would expect to see even bigger gains.
With a 70% increase in production capacity for next year, we should expect Prius to do well, and the rest of the hybrids also increase in sales.

TM

The high oil prices are a blessing in disguise. The energy demand boom is giving engineers and scientists something to focus on. The number of inventions and breakthroughs that we are going to see in the next 10 yrs will be simply amazing.

The next 5 yrs will be painful, but we'll get through this and come out in great shape.

Furthermore, as people of the world move out of poverty and into middle class, their need for energy will increase. This is "a good thing." The world technology is advanced enough to provide green energy for this increase in demand. Coal is out because of GHG (real or perceived) and the horrible impact coal has on the areas where it is mined and where you dump all of the used ash. I'm sure wind/solar PV/solar Thermal/coastal energy/etc. will be able to scale up. I'm optimistic about the future.

Sasparilla

These last few months of results really shows the limitation of Hybrid production, not being flexible to shorter term increases of production - the battery production takes planning out in years unlike regular car production that can be increased in shorter time frames when demand warrants - increases with Hybrids happen at a much slower planned out pace. Next year Toyota will increase Prius production by 50%, Honda will add 100,000 of their new hybrid, Ford will add the Fusion Hybrid and who knows what else...we'll just have to wait until next year to see these numbers increase...IMHO.

K

There may be less here than the numbers indicate.

My calendar says there were 5 weekends and Mondays in July 2007 and 4 in July 2008. I think a lot of people buy cars on the weekend and they are registered at the DMV on Monday.

Perhaps someone more familiar with auto sales and registrations will confirm or refute the weekend idea.

The almost-as-good idea also seems likely, at some point 35 mpg and $4000 in your pocket seems as good as 45 mpg.

And hybrids did gain market share.

sjc

Once Honda comes out with their hybrids that have only a $2000 price premium, they will sell and you will see a rise in hybrid sales. That is assuming Honda gears up to make enough of them and I am betting that they will.

Envi Ron

Hybrids destroy the environment with their battery packs and extra use of hazardous chemicals. Plus, the get worse mileage than a comparable diesel. It's a good thing that hybrid sales are down. For the children...

DaveD

I think all of us here on GCC are interested enough to read the article and understand that this article should be titled "Increased Hybrid Market Share". The average person just reads "shrinking hybrid sales". Why does the press, on every occasion, like to post negative headlines and news??? Even here on GCC!!!

shane

Hybrids are having trouble ramping up production - but even "conventional" small cars are somewhat capacity constrained. I believe both Ford & GM are adding 3rd shifts to their small car plants - but after that you need to build or convert another plant - and then your back to a 18-24 month conversion time if it wasn't planned in (and they weren't).

As another posted, this is good news overall. Some short-term pain, but the right incentives are in place for the right things to happen long term. It'll take some time - as it did after 1973 - but by ~1981 there were lots of options. But then gas prices fell, and we went back to old habits.

Healthy Breaze

@DaveD,

The press like to post contrarian and exagerated headlines because they sell. If Obama says he would compromise on limited offshore drilling expansion to get a massive bipartisan energy bill through Congress, they emphasis his reversal, rather than the many reversals he would extract from the Republicans on oil taxes, renewable credits, increased efficiency, etc.

We need more deep thinkers to get prominent positions in the press.

sjc

We can not go back to old habits and 3% hybrid market share will not reduce oil imports much. I favor NG dual fuel car conversions to get us off oil sooner.

fakebreaker

Actually the "press" does not exist. It is simply an information mechanism grinding out hyperbole to meet an agenda. No arm's length reporting, research or investigations. Had there been - Al Gore would not have gotten his CO2 conspiracy theory off the ground.

Anne

Al Gore would not have gotten his CO2 conspiracy theory off the ground

Actually that is quite a hilarious remark, given that is is the other way around. The conspiracy theory is: AGW is promoted by by Al Gore to get rich quick.

Some other conspiracy theories:
- AGW is used by the left achieve world domination.
- AGW was invented the eco fanatics to rob you of your SUV.

CO2 is a gas, gases can not conspire.

If you cannot resist the urge to enlighten us by recycling clichés, then at least do it right.

fakebreaker

Nice try Anne - but your form of old-fashioned propaganda no longer flies. And the honest science community is calling you on it.

The Editor of the American Physical Society, established in 1898 representing more than 50,000 physicists wrote in July under Editor’s Comments:

"There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution. Since the correctness or fallacy of that conclusion has immense implications for public policy and for the future of the biosphere, we thought it appropriate to present a debate within the pages of P&S concerning that conclusion."

Anne

Oops, time to update your stock quotes fakebreaker:

"The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review, since that is not normal procedure for American Physical Society newsletters. The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007: "Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."

from this page:

http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/monckton.cfm

fakebreaker

Ooops. The debate has been reopened. Anathema to old-school propagandists.

Chris

Here's a good read about the availability problem plus a great investment idea if you believe in a rising demand for HEV. Just wait until the Prius is available again and in the meantime buy some shares of Arafura Resources.

http://www.resourceinvestor.com/pebble.asp?relid=44746

Sulleny

Chris:

From your mining letter:

"Hydrogen could be used to power internal combustion engines and provide zero emission of so-called greenhouse gases. But that is in an even more remote future, beyond the lifetime of anyone reading this, when nuclear power plants are providing electricity in surplus."

Latest news from QuantumSphere at:

http://www.azonano.com/news.asp?newsID=7021

"To date, the Nano NiFe coated electrodes have surpassed 1,000-hour durability testing under harsh conditions (33% KOH, 1 A/cm2). These nano-enabled electrodes increase hydrogen gas output in electrolysis systems by 300%, at 85% efficiency, and pave the way for on-demand hydrogen needed for industrial and mass transportation applications." (from Roger Pham)

NiFe - not as cool sounding as lanthanide rare earth metals - but probably a better long term investment.


Chris

To me the BIG problem with hydrogen is, that you need a complete new infrastructure. Hence I agree with Lifton, we won't see a mass market for hydrogen driven cars within the next decades. Lithium will become the successor of NiMh, but even that step is at least 10 years away from us (although Bob Lutz won't believe it, LOL)

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