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Reported US Sales of Hybrids Drop 31% in January; 2.35% New Vehicle Market Share (updated w/ Chrysler)

Monthly reported sales of hybrids in the US. Click to enlarge.

Reported sales of hybrids in the US in January dropped 32.2% by volume from the year before to a combined 15,442 units, a lower rate of decline than that of the overall light-duty vehicle market in the month.

Total light duty vehicle sales in the US dropped 37.1% by volume year-on-year to 656,976 units in January, according to figures from Autodata. Year-on-year sales of passenger cars dropped 36.3% to 315,863 units in January, while sales of light trucks dropped 37.8% to 341,113 units. (Earlier post.) Hybrids took a 2.35% share of the new vehicle market for the month.

Monthly new vehicle market share for hybrids in the US. Click to enlarge.

Toyota. The Prius posted 8,121 units in January, a 28.6% drop year-on-year. Camry Hybrid sold 1,141 units, a 69.6% drop from the previous January, representing 5.5% of all Camry models sold in the month. Total Camry sales were down 34.2% from the year prior to 20,782 units. The Highlander Hybrid posted 984 units, a 54.1% drop year-on-year, representing 17.1% of all Highlander models sold. Total Highlander sales were down 53.3% to 5,757 units.

The Rx 400h posted 1,556 units, an increase of 28.5% year-on-year, representing 23.9% of Rx models sold. Total Rx sales were down 3.5% to 6,520 units. The GS 450h sold 41 units, down 35.9% year-on year, representing 4.6% of GS models sold. Total GS sales were down 39.3% to 898 units. The LS 600h sold 33 units, a decrease of 68.6%, representing 3.7% of all LS sales. Total LS model sales dropped 52.6% to 904 units.

Hybrids as a component of brand sales, January 2009. Click to enlarge.

Honda. Honda sold 1,076 units of the Civic Hybrid, a 38.3% decrease year-on-year, representing 7.6% of all Civic models sold. Total Civic sales were down 32.4% to 14,198 units. Honda sold one Accord hybrid in the month. Total Accord sales fell 30.8% to 16,581 units.

General Motors. GM reported a total of 923 hybrid sales in January, including:

  • 599 2-mode full-size SUVs (Tahoe, 299; Yukon, 168; Escalade, 132), presenting 8.0% of combined sales of those models
  • 7 Silverado, representing .03% of all Silverado sales
  • 153 VUE Green Line hybrids, representing 5.3% of all VUE sales
  • 145 Malibu hybrids, representing 1.6% of all Malibu sales
  • 19 Aura hybrids, representing 1.4% of all Aura sales
Reported hybrid sales as a percentage of total LDV sales. Click to enlarge.

Ford. Ford reported combined sales of the Escape and Mariner hybrids of 880 units in January, a 40.3% drop year-on-year, representing 8.7% of combined sales for the two brands. Overall, Escape and Mariner sales were down 25% to 10,101 units.

Nissan. Nissan sold 644 units of the Altima hybrid, a 36.2% increase year-on-year, representing 4.6% of all Altima models sold. Total Altima sales were down 34.7% to 14,135 units year-on year.

Chrysler. Chrysler sold 42 units of its two-mode hybrids (33 Chrysler Aspen hybrids and 9 Dodge Durango hybrids), representing 3.0% of combined Aspen and Durango sales.



Surley this should be reported from a positive angle 'hybrids report their biggest ever share of new vehicle sales' rather than a negative slant, especially on a 'green' issues website? Just a thought.


The fact that % of sales has never been higher is a good thing. However, even after the $4.50 gas scare, 97% of people who bought a vehicle chose not to buy a hybrid. For a while now a bunch of us, including myself, have blamed lack of supply for hybrids lack of sales. Well, I don't think there are any supply problems at the moment. Three years ago I would have said by today with all the hybrid models coming out that market share would be 10-20%. It's not, which means there is another problem. Either the price is too high or people don't like the drivability. I know there is some well deserved 'Pious' backlash out there but that can't really be that much, can it.

What ever it is, the car companies need to figure it out and fix it.


I too thought that it was a production problem. Maybe give us $4.00+ gasoline prices again and the percentage will kick up.
I don't know what Prius / Pious backlash is - please elaborate - the view that only insane treehuggers buy these things?

I don't think there is that much of it out there. Before I bought mine, a lady said that her Prius was the best car she had ever owned, and I wasn't quite sure what she meant. now I do. Zero trips to the repair shop after 2.5 yrs. Everything works like the day I picked it up. Contrast that with my 1999 Cadillac Catera which had vistied the repair shop 19 times after 2.5yrs.


We have had more than a few incidents where Prius owners have acted badly, accosted people in parking lots. 3 days ago in Colorado Springs a 26 year old Prius driver rammed a guy in a truck, then proceeded to whale on the guy when he pulled over. The guy in the PU was 61 years old, that's really not acceptable.

Have you ever heard of the 'smug alert'




Have you ever heard of the 'smug alert'


Well, majority of the people under 25 have;

Personally I think price is the biggest problem. The masses don't care about ROI, the want to know 'how much per month'.

Dave R

Good to see that hybrid market share is holding up even with low fuel prices.

However, with one single hybrid (the Prius) making up over 50% of total hybrid sales, it's not suprising that market share isn't higher.

The only manufacturer with a diverse hybrid product line is Toyota - and hybrid sales make up 10% of total sales. If everyone had a similar product line, we would see higher hybrid sales.

The Honda Insight will finally get Honda a hybrid with broad market appeal. They will probably move 4-5000 a month. The Ford fusion should also move 1500-2000 a month. And a brand new Prius should help invigorate Prius sales. Those 3 cars for 2010 should help significantly improve hybrid market share.


JosephT, Nice attempt at pulling a corner case/strawman/anecdote out from nowhere. I too have read news stories about people in SUVs/Trucks/Cadillacs/VWs/etc whom assaulted someone, rammed another vehicle, or rammed a building but it proves nothing about the vehicle; only that the driver had mental issues.

I would say that nearly anyone buying a new car of any type is likely to say it is the "best they have ever owned" with fewer trips to the mechanic. Quality is improving overall across the entire industry.

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