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Reported Sales of US Hybrids Up 48.6% in August; 3.07% Market Share

Us hybrid sales 2009.08A.1
Market share of reported hybrid sales in the US. Click to enlarge.

Buoyed by the extension of the US Cash for Clunkers (CARS) program, as well as the availability of more hybrid models on the market, reported sales of hybrids in the US jumped 48.6% in August year-on-year to 38,701 units. Overall sales of light duty vehicles in the US rose 1% to 1,261,977 units in August, according to figures from Autodata. Reported hybrid sales represented 3.07% of new vehicle sales in August. (There were 26 selling days in August 2009, vs. 27 in August 2008. All comparisons here are by volume, not adjusted for the daily selling rate.)

Compared to July 2009 results, however, hybrid sales rose 9.2% month-to-month in August; sales of all light-duty vehicles jumped 26.5%. In July, the new market share of reported hybrid sales had reached 3.55%. (Earlier post.)

SAAR. Data: Autodata. Click to enlarge.

Sales of all passenger cars in the US increased 15.6% in August year-on-year to 726,934 units, according to Autodata, while sales of light-duty trucks dropped 13.8% to 535,043 units.

Passenger cars represented 57.6% of new vehicle sales in August 2009. SAAR in August jumped back up to 14.09 million units, according to Autodata.

Changes in OEM hybrid market share, August 2008 to August 2009. Click to enlarge.

OEM hybrid market share. The month saw shifts in OEM hybrid market share, with Ford and Nissan making significant gains—especially Nissan, which saw its share of reported hybrid sales jump from 1.7% in August 2008 to 8.2% in August 2009. Ford more than doubled its share, from 5.1% to 12.1%. Toyota dropped from 75% in August 2008 to 62.5% in August 2009. Honda picked up less than a percentage point (12.8% in August 2009, compared to 11.9% in August 2008, while GM saw its share drop from 6.3% in August 2008 to 4.4% in August 2009.

Us hybrid sales 2009.08A.2
Reported US hybrid sales by month. Click to enlarge.

Toyota. Toyota remained the hybrid sales leader, with 24,191 units sold, including 543 units of the new Lexus HS250. The Prius posted 18,886 units, up 40.3% by volume from August 2008. Sales of the Camry hybrid dropped 38.8% to 2,114 units; sales of all Camry models increased 23.4% to 54,396 units. Sales of the Highlander Hybrid were down 31.9% by volume to 836 units; sales of all Highlander models were up 32% to 10,656 units.

Sales of the Rx hybrid jumped 37.4% to 1,754 units; sales of all Rx models increased 3.9% to 9,317 units. The GS hybrid posted an increase of 37.1% to 48 units; sales of all GS models were down 60.3% to 669 units. Sales of the LS 600h were down 86% to 10 units in August; sales of all LS models were down 50.3% to 880 units.

Overall, Toyota sales increased 6.4% by volume in August 2009, year-on-year, to 225,088 units.

Honda. Honda posted a total of 4,943 hybrids in August, the bulk of them—4,226 units, or 85.5%—the new Insight. The Civic Hybrid posted 717 units, down 77% from August 2008. Sales of all Civic model rose 44% by volume in August; the Civic was one of the top 10 new vehicles purchased under the CARS program, along with the Honda Fit and Accord.

Overall, Honda sales were up 10% by volume in August 2009 to 161,439 units.

Ford. Ford’s hybrid vehicles—Fusion, Milan, Escape and Mariner—posted combined sales of 4,695, an August sales record and up 251% versus a year ago.

Sales of the hybrid Escape and Mariner were up 57.1% to 2,102 units. Total Ford Escape sales totaled 20,933, a sales record for August, and up 49% versus a year ago. Mercury Mariner sales were 3,921 (also a record for August), up 50%.

The new Fusion and Milan hybrids posted 2,593 units. Total Fusion sales totaled 21,010 units, a sales record for any month and up 132% versus a year ago. Mercury Milan sales were 3,844, up 112%.

Ford saw its total sales increase 17% year-on-year in August, including fleet sales. The company posted a 21% increase in retail sales

Nissan. Nissan posted 3,164 units of the Altima hybrid, even with its limited availability. That represented a 615.8% increase year-on-year from 442 units in August 2008. Total sales of the Altima increased 6.1% to 26,833 units.

Nissan’s total sales dropped 2.9% to 105,312 units.

GM. GM reported a total of 1,708 hybrids delivered in August, an increase of 4.8% year-on-year.

Overall GM light-duty vehicle sales were down 20.1% to 245,550 units in August. Retail sales were down 17% while fleet sales declined 29%.


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