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Reported US Sales of Hybrids Up 21% in November; New Vehicle Market Share of 2.7%

Us hybrid sales 2009.11.01
Reported US sales of hybrids. Click to enlarge.

Reported US sales of hybrids rose 21% year-on-year by volume in November 2009 to 20,003 units. Overall light-duty vehicle sales were essentially flat for the month, according to figures from Autodata, with 746,928 units sold in November 2009, compared to 746,789 units in November 2008.

Reported hybrid sales thus represented a 2.7% new vehicle market share, up from 2.2% in November 2008, but down slightly from 2.9% in October 2009. For the first 11 months of 2009, hybrids have held a 2.8% new light-duty vehicle market share.

Us hybrid sales 2009.11.02
Hybrid share of new vehicle sales. Click to enlarge.

These figures do not include sales of the new Mercedes S400 hybrid (Mercedes-Benz does not break out its sales by powertrain type; all S-Class models—400 hybrid, 550, 600, 63 AMG—sold 1,114 units in November). November 2009 has 23 selling days, compared to 25 in November 2008. All comparisons here are by volume, not by adjusted selling rate.

Toyota. Toyota posted 14,473 hybrids in November 2009, up 16.3% from November 2008. Total light-duty vehicle sales were up 2.6% to 133,700 units.

Us hybrid sales 2009.11.03
Reported hybrid sales as a percentage of new light vehicle sales by OEM. Click to enlarge.

Prius sold 9,617 units, up 11% from the year before. The Camry Hybrid sold 1,465 units, down 33% from the year before, and representing 5.3% of all Camry models sold. The Highlander hybrid posted 722 units, down 20%, representing 11.6% of all High;landers sold.

The new, dedicated hybrid Lexus HS 250 posted 1,407 units. The Rx hybrid sold 1,210 units, almost doubling from the 624 units of November 2008, representing 15.3% of Rx models sold. The GS hybrid posted 37 units, down 11.9%, for 6.2% of all GS sales. The LS hybrid sold 15 units, down 60%, for 1.4% of LS sales.

Ford. Ford came in a strong second in the monthly hybrid tally, with 2,361 units sold, up 73.5% from the year prior. Total Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales were down 0.2% to 118,536 units.

The Escape/Mariner hybrids sold 960 units, down 30% year-on-year, for 5.6% of all Escape/Mariner sales. The new Fusion/Milan hybrid sedans sold 1,401 units, representing 8.7% of all Fusion/Milan sales.

Honda. Honda posted a total of 1,646 hybrids in November, up 57.8%. Total sales were down 3% to 74,003 units.

Sales of the Civic Hybrid were down sharply, dropping 77% to 243 units, for 1.8% of all Civic sales. However, the new dedicated hybrid Insight posted 1,403 units.

GM. GM reported a total of 1,020 hybrid sales, down 25.5% from November 2008. Total light-duty vehicle sales were down 1.8% to 150,676 units.

Sales of the two-mode tahoe/Yukon/Escalade were down 36% to 489 units, representing 4.7% of combined model sales for those vehicles. Sales of the two-mode Sierra and Silverado pickups dropped 52% to 156 units, for 0.51% of models sold. Sales of the Saturn VUE mild hybrid were down 31% to 134 units, for 9.8% of all VUEs sold.

The Malibu mild hybrid sedan posted 212 units, up 371% from the year before, for 1.9% of all Malibus sold. The Saturn Aura sold 29 units, down 17%, for 2.0% of model sales.

Nissan. Nissan sold 503 Altima Hybrids in November, up 42.5% from the year before, representing 3.2% of Altima sales. Total Nissan sales were up 20.8% to 56,288 units.



Good news for Toyota with Hybrids reaching over 10% of their sales.

When will the 20 or so other manufacturers catch up? When they do, liquid fuel consumption will start going down.

However, when others reach 10%, Toyota may be well over 20%.

Insteresting years ahead.


I was reading speculation online (I don't remember where, alas) that between the price spikes in the recent past, current economic difficulties, and future improvements in vehicle technologies, U.S. oil consumption may have hit its peak a year or two ago and may already be in long-term decline.


It we bought 1 million hybrids every year for 10 years and they were still on the road, we might reduce oil imports 1%, but after ten years we would use 10% more, due to population and miles driven. I say this to illustrate the magnitude of the problem.


Consider the future on the road an automobile population:
1/3 Gasoline Cars
1/3 Hybrid (Gas/Electric) Cars
1/3 Electric Cars

Refinery output for gasoline is reduced by ½
Energy savings required to produce less gasoline goes to power Electric Cars
CO2 output from Gasoline Cars reduced ½
Reduced smog, acid rain, oil from highways/parking lots run off into waterways.

Renewable energy for electric generation increases (wind/solar/nuclear/bio/hydro/tidal etc)
Clean up coal/oil/gas power plants continues (CO2/fly ash/etc)

Electric Cars have access to HOV and discounts on Tolls
Ban parking of Gasoline Car from indoor garages. (Treat exhaust like second hand smoke)
Electric Cars only within city limits (Just like no smoking in buildings)

Filling Stations provide quick electric charging (DC-DC) fill-ups in a few minuets.
Workplace/Shopping/Garages/Rest Areas offer public charging. (240volt)
Electric Cars can give a boost charge to another Electric Car (i.e. dead pack)

Remote control of climate inside Electric Cars (warm in the mornings, no scraping windshield)
Minimal maintenance. No oil/filter/emissions/muffler/transmission expense.

Using gasoline is a convenience and polluting so you should pay extra for it.
Pumping/Shipping/Refining/Distributing Oil is energy intensive and polluting. It should not be an inexpensive option.


You make some good points, but as soon as politicians even think about doing much of this, they are threatened with extinction. This is the way of democracy in America, what we SHOULD to is not done because people don't want to be bothered.



It seems that we may have a lot of catching up to do before we can collectively start to reason more intelligently.

Wouldn't schools (kindergardens++++) be a good place to start?

Shouldn't radio and TV stations be mandated to contribute to raising the collective (adult ++) education level with special programs up to one hour every day instead of spending hours repeting how many mistresses TW had in the last 5 years?

Learning while being entertained should not be impossible to do.


As soon as we start to see that it is good for all of us and not just view things as a return on expenditure pay back, then we may make progress. I for one would like better energy security than importing 2/3 of our oil from sources that do not like us and could cut us off at any moment.

DETROIT (CNN/Money) - General Motors Corp. has no plans to try to answer the success of the Toyota Prius, the critically-acclaimed gas/electric hybrid car, said Robert Lutz, GM's vice chairman of product development. It just doesn't make environmental or economic sense to try to put an expensive dual-powertrain system into less expensive cars which already get good mileage, Lutz said at the North American International Auto Show.

CNN 2004


In a way that made sense, if you are a big three auto guy. The Echo got over 30 mpg and the early Prius just over 40 mpg. GM could not make money on small cars, so adding all that made it even less profitable, when seen by them at that time.

Move forward 5 years and the Tahoe that got 12 mpg gets 17 mpg as a hybrid and that is suppose to be wonderful. Well it costs $50k+ for the Tahoe hybrid versus $20k+ for the Prius and GM thought that was great. They sell maybe 2000 units of the Tahoe hybrid each year and Toyota sells more than 200,000 units of the Prius each year. Make it up in volume... from a GM stand point, you want to make as few cars and as much profit possible.

Mike H

I wonder if Bob Lutz or the new gang at GM currently gets it. The Detroit bunch are just slow to learn that people with money don't necessarily want a bigger or more powerful car.

I like how he says "already get good mileage". Obviously he didn't see this as a concern although it really establishes Toyota's market differentiation. That is why GM and Chrysler still advertise their fuel economy numbers which are always like mid-20s and maybe a 30 on the highway.

I can't wait to see how average the fuel economy numbers will be on the Cruze, how overpriced the Volt will be, and how slow they replace the Aveo.

Its not that you can't make money on small cars, it is GM can't make any money on any car without a ridiculous margin. Humpty Dumpty can't be put together again and they need a "real" bankruptcy. Find domestic investors for the core brands and discard the rest.


GM will get it or go out of business once and for all. There are no more "do overs" and they have been given ONE last chance. I have thought that the engineers at GM know what a good product is, but the management and marketing people just never got it.


GM will bleed the taxpayers or go out of business - or both.

I think the engineers and management at GM know what a good product is, but the price of American made goods is typically too high.

Is it just a coincidence that almost all American manufacturing is gone? Including the shrinking market share of Ford and Chrysler. And the Chinese are not even up to speed yet, on autos.

Actually, maybe the textile factories made shirts that were bigger than people wanted. The seamstresses know what a good product is, but the management and marketing people just never got it.


According to Canadian auto sales for November 2009, Big-3 sales are down (-3% to -47%) and all others are up, over November 2008.

Isn't that a clear message?

When the Big-3 become the Small-3, somebody may start thinking that something may have gone wrong.

UAW members may not see the new trend and ask for another $10/hr and test their needs on GM because it is GMs turn.

They may even throw in the 24-hour week. If they dont, it may be there sooner than they think.


Big-3 sales down (-3% to -47%) in Canadaand all others are up, over November 2008 is not a message; it's a fact.

What is the cause?

American high standard of living (umm - is that something we want to cure ? I don't)

UAW members dictating their own wages.

They may get a 0-hour week.

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