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Hybrid sales up 38%, new record reached in U.S.

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Hybrid sales up 38%, new record reached in U.S.

Hybrid sales up 38%, new record reached in U.S.

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Are more consumers basing their car buying decisions on their environmental awareness? Or are they merely seeking to save their pocketbooks from the rapidly rising price of fuel? Whatever the cause, more and more motorists are opting for hybrid drivetrains in their new vehicles, with sales of the fuel-saving technology at an all-time high in the U.S.

Registrations of hybrid vehicles in the U.S. rose a staggering 38% on levels just one year ago with a record 350,289 hybrids finding a home in the past 12 months. This only represents 2.2% of the U.S. market share for the year but levels remained positive throughout the period despite the market seeing an overall sales decline of 3%, reports the Associated Press.

According to industry experts it’s not just rising fuel prices that are driving hybrid sales. A record number of new hybrid models were also released onto the market in the past year including the new Nissan Altima, Saturn Aura and Lexus LS600h hybrid sedans and hybrid versions of the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Mazda Tribute sport utility vehicles.

The Prius remained the best-selling hybrid in 2007, commanding 51% of the hybrid market, up from 43% in 2006 despite an influx of several new hybrid models.
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Comments (12)
  1. I'm certain it's about the environment, image, or what ever.

    if some one wanted to save a buck on gas, they wouldn't be buying a $22k small car. They'd spend thousands of dollars less on a ford focus or anything else really. sure it doesnt get AS great of mileage, but it does still get pretty good mileage, and with the money that you saved by NOT buying the prius, you'll probably come up better in the end. remember, a dollar in your pocket today is worth 2 tomorrow. you save 5 or 6 grand on a car today, and that savings is actually 10k in 5 years. lets see your gas mileage get back THAT money.

    another thing. if mileage and cost were at the heart of it, you'd see manual transmissions selling in more numbers. hell, the difference between some hybrids and the normal "automatic" transmission is the same gain you get by switching to the manual tranny.

    but in order for something like that to be made vogue like the prius, some one would have to make some other very ugly car that has a huge banner across the sides and back saying "THIS IS A MANUAL TRANSMISSION CAR. I GET 10% BETTER MILEAGE. AND IT COSTS 1000$ LESS AT THE DEALER. IDIOTS."

    just the fact that the prius got almost 10% more market share in a rapidly growing market that gained many more entries just goes to show you: the majority of prius buyers are either buying for fashion, buying as a statement, or buying out of ignorance of all the other hybrids out there. and i can now say it; the majority of hybrid buyers are buying a fashion statement.
     
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  2. The Prius boasts unique packaging. It is hard to separate out the importance of this packaging as a fashion statement from the fact that it is almost unique in being a small, cute car with a Camry-sized interior.
     
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  3. 38% of what? It was only last year Congress was looking to make it a law that a manufacturers fleet consist of 2% sales in Hybrids. Hardly record breaking when you consider Ford shifts 800,000 F150's a year plus everything else it makes.

    Come on people use hard numbers such as units sold not percentages!!!
     
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  4. Couldnt another reason be that there are more hybrids available?
     
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  5. yes, it is absolutely a "unique" package. but how many people want a "camry sized interior" when they could get a camry? and the camry is available in hybrid. the smart car gets the same kind of mileage as the prius, and there are much cheaper cars to own.

    in the end, and most people will agree, the prius amounts to a statement. it's gotten to the point where people want one "to let everyone know that they support green ________"... its just like the image that people wanted to show when the hummer was first available.

    don't get the wrong idea roy, I'm all for hybrid technology. the problem is, the Prius doesn't push technological boundaries, just social ones. It's like al gore. he talks and talks about climate change and then goes home to a 30,000 sq ft house.

    It's an ugly car, that makes a mockery of the underlying technology, and they're driven by snobby and pius fools who think that they're leading the fight on energy conservation. There are people in industry that are working towards one goal: energy efficiency. and the prius mocks every one of them; myself included.
     
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  6. Here in Southern California, where image is everything, and the ability to drive in the carpool lane alone is king, the Prius on a local Toyota lot is being sold for more than full MSRP (with dealer add-ons) while the Corolla and Civic are being sold with discounts from Invoice.
    Prius driver's are fools, for so many reasons...
     
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  7. Gus, do you happen to know how the Civic hybrid stacks up against the Prius? The Civic hybrid comes with a bigger tax advantage in CA (as far as I recall) and still entitles single occupancy in the carpool lane, yet it sounds like the Prius continues to outsell it. That certainly makes the argument that image is important, since the new Civic has a pretty cavernous, well-designed interior, as well.
    As for Chris' many excellent points, I agree with most of them. I just think it's important not to be too dismissive of the importance of unique packaging and snappy advertising, both of which the Prius have.
    I've noticed that there are really only two types of Prius drivers: those who drive too fast in the carpool lane (and get lousy mileage!) and those who drive much too slowly because they're too busy watching that damn monitor on the dashboard that they forget to look out the windscreen.
     
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  8. Yep, you can drive the Civic Hybrid in the carpool lane by yourself as well. Costs much less, too, since it looks like a regular Civic, I guess.
    My friend has one. He's a DA in downtown LA and commutes 40 miles each day. Without being able to use the carpool lane he said it would take him 3 hours to get home instead of 1.
     
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  9. Prius Ugly? I personally think the design is fresh & forward thinking. It's not only a sensible size but is very useful as a Commuter or Family Car. Another consideration is if you look at the alternative for a comparable $25,000 (Out the Door) car the pickings are slim. Add the possibility of next to nothing maintenance costs + the reduced fuel costs + extremely low pollution levels + legendary Toyota reliability. It's a winning package as far as I am concerned & I couldn't give a shit about image. I drive what makes sense & I like.
     
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  10. Not familiar with pricing in US, but here in Australia Prius are quite expensive, about $40K AUD whereas a middle of the range Corolla is about $25K AUD. Also as Prius sells much better than all other hybrids, it's clearly a case of being image driven. People want to be seen as green nowadays....
     
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  11. alan, dont worry, the pricing isnt that much different. not liberal is missing the fact that you could drive away in a camry for the price of a prius. if you're so stuck on toyota for quality (by the way, toyotas quality has gone for a huge dump in the last 2 years. read up on it. quite sad), then get the camry, or the carolla.

    carolla is bound to have more trunk space than the prius, and interior cant be that far off. you'll have more power on tap and still not pollute a whole lot. you'll save thousands of dollars at the dealer to put towards your gas bills, and in the end, you're getting the same terrible toyota quality.

    I can assure you, as an electrical engineer who works at a natural gas turbine power plant, i'm well aware of the capabilities of hybridized mechanical electrical power systems and the prius is an absolute farce. the whole industry is. my problem is that prius drivers absolutely embody the kind of people that think that the world will be saved if everyone were to drive a prius.

    even if everyone were to drive electric cars and all of the worlds energy came from nuclear sources, the world still wouldnt be "saved". we've got a lot of un-f***ing to do. you buying a friggen prius isnt going to save the planet, OR make the kind of statement that will get more people to "care about the environment".
     
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  12. I agree with you Chris, why bother with Prius, just get a Corolla and save the money up front to use for petrol. I remember reading an article about hybrid that it takes quite a few years for the fuel cost to compensate the extra initial outlay. Plus, unless you live in congested inner city area, hybrids aren't much more fuel efficient.

    I agree with what you said about electric cars too, where on earth are they going to get all that electricity from? Suppose we all switch to electric car, there won't be a siginificant reduction in carbon emission unless the electricity comes from a renewable source or nuclear
     
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