Larger hybrids harder to sell ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Larger hybrids harder to sell

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Larger hybrids harder to sell

And the reason is simple. Price. The Prius has a distinctive look and feel, and does not have a 'sister' all gas model to compare to.

The other hybrids do have that direct comparison, and consumers are having trouble justifying the upfront costs, despite the tax break and long term gas savings.

This is especially true for the larger hybrids such as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid. Chances of consumers forking over $6,590 more for the hybrid as opposed to the six-cylinder gas-only Toyota Highlander model are slim.

According to a story in the USA today, "The Lexus RX 400h sat on dealer lots an average of 32 days in February, five days longer than the conventional RX 330, Power reports. Honda Accord hybrid was averaging 49 days to sell in February, compared with 31 for the conventional version." Also, Ford is offering 0% financing or $1000 back in savings on the Ford Escape, while Toyota is offering 3.9% financing on Highlander in many larger cities.

Of course, the last issue is gas prices. Hybrid sales follow the price at the pump. As prices have stabilized, so have sales. If a jump in prices occurs, expect a similar jump in sales, even on the SUVs.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at

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