Hybrid Sales were up in April ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Hybrid Sales were up in April

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hybrid Sales were up in April

Hybrid sales were up from last April (20,974 units to 21,707 units sold, an increase of 3.5%). But as always, there were winners and losers. Ford increased sales by over 100% while Toyota increased their sales by 5.7%. Honda sales, on the other hand, suffered its second month of decreases.

Month-Year Honda Toyota Lexus Ford Mercury Total
Apr-05 5579 13690 1705 20974
Apr-06 3811 14476 3420 21707

Toyota hybrid sales increase 5.7% over last April. Toyota was only limited by its ability to produce the hybrid vehicles, especially the Prius and the new Toyota Camry Hybrid and Lexus GS 450h. They could only sell up to what they could produce, limiting the amount of increases they had.

Ford had more room to grow and grow they did by over 100%. The Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid both had record breaking sales.

Honda, on the other hand, lost out on their performance hybrids. Sales on the Honda Accord Hybrid, especially, were way down from last year. Sales of the Honda Civic Hybrid were also down by 10.9%, but they still sold over 3,000 units, an increase over March sales by 38%. Sales of the limited production Honda Insight hit triple digits, the first time its done that since May, 2004. Honda has been considering reducing production of their hybrids.

Toyota still holds a majority of hybrid sales by a wide margin, capturing 66.7% of the market in April. Ford increased it's share of the pie to 15.8%. And despite a drop in its sales, Honda is still selling a lot of Civics managing to capture 17.6% of the hybrid market this past month.

Year to date, Honda has sold 18.3% of the hybrids, Ford has sold 10.3% and Toyota has sold the rest (71.4%). 43.1% of the hybrids sold this year were Toyota Prius (30,357 units). Its closest competitor is the Toyota Highlander with 16.5% of the market (11,649 units). In third place, the Honda Civic at 14.6% (10,264 units).

Recent spikes in gas prices, seasonal car buying patterns, federal tax credits, speeches by politicians including President Bush, increased advertising, and local incentives have all pushed hybrid sales up to their present peak. Also, the introduction of new models have increased sales numbers. Last year, hybrid sales peaked in April with the introduction of the Lexus RX 400h, dropped in May, and then started increasing once again until they peaked in August.

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