ABI predicts 6% market share of hybrids by 2013 ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: ABI predicts 6% market share of hybrids by 2013

Monday, October 30, 2006

ABI predicts 6% market share of hybrids by 2013

Despite all the talk about hybrid cars, altogether hybrids only make up about 1.25% of the US vehicle market. ABI, a hybrid research company looking into global market trends, cost and technological evaluations is predicting continued growth in this marketplace. Most of the growth will be due to the continuing expansion in choice of hybrids. At the moment, there are many different choices when it comes to hybrids, whether you are concerned with fuel economy, the environment, performance, or size consumers can find the hybrid that's right for them.

Press Release: Hybrid Vehicles Broaden Appeal to Grow Sales, According to ABI Research

-Hybrid vehicles have been a niche market at best since their first introductions in the late 1990s. First developed by Toyota and Honda, the early systems were examined in detail by their competitors, and the conclusion was that the added complexity and weight would make the vehicles too expensive for all but wealthy consumers with an interest in preserving the environment.

“Early hybrid vehicles sacrificed space, comfort, and performance for low emissions and high fuel economy,” says ABI Research senior analyst David Alexander. “Now a much wider variety of hybrid vehicles is available.”

A new ABI Research study, “Consumer Hybrid Vehicles,” finds that the market now offers the benefits of a number of different hybrid applications, some of which are still designed for reduced fuel consumption and emissions, while others offer enhanced performance or exclusive features such as AC power outlets. This adaptation to a wider market should see consumer hybrids’ market share in the United States rise from just 1.25% in 2005 to at least 6% in 2013.

“In the consumer market, education is critical to the uptake of any new technology,” says Alexander. “Many vehicle buyers now appear to have learned how hybrid technologies work and are getting interested in benefits other than better mileage. If fuel prices come down, performance becomes more desirable.”

Toyota has broadened its hybrid range from the deliberately quirky Prius, to include the Highlander SUV, the mainstream Camry, and a couple of Lexus luxury vehicles. Each is tuned to appeal to particular market segments. Honda has dropped its hybrid special vehicle, the Insight, in favor of enhanced versions of the Civic and Accord, both of which lean slightly more toward performance than economy.

GM will be launching its two-mode system next year in its full size SUVs under the tag line “No Compromise.” It has already introduced the mild hybrid Saturn Vue Greenline, and the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid pickup truck that features a built-in 110-V power supply. Ford’s Escape was promoted from the start as V6 performance with four-cylinder economy.

“Manufacturers are starting to tailor hybrid-electric technology to meet the needs of the target audience,” concludes Alexander.

“Consumer Hybrid Vehicles” (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/market_research/ Hybrid_Electric_Vehicles) provides an analysis of global market trends, cost and technological evaluations of different approaches and strategies used by hybrid system developers, and discussion of existing product announcements. Sales forecasts for vehicles are provided globally, by region, from 2003 through 2013. The study forms part of ABI Research’s Automotive Systems Research Service (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/ Automotive_Systems_Research_Service). (Due to their length, these URLs may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global operations supporting annual research programs, intelligence services and market reports in broadband and multimedia, RFID and M2M, wireless connectivity, mobile wireless, transportation, and emerging technologies. For information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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