August has been a funny month for hybrid car sales. Toyota is switching over from the 2007 to the 2008 models and it has caused a severe drop in sales for the Highlander (down 85.4%) that will most likely be recovered next month. Also, lower gas prices and a flat month in car sales (overall) led to a 3.2% decrease in hybrid car sales. That's the first time (I believe) there has been a decrease in hybrid car sales year-to-year. And this is despite a huge increase in sales from the Toyota Prius, which was up 25.7%.
Please note that I do not keep track of mild hybrid car sales from GM. First, they make it difficult to do so by not breaking out the sales of their hybrids. Second, mild hybrid cars are considered by some not to be 'real' hybrids.
|Make||Model||Unit Sales||Year to Year % Change|
The other big news is how Honda has 'unofficially' broken through the 60,000 hybrid car sales mark set by the federal government. That means in a few months, the IRS will begin cutting the federal tax credit in half for those who buy a Honda Hybrid.
Toyota Hybrid Car Sales, August 2007
Toyota continues to dominate the hybrid car market by selling four out of every five hybrids in August. That number now includes the LS 600h L, the latest luxury hybrid from Lexus (if you have to ask how much it costs, you shouldn't even bother). And, as I previously mentioned, with the switchover from the 2007 models to the 2008 the Highlander Hybrid saw a stiff decrease in sales this month.
The Prius has continued to out pace the competition. Despite 11 other (full) hybrid models being available, one out of every two hybrids sold is a Prius. Now that's a statement.
Honda Hybrid Car Sales, August 2007
Despite it's failing model (the Accord Hybrid has never shown a year to year increase in sales) and the retirement of the Insight, Honda still sells more hybrids than Ford or Nissan (or GM for that matter). The Civic Hybrid came in third place behind the Prius and the Toyota Camry.
The big news for Honda is the now to be set in stone change in their federal tax credit. Toyota was able to retain and even increase sales since their tax credit began to decrease by 1) offering incentives and 2) having the best hybrid car on the road. Honda may need to follow suit, incentive-wise, in order to counteract any tax credit changes. Honda plans on releasing a more practical family size sedan hybrid to compete with the Prius.
Ford and Nissan Hybrid Car Sales, August 2007
There's very little change to report for either Nissan or Ford. Ford sales were up 2.5% from last year. Both companies only offer one model (if you count the Mercury Mariner Hybrid and the Escape Hybrid as one, which I do) and have little to offer in the ways of variety or growth. Nissan seems to be of two minds on the whole hybrid thing, and has claimed to lose money on each hybrid sale. Ford would rather you switched to alternative fuels, rather than alternative engines.