Hybrid Cars Have Almost Doubled Their Penetration ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Hybrid Cars Have Almost Doubled Their Penetration

Monday, January 07, 2008

Hybrid Cars Have Almost Doubled Their Penetration

Since 2005, hybrid cars have gone from 1.4% to 1.9% in 2006 to 2.6% in 2007 of the marketplace according to PIN-Insights (pdf), a division of J.D. Powers and Associates.

Flex fuel cars (whether or not the flex fuel itself is available!) increased their share from 3.2% in 2005 to 6.0% in 2007. Diesel market share is down due to "reduced supply by Volkswagen and soft sales in the large pickup market." Diesel market share went from 3.2% to 2.9%.

All in all, gas only cars are down, from 92.2% to 88.5% over the past few years.

What this means to companies like Toyota is stories like this one: "Japan Triumphant" (autonews). The Toyota brand passed Ford in sales, making them No. 2 behind Chevrolet, and they are predicting Toyota will pass Chevy in the coming year. Overall, Toyota (including Lexus and Scion) is second to GM in sales.

And how did they do it? By cornering the hybrid car marketplace. Toyota sold 277,750 hybrid units in 2007, an increase of 44% from 2006. It was also 18% of their total sales (1,513,985 units in 2007).

Which means those despite the slowdown in the car marketplace for many, the hybrid car marketplace seems to be booming. Denso Corp plans on expanding the plant that makes hybrid vehicle components, starters and alternators by 25 percent. Denso will be spending $53.9 million to expand the plant by 1.2 million square feet. It is located in Anjo. Denso's top customer and shareholder is Toyota.

Denso is predicting their sales will double in the next three years.

Update: Six Japanese manufacturers are increasing production of materials used in hybrid vehicles, according to a Nikkei report (via Bloomberg.com: Japan). Ashai Kasei Corp and Sumitomo Chemical Corp are increasing production of the separators used in lithium-ion batteries at the cost of several billion yen. Showa Denko KK will be spending 1 billion yen ($9.13 million) to increase output on their magnetic alloys by 25 percent to 10,000 tons. Denki Kaguku Kogyo KK is doubling their output of metal parts used to disperse heat from motor controllers. And Nippon Steel Corp and JFE Holdings Inc. are building out their facilities to make high-grade electrical sheet steel used in motors.

Short story: An increase in hybrid car sales has been a bonanza for those companies involved in the manufacturing.

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