Hybrid Car Sales, September 2008 ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Hybrid Car Sales, September 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Hybrid Car Sales, September 2008

Hybrid car sales were down once again in September. The limitation on Prius sales has put a damper that the new sales of GM hybrids can not make up for, even if the other car makers were up, which they are not.

September was a miserable month all around for car sales in general, so it should not come as a surprise that hybrid car sales were pulled down. Overall, 19,889 hybrid cars were sold in September, 2008, a decline of 13 percent from last year. That's better than the overall decline in car sales. GM was only down by 16% in their overall car sales and they were looked on with envy the other car companies.

Toyota hybrid car sales were down again. The limitation on Prius sales has put a real damper on the hybrid car market. Prius sales were down 13%, and since one out of every two hybrids sold is a Prius, where Toyota goes, so goes the market. But Toyota had the one car that showed an increase, and that was the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, which had an increase of 377%. Unfortunately, that's not a real indicator of growth, so much as a show of how limited the sales were last September as Toyota switched over.

Honda was only down 3% with the Civic Hybrid, while Ford saw a 40% drop. Nissan chipped in with a 38% drop in Altima Hybrid sales. GM showed a nice increase in their hybrid sales from previous months, but haven't reached the one year mark yet for comparison purposes.  But, Tahoe/Yukon hybrid sales did surpass the other hybrid SUVs.  That may be an unfair comparison, since I group the Tahoe and Yukon together, but it's still a good indicator of how things are improving for GM's hybrids.

Until a new hybrid car like the new Insight comes along, or Toyota makes more Prius available, it seems that hybrid car sales will continue to stall. Toyota has no intention of increasing production of the Prius right now though.  I recently saw a report that Toyota expects to sell 170,000 Prius this year.  Which means we should see very similar numbers over the  next three months. They're getting ready for a new generation of Prius to come along.

Make Model Sep-07 Sep-08 % Change
Honda Accord 229 0 -100%
Honda Civic 2,092 2,020 -3%
Honda Insight 0 0 -
Toyota Prius 12,494 10,873 -13%
Toyota Highlander 193 921 377%
Toyota Camry 4,196 2,785 -34%
Toyota GS 450h 72 29 -60%
Toyota RX 400h 979 744 -24%
Toyota LS600hL 196 47 -76%
Ford Escape/Mariner 1,652 990 -40%
Nissan Altima 756 470 -38%
GM Yukon/Tahoe 0 1,010 -
GM Escalade 0 91 -
22,859 19,889 -13%

Make Model Cumulative, 2007 Cumulative, 2008 % Change
Honda Accord 2,808 196 -93%
Honda Civic 23,828 27,597 16%
Honda Insight 3 0 -100%
Toyota Prius 137,114 130,563 -5%
Toyota Highlander 16,088 16,572 3%
Toyota Camry 40,879 39,418 -4%
Toyota GS 450h 1,605 563 -65%
Toyota RX 400h 12,193 12,498 3%
Toyota LS600hL 463 838 81%
Ford Escape/Mariner 18,535 15,015 -19%
Nissan Altima 5,306 7,202 36%
GM Yukon/Tahoe 0 3,294 -
GM Escalade 0 92 -
258,822 253,756 -2%

And so I stand by my prediction from earlier this year.  Hybrid car sales will not increase this year.  In fact, for the first time, we might see a slight decrease.  But that will not hold for long.  The oncoming Honda Insight, plus an increase in the number of models over the next few months and year, will serve to boost sales in the coming year.  But until then...

 Hybrid Car Sales, August 2008
Hybrid Car Sales, September 2007

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

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