To put the total hybrid cars sales of 16,872 into perspective, Toyota sold 21,757 Prius just in April. Or to put it another way, more hybrid cars were sold in December of 2005. A drop in gas prices and a general downturn in the economy has hit hybrid car sales hard, making the predictions for a modest increase in sales back at the beginning of the year look very optimistic.
|Make||Model||Cumulative, 2007||Cumulative, 2008||% Change|
Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Chrysler were probably very disappointed by their sales numbers this month, but GM may end up looking at December as a bright point for their hybrid car sales. With over 1,700 of their dual-mode hybrid SUVs sold, they increased their market share to over 10% for the month. Previously, they've only enjoyed 5% or less of the hybrid market. Toyota still sells around 3 out of every 4 hybrids, with around half of all hybrids sold being a Prius.
Incentives and lower gas prices may have also given rise to a change in the type of hybrid vehicles people are willing to buy. The rise in GM hybrid SUV sales meant 31% of all hybrid vehicles sold in December were SUVs. The last time hybrid SUV share was over thirty percent was back in May of 2006.
Toyota also may have reason not to worry too much about its sales this month. Many Prius buyers may be holding out for a few more months until the new generation is available. And where Prius sales go, so do hybrid sales.
Hybrid Car Sales, November 2008
Hybrid Car Sales, December 2007