Hybrid car sales in February, 2009 were down by 30%, although given light duty sales were down by over 40%, that seems to be a plus for hybrids. Of special note, only one car maker, Subaru, increased sales from last year. Hybrid car sales have dropped to the 2006 level, when only half as many models were on sale.
There's just no masking the state of the auto industry sales or hybrid car sales. Only one hybrid model, the RX 400h, showed an increase in sales from last February. All other models were down, and down by a lot.
Prius sales need a special mention, as Toyota gets ready to bring out the next generation Prius, they continue to reduce inventory and sales of the old Prius, further impacting the hybrid car marketplace. Given the high percentage of hybrid sales are made by Toyota and especially the Prius, just mentioning the Prius is down 33.6% is enough to tell you where hybrid car sales stand right now.
It should also be noted the Sierra and Silverado Hybrid Trucks from GM are up and running. These two trucks are the first two full hybrid trucks to hit the road. The numbers don't show a lot right now, but with fuel costs down, it's possible the hybrid price differential is keeping customers away. If gas prices go back up, sales of the hybrid trucks should increase.
|Monthly Sales||Februrary 2008||February 2009||% Change|
|Cumulative Sales||Cumulative 2008||Cumulative 2009||% Change|
Of course, not everything is doom and gloom. There are several new developments in the world of hybrid vehicles that may be game changers in the short term. The aforementioned (definitely a 50 cent word, there) Prius is entering a new generation. Honda is bringing out the new Insight, a cheaper alternative to the Prius. And Ford is introducing the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrids.
If the introduction of the Insight goes as well in the US as it did in Japan, Honda could be very happy in the next few months. Although, the production has been set by now and even if the new Insight becomes extremely popular, there's little chance of it making up the down turn in sales on its own.
I don't report the mild hybrid sales (Vue, Malibu and Aura). But, if you really want to know, GM sold 1,087 hybrids in total in February. That means they sold 408 mild hybrids.
January 2009 Hybrid Car Sales
February 2008 Hybrid Car Sales