Hybrid Car Sales, May 2009 ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Hybrid Car Sales, May 2009

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Hybrid Car Sales, May 2009

Hybrid car sales fell again in May but at a drop of 29.9%, hybrids did outpace the general car sales.  24,725 hybrid cars were sold in May 2009, down from 35,285.  The biggest winners were new hybrids, like the Fusion, Milan, and Insight Hybrids.  Prius sales are still down, most likely in anticipation of the next generation Prius due out in June.  Next month should resolve the questions we have about Toyota Prius in the US.

Sales volume this year have been very similar to sales volume for 2006.  That's worrisome, given how many more models there are now in 2009 compared to 2006 (10 models in 2006 vs. 18 in 2009).  But as many analysts have pointed out, this was the best sales month since August 2008, pointing to at least a bottoming out.  Also, many of the new models are not expected to be high volume, given their luxury status.

Ford hybrid car sales were up 64% over last year and GM increased hybrid car sales by 30.9%.  Honda was up by 3.5% (7.5% if you adjust for selling days).  But these numbers are a little bit deceiving since hybrid cars that were being sold in May 2008 were down.   Overall sales for the brand were up because of new models, which have no comparator from last time around.

Cumulative hybrid car sales were down by 38.9% from this time last year.  Lower gas prices, but mostly the economy, have kept new car buyers away from the relatively expensive hybrid vehicles being offered.  Another big factor has been the anticipation of the next generation Prius, as well as the promised new plug-in models for 2010.


Monthly Sales May 2008 May 2009 % Change
Make Model N % N %
Chrysler Aspen/Durango 0 0.0 0 0 0
Ford Escape/Mariner 2,378 6.7 1,827 7.4 -23.2
Ford Fusion/Milan 0 0.0 2,079 8.4 0.0
GM Escalade 0 0.0 207 0.8 0.0
GM Silverado/Sierra 0 0.0 130 0.5 0.0
GM Tahoe/Yukon 589 1.7 434 1.8 -26.3
Honda Accord 16 0.0 0 0.0 -100.0
Honda Civic 4,676 13.3 2,077 8.4 -55.6
Honda Insight 0 0.0 2,780 11.2 0.0
Nissan Altima 1,607 4.6 345 1.4 -78.5
Toyota Camry 5,999 17.0 2,941 11.9 -51.0
Toyota GS 450h 98 0.3 43 0.2 -56.1
Toyota Highlander 2,644 7.5 1,351 5.5 -48.9
Toyota LS600hL 112 0.3 27 0.1 -75.9
Toyota Prius 15,011 42.5 10,091 40.8 -32.8
Toyota RX 400h 2,155 6.1 393 1.6 -81.8
Total 35,285 24,725 -29.9
Cumulative Sales Cumulative 2008 Cumulative 2009 % Change
Make Model N % N %
Chrysler Aspen/Durango 0 0 0 0.0 0.0
Ford Escape/Mariner 9,510 6.0 6,486 6.7 -31.8
Ford Fusion/Milan 0 0.0 3,695 3.8 0.0
GM Escalade 0 0.0 685 0.7 0.0
GM Silverado/Sierra 0 0.0 347 0.4 0.0
GM Tahoe/Yukon 589 0.4 2,319 2.4 293.7
Honda Accord 184 0.1 1 0.0 -99.5
Honda Civic 16,322 10.3 10,745 11.1 -34.2
Honda Insight 0 0.0 5,445 5.6 0.0
Nissan Altima 4,242 2.7 2,508 2.6 -40.9
Toyota Camry 27,478 17.4 10,914 11.3 -60.3
Toyota GS 450h 386 0.2 181 0.2 -53.1
Toyota Highlander 11,542 7.3 5,261 5.4 -54.4
Toyota LS600hL 564 0.4 126 0.1 -77.7
Toyota Prius 79,677 50.4 42,753 44.2 -46.3
Toyota RX 400h 7,708 4.9 5,271 5.4 -31.6
Total 158,202 96,737 -38.9

Nissan Altima Hybrid sales seem to be suffering, so we'll have to wait and see what happens in the next couple of years as Nissan brings out their own hybrid technology.  (The Altima Hybrid is built using the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive).  Lexus hybrid car sales are also suffering immensely.  Again, lower gas prices and the economy are probably the culprits here.

Related:
Hybrid Car Sales, April 2009
Hybrid Car Sales, May 2008

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

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