Hybrid Sales, October 2006 ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Hybrid Sales, October 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hybrid Sales, October 2006

Sales of hybrids are up 10.9% from last year, increasing to 18,784 units sold in the month of October, 2006. The story this month is three fold. One, sales are still increasing despite the lower gas prices this past month. And two, Toyota sales are seeming a little bit shaky, perhaps due to the decrease in federal tax credits starting on the first of October. And three, GM hasn't split out the sales of the Hybrid Vue, so those numbers aren't included.

Honda hybrid sales saw a marked increase 68.4% due to the whopping increase of 890.5% from last year of the Honda Civic Hybrid. The strong sales of the Civic Hybrid have allowed Honda to capture 13.8% of the hybrid market this month.

The Civic Hybrid only sold 231 units last October, a remarkably small number. It makes me wonder if 1) maybe I made a typo on the number (which I've checked and I didn't) or 2) there was an issue in production or delivery that month. Sales of the Civic have been above 1000 units each month (excepting October, 2005) since before I started keeping track (January, 2004).

The Honda Accord and Insight (no longer in production) were down 77.3% and 75.7%, respectively to 287 and 9 units sold. The Honda Accord hybrid is suffering due to its performance design. It seems consumers, given a wide choice of other hybrids to pick from, are more interested in fuel economy, not a slight performance increase for a premium pricetag.

Ford sold 1,602 units of its Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid this month. That's up 30.6% from last year. That's 8.5% of the hybrid market on only two (really one model with a luxury package) models.

Toyota saw a 'hiccup' in hybrid sales this month. The Prius saw sales drop to 8,733 units sold, a drop of 12.1%. The first time in 5 months sales have seen a decrease from last year and only the fifth time sales have dropped in two years. Toyota blamed some of the other decreases, not on lack of demand, but on lack of production, as the Toyota Camry was being built in the same plant. So, it's interesting to see a drop here.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX 400h also saw decrease to 1643 and 1239 units sold, respectively. That's a decrease of 29.5% for the Highlander Hybrid and 34.9% for the RX 400h.

The Toyota Camry saw 2806 units sold in October and the Lexus GS 450h sold 177 units. Neither were on sale last October and so there is no comparison.

So, despite seeing drops in all four vehicles being sold last October, Toyota still managed to increase sales of its hybrids from last October by 3.0%. If we took out the Camry and GS 450h, however, Toyota Hybrid sales would have been seen to drop 18.0%. Its possible Toyota is starting to see some sales decrease because of the phasing out of its federal tax credit.

I may be overstating this, though. Given that Toyota still sold 77.7% of the hybrids sold in October (down from 80.4% last month) and three of the top four hybrids being sold, it's not like they are having trouble making sales.

The top three hybrids being sold were the Prius, the Camry and the Civic at 46.5% 14.9% and 12.2% of the hybrid market, respectively. The top two SUV hybrids were the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Escape/Mariner at 8.7% and 8.5% of the hybrid market, respectively.

Hybrid Sales, September 2006

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Mike said...

The Oct 2005 Civic hybrid number was because they were transitioning to the new Civic model. They let the dealerships run lean on 2005 HCHs and took a bit of time to refill them on 2006 models. It's a statistical oddity.


Unknown said...

Thanks, Mike. That explains it.

It's something I've wondering about, but I never took the time to research it. It certainly makes Honda Civic hybrid sales look real good this month! ;-)

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