Hybrid sales up 15% in March, but decline in overall percentage of new sales

Hybrid car sales showed a healthy increase in March 2010 over last year, but compared to overall sales of new cars, the percentage of new cars being sold that are hybrids dropped slightly.    Overall, hybrid car sales increased 15% in March 2010 compared to March 2009, with 23,000 hybrids being sold in March compared to 20,000 hybrids a year ago.   Sales of the Toyota Prius rose about 32%, while sales of the various Ford versions of their hybrids (Ford Fusion and Escape, Mercury Milan and Mariner) increased 69% from a year ago to about 3,000 vehicles.   Honda Insight sales more than tripled from last year (the Insight had just been launched around this time last year).

While all that sounds good, there’s a couple of things to keep in mind.   First off, March 2009 was a lousy time for all new car sales, hybrid or not, so it didn’t take much to post an increase.    Also, hybrid sales as a percentage of new car sales actually declined a bit from a year earlier to 2.2%.    In November 2009, hybrid sales as a percentage of new sales was 2.7%.   No doubt the recall and quality problems impacting Toyota cars (including the Prius) are part of the reason.   And relatively low gasoline prices (although they’ve been increasing in April) make hybrids a little less attractive from an individual economic standpoint.   It will be interesting to see if the percentage of hybrid sales to overall sales starts moving up as gasoline prices increase, and as Toyota works through their recalls.

via: Green Car Advisor

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