April 2010 Hybrid Sales Rise 8 Percent, Outpaced by Overall Market

Total US hybrid sales for April 2010 were 23,561—a 1.2 percent increase from last month, and an 8.4 percent increase from April 2009. The overall vehicle market posted a gain of 20 percent compared to one year ago.

Toyota posted 12,55 sales of the Prius—a 6.5 percent increase from last month and a dramatic 50 percent increase from one year ago. Sales of the Honda Insight increased by nearly 14 percent from last month, while sales of modest models were mostly flat.

HybridCars.com will publish a complete Hybrid Market Dashboard in the next few days.

BMW X6 xDrive ActiveHybrid – 21
Cadillac Escalade Hybrid – 21
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid – 67
Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid – 107
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid – 141
Ford Escape Hybrid – 1048
Ford Fusion Hybrid – 1516
GMC Yukon Hybrid – 144
GMC Sierra Hybrid – 54
Honda Civic Hybrid – 621
Honda Insight – 1880
Lexus GS 450h – 25
Lexus HS 250h – 1076
Lexus LS 600h – 7
Lexus 450h – 1232
Mazda Tribute Hybrid – 58
Mercedes S400 Hybrid – 108
Mercedes ML450 Hybrid – 37
Mercury Mariner Hybrid – 71
Mercury Milan Hybrid – 91
Nissan Altima Hybrid – 330
Saturn VUE Hybrid – 4
Toyota Camry Hybrid – 1655
Toyota Highlander Hybrid – 692
Toyota Prius – 12555

Total Hybrids – 23561

  • Yegor

    Thank you for posting the sales numbers!

    As always Prius sales are light years above all other Hybrids (53% of all hybrids sales).

  • Yegor

    “Hybrid Sales Rose 8 Percent, Outpaced by Overall Market (20 percent) compared to one year ago”.

    This is a bit worrying. For the last 10 years hybrid sales were rising by taking a bigger part of the overall market now for the first time they are shrinking – they take a smaller part of the overall market. :(

    I think that last year was a very hard economical year and people had to buy smaller and cheaper car and between those car Prius was a great alternative. Now when economy starts to recover people are turning back to bigger cars and the choice of hybrids is really poor there – that is why the overall market outpaces hybrids now. :(

  • Yegor

    I would like to repeat my question about Toyota Highlander here. I am wondering why Toyota does not want to sell more Highlander hybrids?
    Back in 2006 Toyota sold 2,500 Highlander hybrids per month. Now it is only 700 per month. Back in 2006 Highlander hybrid was available in FWD for $33,000. Today Highlander hybrid is only available in 4WD for $39,000 (with a mandatory $3,600 extra package). The reason for lower sales is clear – lower fuel efficiency (4WD) and much higher cost (mandatory extra package). Why Toyota does not want to sell 2000 more hybrids per month?

  • Nelson Lu

    Yegor, I wouldn’t be as pessimistic as you are that “people are turning back to bigger cars.” The top 20 selling models for April, overall, included these cars that I’d consider relative gas savers (I’d post a link, except that the link was blocked by the spam filter)):

    2. Honda Accord
    4. Toyota Corolla
    5. Toyota Camry
    6. Honda Civic
    7. Ford Escape
    8. Ford Fusion
    9. Hyundai Sonata
    10. Honda CR-V
    11. Chevrolet Malibu
    14. Nissan Altima
    15. Ford Focus
    16. Chevrolet Cobalt
    19. Toyota Prius
    20. Chevrolet Equinox

    It’s not like people are out to buy the Expeditions and Tahoes again in droves.

  • Yegor

    No, apparently I was right in my remark:
    Small car market share shrunk from 19.1% (last year April) to 18%.
    Middle car market share shrunk from 22.2% to 21.6%
    It all went to bigger cars. You can see the statistics here:


  • Anonymous

    Incentives could also be a factor. I know there were good deals on Toyota, but maybe great offers on vehicles across the market left hybrids a little behind.

    Also, let’s see what happens when–not if–gas prices jump toward $4.

  • Nelson Lu

    Yegor, I wouldn’t call a 19.1% -> 18% or a 22.2% -> 21.6% movement to be statistically significant.

  • AP

    Yegor, the reason hybrid Highlander sales are down is that Toyota can’t afford to break even or lose mony on as many vehicles as when Tundras were selling better.

    That also explains why they require the purchase of other packages-they can recoup some of their loss from the hybrid system by making you by another package you may not want or need.

    Toyota isn’t in the charity business any more than the other manufacturers. They’ve just been able to subsidize hybrids more successfully than the others.

  • Yegor

    AP, I think you are right! Thanks for the insights. The only reason not to sell more Highlanders could be that – they cannot sell them at a loss. I think yes Toyota subsidizes Prius with the money they make on bigger cars. This is what every manufacturer does with regular ICE cars, why they would not do it with Hybrids?
    Prius is $22,800
    Matrix is $18,800 (close to Prius features but a little less)
    $4,000 looks really cheap for all the hybrid extra features: electric motor, battery, brakes battery charger.



  • Yegor

    Surprisingly, Japan Hybrids sales are down in April after a record braking March :(

    Toyota Prius: 35,546
    Honda Insight: 5,397

    Toyota Prius: 26,482
    Honda Insight: 2,890

    Nevertheless the sales are higher than in U.S.


  • Yegor

    Japan April Honda CR-Z sales were 2,732 (the same link)

    Japan total car sales were 4.6 millions in 2009 so Hybrids this year should make close to 10% of the overall market – very good!