April 2010 Dashboard: Japan Sells Twice As Many Hybrids As US

We’re back online with our Hybrid Market Dashboard—now expanded into the Hybrid and Clean Diesel Market Dashboard.

Hybrids and diesels have competed for mind share as two of the best strategies for improving vehicle efficiency. The hard numbers, which give us a view into real-world market share for April 2010, reveal that hybrids outsell diesels almost four-fold. Bear in mind that there are twice as many available hybrids.

Hybrids dipped to just 2.18 percent of the overall market, after a long period of tracking near 3 percent. Meanwhile, clean diesels are just 0.65 percent. Both categories are comprised of a lot of low selling vehicles. A single nameplate dominates both categories, with the Toyota Prius selling more than half of all hybrids, and the Volkswagen Jetta outselling all other clean diesels combined.

By expanding our view to include diesels, we’re preparing a bigger green car canvas to include plug-in hybrids and electric cars later this year. Stay tuned for market reports on HybridCars.com and PluginCars.com.

This year’s biggest story regarding sales data comes from Japan. The Toyota Prius has now been Japan’s top-seller for almost a year. Data from our partner R.L. Polk reveals that hybrid sales in Japan for the first two months of 2010 were 72,191 units—more than double hybrid sales in the United States.

Soaring hybrid sales in Japan shows what can happen when consumer incentives, fuel prices, and the right vehicles come into alignment. The US continues to struggle with a similar alignment.

April 2010 Hybrid Car Sales Numbers

Hybrids sold in the US (April 2010): 23,274
Hybrid Take-Rate: 2.18%

US hybrid sales for April 2010

Model Units vs. last month vs. April 2009 CYTD vs. CYTD 2009
Toyota Prius 12,555 6.5% 49.7% 40,793 24.9%
Ford Fusion 1,516 -9.2% 41.3% 5,512 273.7%
Honda Insight 1,880 13.8% -10.3 6,853 157.1%
Toyota Camry 1,655 6.8% -24.7% 5,082 -36.3%
Lexus HS 250h 1,076 -28.0% n/a 4,529 n/a
Lexus RX450h 1,232 -1.5% 88.1% 4,383 -10.1%
Ford Escape 1,048 -10.3% -0.1% 3,559 -15.0%
Toyota Highlander 692 16.52% -25.8% 2,151 -45.0%
Honda Civic 621 7.3% -81.5% 1,799 79.2%
Altima 330 -16.2% 48.6% 2,402 11.0%
Cadillac Escalade 114 -7.3% -33.3% 435 -38.4%
GMC Yukon 144 22.0% 25.2% 421 -28.6%
Chevy Tahoe 141 11.0% -40.5% 504 -52.8%
Chevy Silverado 107 -7.0% 52.9% 336 130.1%
Mercury Milan 91 -20.2% -1.1% 348 146.8%
Mercury Mariner 71 -27.6% -16.5% 323 -31.9%
Mercedes S400 108 10.2% n/a 360 n/a
Chevy Malibu 67 -16.3% -87.8% 282 -80.4%
Mercedes ML450 37 -44.8% n/a 243 n/a
GMC Sierra 54 -16.9% 116.0% 208 193.0%
Mazda Tribute 58 1.7% 36.3% 202 -33.3%
BMW X6 21 0.0% n/a 85 n/a
Lexus GS450h 25 -19.4% -24.2% 119 -13.8%
Lexus LS600hL 7 -22.2% -63.2% 40 -59.6%
Saturn Vue 4 -50.0% -98.8% 30 -97.1%
Saturn Aura 0 -100.0% -100.0% 31 -68.7%
All hybrids 23,654 1.6% 8.4% 81,030 8.2%
All vehicles 982,131 -7.8% 19.8% 3,527,383 16.7%

April 2010 Clean Diesel Car Sales Numbers

Clean Diesels sold in the US (April 2010): 6,424
Diesel Take-Rate: 0.65%

US clean diesel sales for April 2010

Model Units vs. last month vs. April 2009 CYTD vs. CYTD 2009
Volkswagen Jetta 3,622 9.7% 63.4% 11,279 41%
Volkswagen Golf 553 13.1% n/a 1,563 n/a
BMW X5 483 -35.3% 215.7% 2,637 103%
BMW 335d 427 74.3% 408.3% 981 207%
Mercedes GL320 302 6.7% 105.4% 896 -7%
Audi A3 297 9.6% n/a 1,050 n/a
Audi Q7 226 2.3% -10.7% 835 230%
Mercedes ML320 192 -8.1% 28.9% 565 -50.0%
Volkswagen Touareg 186 -8.8% 416.7% 694 1552%
Jeep Cherokee 68 -43.3% -5.6% 386 21%
Mercedes R320 60 215.8% 150.0% 140 -11%
Mercedes E320 8 14.3% -91.6% 37 -90%
All clean diesels 6,424 5.0% 98.9% 21,063 65%
All vehicles 982,131 -7.8% 19.8% 3,527,383 16.7%

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  • Max Reid

    Thanks to Hybridcars.com for bringing in the Diesel #.

    After long struggle, Diesel got the approval from Fed and all states. Another viable technology.

    Some highlights.
    Prius sales are increasing and commands 50 % + share.

    GM has sold all stocks of Aura and may soon sell all of Vue as well.
    Malibu is the only vehicle in GM’s lineup which does not have full hybrid.

    When Honda CR-Z comes, then it will be interesting.
    Still Prius is far ahead in technology and sales.

    A little reduction in prices from all automakers will help the sales since the gas prices are nearly 2.90 / gallon.

  • folsomev

    How about listing CNG vehicles, certainly a worth alternative to “clean diesel.” The Honda Civic CNG is one of the only members of this group, I presume. I think CNG vehicles belong on the list.

  • Max Reid

    Worldwide, there are 11 million CNG NGVs.
    But in USA there are only 100,000 out of which most are Buses & Trucks.

    # of CNG powered light duty vehicles sold / month is not even 1,000.

    On the other hand, flex fuel vehicles will better qualify since there are 8 million of them in this country and GM has promised to make 1/2 their vehicles being flexfuel by 2012.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with flexfuel is that very few drivers actually use E85. It’s better to track sales of vehicles that will definitely mean reduction of petroleum use and GHG emissions–rather than ones that maybe kinda sorta in some rare cases might mean something positive for energy and the environment.

  • Anonymous

    you hit it right on the head anonymous… E85 is more for show than action. when is the last time you see a driver actively looking for E85 fuel when regular unleaded is readily available. simple human nature at work.

  • Dom

    I also really appreciate that this list has been expanded to include diesel. I realize this is a hybrid car site, but I’ve been very impress that the editors are willing to include hybrid alternatives as well.

    Without this list I wouldn’t have guessed that the Jetta TDI outsold the second best selling hybrid buy a couple thousand units. Very interesting.

    I am wondering how come the 3/4+ton diesel trucks aren’t on the diesel list. Don’t they have to adhere to the same emission regulations as the rest of them, and as a result be classified as clean diesel? Maybe I’m wrong. Sure, maybe a 3/4 ton truck doesn’t sound very fuel efficient, but the diesels get better fuel economy than the comparable gasoline versions… kind of like the Tahoe/Yukon and Silverado/Sierra hybrids which are on the list. I’m not trying to dis the list as I’m happy to see the stats for the diesels that are on it, but it would be interesting to see stats for these machines as well…

  • simon@syd

    Thank god for Japan. Its domestic market must help the Japanese car industry to put money into R&D…

  • simon@syd

    Where are the hybrid trucks? Particularly with stop-start operations I’m surprised there’s no dividend for hybrid technology in the market place.

  • ex-EV1 driver

    Where are electric cars? At about 100 cars per month, I believe that Tesla Roadsters outsold a lot on this list.
    Is this list restricted to only petroleum guzzlers? Must a vehicle pollute, run off of depleting resources, have wimpy performance, cause global warming, require wars to control fuel supply, etc to be on this list?
    Why can’t sun-guzzlers be on the list as well?

  • Yegor

    I want to say big THANK YOU! to hybridcars.com for collecting and publishing this data and now including “Clean Diesel” numbers!

  • Yegor

    Kudos to Japan for boosting Hybrid sales! – It is pushing all automakers to invest in hybrids.
    And thank you to Hybridcars.com for keeping us informed!

  • Anonymous

    And don’t forget the ‘size’ of the Japanese auto market is much smaller than that of the U.S., even though the U.S. auto market has slumped from the height of a few years ago, therefore, as a % of sales, hybrids in Japan is actually much more influential than in the U.S.

  • wake up

    hybrids must last a long long time…since I still see every day orig. insights..so the naysayers re: battery etc…were all wrong….unless these people all got new batteries…I am in a liberal area now and there are hybrids everywhere; go down south and can’t even find a toyota dealership, only ford and mercury when I lived there before…so if there isn’t even a dealer, how can anybody in deep south buy a hybrid??? blackmail into buying fusion as the only choice????

    Compared to the twenty times as many gm dealers, for instance, which is partly why they couldn’t compete, but we still bailed them out anyway…way to throw good money after bad…