August 2011 Dashboard: Hybrid Sales Remain Sluggish

The HybridCars.com monthly sales dashboard is a collaboration of HybridCars.com and Baum & Associates, a Michigan-based market research firm focusing on automotive issues including the hybrid and electric vehicle market.

The hybrid market is slowly recovering from a low of 1.21% of the total market in June to 1.86% in July—to 1.98% in August. The Toyota Prius is, as usual, drives the hybrid market. As a result, it’s a significant portion of this recovery, with the Prius building up from a trough of 4,300 sales in June, to 7,900 in July, and 9500 in August. It’s hard to believe that Toyota sold 18,600 Priuses in March of this year. Gas prices, production conditions, and economic factors have changed since then. For example, Prius volumes may not reach those high March volumes in the short term due to the yen-dollar exchange rate, which makes sales of Prius product in Japan more profitable than sales overseas.

The hybrid market are nearly 12 percent down compared to a year ago, while the overall auto market is up by 7.5 percent from last August.

Honda and Hyundai are gaining share in the hybrid market this year, due in large part to the problem with availability of certain models including the Prius, but also because of their compelling new products. Toyota will be gaining back some share with the launch of their own new products including the Prius V, Prius C, and Prius Plug-in Hybrid. More immediately, the launch of the new Camry this fall includes the launch of a new Camry hybrid which will also result in greater volume.

The launch of the domestically produced Passat has resulted in the launch of a new diesel product. Volumes will be increasing in the coming months as the pace of sales and production increases.

Chevrolet Volt sales are still affected by the month-long production shutdown in June and will grow in coming months as production volumes have increased. Specifically, August production volumes of almost 2,400 vehicles were three times the rate of the highest month so far (March 2011). This is expected to lift results by September. In the meantime, the plug-in market has not yet reached 10,000 sales, well behind what many observers expected.

August 2011 Hybrid Car Sales Numbers

Hybrids sold in the US (August 2011):21,177
Hybrid Take-Rate:1.98%

US hybrid sales for August 2011

td class=”up”>1,288.3%

Model Units vs. last month vs. August 2010 CYTD vs. CYTD 2010
Toyota Prius 9,491 20.0% -19.6% 83,918 -8.7%
Hyundai Sonata 4,136 -1.0% n/a 12,042 n/a
Lexus CT 200h 2,087 34.4% n/a 7,408 n/a
Honda Insight 961 -2.6% -52.7% 13,106 -7.3%
Honda CR-Z 745 -15.1% 7.3% 9,635
Lexus RX450h 841 25.3% -38.6% 7,051 -27.8%
Ford Fusion 216 -52.6% -92.8% 7,996 -45.2%
Ford Escape 563 -13.7% -22.7% 6,739 -15.6%
Linc. MKZ Hybrid 491 2.3% n/a 3,898 n/a
Toyota Camry 318 -19.1% -72.7% 6,152 -38.9%
Honda Civic 106 -65.9% -86.1% 2,850 -36.5%
Lexus HS 250h 284 -7.2% -52.2% 1,947 -73.1%
Altima 318 55.9% 12.0% 2,881 -38.9%
Toy. Highlander 226 22.2% -53.5% 3,207 -28.8%
Porsche Cayenne 128 -1.5% n/a 1,123 n/a
Mazda Tribute 51 6.3% -7.3% 342 -22.4%
GMC Yukon Hybrid 18 -60.9% -76.3% 489 -45.7%
Cad. Escalade 40 0.0% -54.5% 666 -19.4%
Chevy Silverado 18 -30.8% -94.5% 645 -44.4%
Chevy Tahoe 18 -37.9% -79.5% 415 -61.6%
Infiniti M35h 54 54.3% n/a 200 n/a
BMW Hybrid 7 15 -25.0% -42.3% 237 347.2%
Lexus GS450h 17 -34.6% 13.3% 190 -9.5%
Mercedes S400 15 -40.0% -82.1% 222 -67.2%
VW Touareg Hybrid 10 -28.6% n/a 308 n/a
GMC Sierra 5 -54.5% -90.2% 135 -62.0%
BMW X6 0 (-2) -128.6% -166.7% 35 -84.8%
Lexus LS600hL 9 50.0% -40.0% 54 -33.3%
Chevy Malibu Hybrid - n/a -100.0% 24 -93.8%
Mercedes ML450 - n/a -100.0% 1 -99.9%
All hybrids 21,177 7.9% -11.8% 173,916 -2.7%
All vehicles 1,069,227 1.3% 7.5% 8,436,080 10.4%

August 2011 Plug-in Electric Car Sales Numbers

Plug-in cars sold in the US (July 2011):1,664
Plug-in Take-Rate:0.16%

US plug-in electric sales for August 2011

Model Units vs. last month vs. August 2010 CYTD vs. CYTD 2010
Nissan LEAF 1,362 46.3% n/a 6,168 n/a
Chevrolet Volt 302 141.6% n/a 3,172 n/a
Smart ED 1 n/a n/a 88 n/a
All plug-in cars 1,664 -26.6% n/a 9,428 n/a
All vehicles 1,069,227 1.3% 7.5% 8,436,080 10.4%

August 2011 Clean Diesel Car Sales Numbers

Clean Diesels sold in the US (August 2011):8,808
Diesel Take-Rate:0.82%

US clean diesel sales for August 2011

Model Units vs. last month vs. August 2010 CYTD vs. CYTD 2010
VW Jetta 4,800 -7.8% 13.1% 36,925 34.3%
Volkswagen Golf 914 -5.4% 93.6% 6,882 87.0%
BMW X5 598 6.4% 6.8% 4,421 -9.9%
Mercedes GL320 230 -36.5% -39.9% 3,151 53.2%
BMW 335d 340 5.6% -0.3% 2,206 -9.6%
Mercedes ML320 319 0.3% 19.0% 2,196 48.8%
Audi Q7 328 13.9% -11.6% 2,642 37.7%
Audi A3 528 122.8% 56.2% 2,595 24.9%
Mercedes E320 294 37.4% 382.0% 1,981 1,700.9%
VW Touareg 296 49.5% 144.6% 1,832 59.7%
Mercedes R320 8 -57.9% -73.3% 389 80.1%
Jeep Gr Cherokee - n/a -100.0% 152 -79.6%
All clean diesels 8,808 -5.1% 20.4% 66,114 37.0%
All vehicles 1,069,227 1.3% 7.5% 8,436,080 10.4%


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  • MrEnergyCzar

    We need high gas prices to see these number explode upwards. Many new hybrids now….

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Van

    I think it is possible the slow sales of Plug in vehicles could be the result of (1) restricted supply and (2) expectation of a better Plug-in next year, i.e the Prius PHV. Hopefully next month we will be able to compare the market version Prius PHV with the Volt and Leaf.

    If the PHV from Toyota has a 20 mile plus electric range and a price under $30,000 I would expect it do outsell the Volt and Leaf combined until the second generation Leaf is brought to market in late 2013.

  • Michael R

    How come both individual plug-in models (leaf and volt – not counting the smart) show month-to-month increases but the two together show a significant decline?

  • Daniel O

    Glad to see the hybrid market recovering the past two months but i think in another two more months we should be back to 2.50% hybrid market share. Then early next year I believe hybrids will have 3% market share. Only time will tell..tic toc

  • Daniel O

    Glad to see the hybrid market recovering the past two months but i think in another two more months we should be back to 2.50% hybrid market share. Then early next year I believe hybrids will have 3% market share. Only time will tell.

  • Nelson Lu

    I am not sure that I believe these Hyundai numbers. For one thing, here in hybrid-happy northern California, I have not yet seen a single Sonata Hybrid on the road, and given that there are all kinds of other Hyundais on the road here, I’d find it very strange to see no Sonata Hybrids if indeed Hyundai’s selling that many.

  • Danny B

    I think a number that would be much more representative of what is happening in the market is an average mpg for all vehicles sold that month. This will reflect changes in consumer choices with purchases of Fiestas, cruze ecos, civics, yarises, aveos and many many many others, as well as hybrids and diesels. You look at hybrid sales and you think, people don’t get it? what is wrong? but people do get it and the one number would show drastic change over the last 3 years.
    Any one knows if it is already available for cumilative vehicle sales per month?

    Thanks

  • Yegor

    Monthly – no but here is a yearly one in CAFE (not EPA) mpg:
    2005: 25.4
    2006: 25.8
    2007: 26.6
    2008: 27.1
    2009: 29.0
    2010: 29.2
    2011: 29.3 (as of April 2011)
    http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulemaking/pdf/cafe/2011_Summary_Report.pdf

    MPG started to go up in 2007 when the cost of gas started to go up. I think it should go to CAFE 30 mpg this year but still those are very minor increases. People do not get it :(
    If people got it CAFE would have been 50 mpg today.

  • Yegor

    I also think that something is wrong with Hyundai Sonata Hybrid sales numbers. Hyundai reported that it sold “20,600 vehicles (Elantra sedan, Sonata Hybrid, and 2012 Accent) with 40 MPG fuel economy ratings.”
    http://www.hyundainews.com/Corporate_News/Sales_Releases/2011-09-01_Hyundai_August_2011_Sales_Release.asp
    It also reports that it sold
    ACCENT: 5,289
    ELANTRA: 15,054
    total: 20,343

    Hyundai started to sell the new 40 mph highway ACCENT in June – may be they still sold some older below 40 mpg highway Accents in August but I do not think that many – not more than 3,000 (because ACCENT sales were in 3,000 number before the new model arrived). That means that Hybrid sales cannot be more than 3,000 and probably more closer to just 1,000.

    Strange :(

  • william edwards

    Volt finally arrived at a “Ride and Drive” event in Columbus, OH. Wonderful vehicle, but at $40k I would expect nothing less. GM employee said Volt production recently hit 4k per month so they will soon product more product for the 2012 model year than they produced the entire 2011 model year!

  • Max Reid

    Prius production is expected to reach full capacity in September, which means most vehicles will be delivered to US in 2nd half of the month. So its sales may be somewhat higher than in August.

    Nice to see that Sonata has crossed 4,000 mark again and thrashed Fusion, Camry & Altima. Is it the new 2012 Civic that has sold just 106. Good that Leaf has sold 1,000 + again.

    Look at the big gaz guzzling hybrids. LS600, ML450, X6 – all suffered a knockout. They may all be phased out.

  • Yegor
  • marcsf

    I agree. I understand that Hyundai does not break out hybrid numbers, and this an educated guewss that the number represents some 25% of Sonatas. In SF, Sonatas are everywhere. I have seen ZERO hybrid Sonatas. This estimate needs to stop. I wish hybrid numbers would be padded by this high number, but it’s just not happening.

  • Bob W

    The 15,054 Elantras probably includes Elantra Touring model which doesn’t get 40 mpg.

  • Max Reid

    Yegor : Thanks for the update.

    Prius sales in Japan stands at 83K in 1st 6 months, around 50K in the next 2 months, so its 130K units in 1st 8 months. Hopefully it will touch 200K this year. They dont provide breakup of how many of those were Prius V.

    http://www.made-in-japan.org/blog/car-sales-ranking-january-june-2011
    http://www.made-in-japan.org/blog/car-sales-ranking-july-2011

    Sadly Insight is not even in Top-30. And CR-Z never sold even 20,000 units in both Japan and US put together so far.

  • Yegor

    Some perspective:
    “Sales of small cars in South Korea reached a record monthly high in August mainly due to high fuel prices and overall economic uncertainties, industry sources said Monday.
    Sources said sales of vehicles categorized as compact cars and below reached 38,698 units last month, accounting for 53.5 percent of the total vehicles sold here, according to the sources.”

    http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2011/09/05/0200000000AEN20110905001300320.HTML

  • Yegor

    Prius alone accounts for almost 12% of new car sales in Japan!

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/01/autos-asia-idUSL4E7K10VT20110901

    That is impressive!
    It is like selling 120,000 Prii per month in the US.

  • wander_civic

    Regarding the sales numbers for Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for August, Edmunds Auto Observer said “Hyundai does not split hybrid sales from overall sales of its Sonata line, but registration data collected by Edmunds.com, which corresponds closely with monthly sales, puts August’s total at 1,448,”

    http://www.autoobserver.com/2011/09/august-doesnt-end-advanced-drive-sales-slump.html

    I think HybridCars.com made a mistake about the July Sonata Hybrid sales results which they quoted as 4,177.
    Mk Business News said “Hyundai’s Sonata Hybrid, officially released in the US this April, saw a 25% month-on-month jump in sales in July by selling 1,780 units. “

    http://news.mk.co.kr/english/newsRead.php?sc=30800006&cm=English%20News_&year=2011&no=501310&selFlag=&relatedcode=&wonNo=&sID=308

    I checked several Korean sites, and they all quoted the July Sonata Hybrid sales number as 1,780.

    HybridCars.com should fix these numbers or the season total will be misrepresented.

  • Yegor

    @wander_civic,
    Thank you very much!

    I also estimated that the numbers are closer to 1,000.

  • Yegor
  • Max Reid

    If Hyundai did not sell 4,000 + Sonata Hybrids, then Lexus CT200h is the 2nd best selling Hybrid.

    Both Prius & CT200h share the same powertrain. Upcoming Prius V & Prius C will also use the same powertrain. So their Return on Investment should be lot.

    But in all other Hybrids like RX400h, HS250h, Highlander, GS450h, LS600h which use an individually developed system, they must have lost a lot. I hope Toyota concentrates on just the small wagons for Hybrids.

  • Max Reid

    BMW Cancels X6 Hybrid
    http://evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=26532

    These gas-guzzling hybrids brought bad name for hybrids. Waste of Investment. Now BMW is actively working on small EVs like i3.

  • Justin Erickson

    Heres the specs for that X6 hybrid http://www.elitehybridcars.com/bmw-x6.html

  • Justin Erickson

    Heres the specs for that x6 hybrid. http://www.elitehybridcars.com/bmw-x6.html

  • Vicki

    More immediately, the launch of the new Camry this fall includes the launch of a new Camry hybrid which will also result in greater volume.Last Kings Snapback