Hybrid Camry Outsold V6 Camry in March

Automakers took a beating in March as the new vehicle market took a 12 percent dip since February. The market is at its lowest level since 2005. American car companies were hardest hit, but Toyota was not immune to the downturn. General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota all posted double-digit declines.

Sales of Toyota vehicles were indicative of specific trends. There was a continuation of the major shift toward smaller vehicles and smaller engines. Cars outsold trucks for the first time since May 2007. The Toyota Yaris reported all-time best-ever sales of 12,953 units, up 83.2 percent over the year-ago month—while the company had difficulty selling its trucks. The company slowed production of its full-size Tundra pickup, assembled at plants in Texas and Indiana. Toyota officials reported that its new Sequoia full-size SUV spends more than 100 days, on average, on dealer lots.

Hybrid sales in March were a ray of light for Toyota. The Prius posted best-ever March sales of 20,635, an increase of 16 percent from last March. Camry Hybrid reported sales of 6,930 units in March, up 45 percent over March 2007.

The most striking fact: The Camry Hybrid outsold the Camry powered by a V6 gas engine.

HybridCars.com will publish a full report on March 2008 sales and new registrations in our Hybrid Market Dashboard.

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  • Armand

    Why the hell shouldn’t it? With 198 HP available total and more torque than the gasoline version, who would be stupid enough to buy a V6?

    Oh I forgot…there are ALOT of stupid people out there.

  • steved28

    This is great news! The customers are starting to dictate the market. There must be a lot of board rooms at the big 3 with some scrambling going on. And if the Camry can do it, so can the Altima, time to offer that car in more than 6 states.

  • Giant

    Noz – what do YOU drive?

  • sean

    I’m from Australia and this is something I can call “Only happens in America” as we don’t have hybrid Camry here (yet). Also the price of the Prius here is ridiculous, >AUD37,000! And no Tax break either!

  • Armand


    I drive a 2001 Ford Focus with a 110 HP…why what do YOU drive?

    Moreover, I drive to work only 3 out of the 5 days I go..the other days I take the bus. Is that OK with you?

  • Todd C

    Wow Sean, now I’m curious, how do Australian car dealers justify charging so much for a Prius? What do you folks have to pay for gas?

  • Super Sloth

    I hate the V6 Camry, at least with an automatic. I’d take the V4 manual anyday. That said, I like the way the Corolla handles better than the Camry — I feel like I’m carrying a lot more metal around in a Camry and I don’t know what for.

  • Zak Travers

    did someone get the maths wrong???
    “The Prius posted best-ever March sales of 20,635, an increase of 16 percent from last March. Camry Hybrid reported sales of 6,930 units in March, up 45 percent over March 2007”

    Didnt the prius sell 19,156 units in march 2007??…so if they sold 20,635 in march 08 – that would make it about a 7-8% increase???
    Also the camry sold 5,144 units in 07 , therefore if o8 numbers are 6,930 thats about a 34% increase??

  • sean

    Hi Todd C,
    Petrol prices in Melbourne are AUD1.30 -1.50 per litre depending on days of the week right now. Sorry you’ll have to convert to US gallon.
    That’s why Prius is not selling like hot cake as in the US.
    I don’t have enough $ for a Prius. I rented one when I was in Queensland in Jan this year and love it. So do my kids. Drove to the theme parks for 4 days and paid AUD16 for petrol, normal unleaded.

  • CamryOwner

    I have owned a Blue 2007 Camry Hybrid with leather interior and moonroof since August 2006. The car has been awesome all around including 35 to 44 MPG, an incredible sound system, drives like a Lexus, including being ultra quiet around town and on the open roads at 75PMH. The car has plenty of power to merge and pass vehicles plus you have to be careful not to punch the accelarator from a start since you can squeel the Michelin tires. Have 23,000 miles on the car and plan to keep it until 200,000 miles. Despite the smaller trunk, I adapted the car with a full size spare and have taken it on many road trips including trips over 1,200 miles each way. Previously had a 2001 Toyota Corrola that was a awesome vehicle too yet would have never driven it on a 1,200 mile road trip, plus that car blew around on the road on windy days. The Camry Hybrid gets better gas mileage than my Corolla except when driving to New Jersey when I achieved 39MPG with no A/C turned on.

  • Doc

    Noz, despite your blinders, there are valid reasons for buying a V-6 Camry over the Hybrid.

    1. Some people haul a consistently heavier payload and are in areas where traffic requires better acceleration in order to maintain a higher level of safety.

    2. In some localities, the difference in price between the Camry Hybrid and the incentives offered by both Toyota and a particular dealership, make the V-6 Camry a more economical purchase. Edmunds currently ranks the increased price recovery period for the Hybrid at 6 years. SOME dealers, preying upon the unwary, are actually demanding prices above MSRP for the Hybrid; while the V-6 can often be discounted by many thousands of dollars. When you add up the cost of fuel over the next few years, the V-6 can actually be the more economical purchase. This is especially true for those that are engage in primarily highway driving.

    As for your label of ‘alot of stupid people’, well, I might put you in that category, considering that you apparently didn’t consider the aforementioned factors.

    Noz, some people don’t have the option of taking the bus, so don’t use that to aggrandize your quite apparent feelings of superiority. And, for some strange reason, I strongly suspect that the second you can afford something other than that entry level Ford Focus, you’ll be driving as large a gas guzzler as possible. That is typical of the liberals I am acquainted with.

  • SEEK

    Consumer Reports in their April 2008 Auto Edition rated the V6 Toyota Camry “Below” average in reliability.

    The V4 Camry and the Hybrid Camry both got above average ratings in reliability.

    Fortunately we bought a 2008 Hybrid Camry.

    I’m extremely happy that we bought the Camry Hybrid…. not just because of the better gas mileage, but also for the increase in reliability!

  • bigbrian1980

    Very much true. Hybrid cars are the vehicle of the century. They are use now since they save fuel. Toyota made the hybrids and I hope mazda too since I haven’t read any news in Mazda Blogabout them creating one.

  • anglf228

    Are the current MPG sticker estimation methods fair to hybrids? I ask because I believe the hybrid camry is advertised as low 30s highway.