June 2011 Dashboard: Sonata Hybrid Picks Up Slack

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 number of hybrid vehicles sold in the United States in June continued to decline in the face of supply shortages that have hit gas-electrics particularly hard. The industry-leading Toyota Prius continued its decline due to availability, but the Hyundai Sonata hybrid picked up some of the slack and overtook the Honda Insight to become the second best-selling hybrid on the market.

It appears that June represents the low point in availability for hybrids and volumes should grow in July and beyond, as supplies increase and perhaps just as important, prices start to moderate because of the increase in supply. While gas prices may not return to their peak level of earlier this year in the near-term, the pent-up demand generated by the tsunami should be enough to result in higher sales in coming months.

Toyota has announced that it expects Prius sales in the June to September period to be at least 36,000. Given that June sales were only 4,340, sales volumes will clearly grow in the coming months and approach the high levels of earlier this year. In fact, we would expect that forecast from Toyota will be exceeded as their recovery from the March disaster has been stronger and faster than their stated expectations.

Of course, it is not just the Prius that was in short supply. Other hybrids with significant volume such as the Ford Fusion, Ford Escape, Honda CR-Z, and Honda Insight have also had significant declines since the peak in March, ranging from a decline of 30% for the Escape to over 60% for the Insight when comparing June and March sales. While the Fusion and Escape are produced in North America, they rely on key components from Japan. These vehicles will also recover in coming months as availability of vehicles and/or components improves.

The take rate for hybrids this month was 1.2%, a further decline from last month’s 1.5%

It remains too early to make broad judgments on the plug-in market, as supply is constrained as the LEAF and Volt remain in their launch phases. In fact, the Volt was out of production in June as the Detroit/Hamtramck plant (where the Volt is produced) was in changeover to prepare for new products and increased volume of the forthcoming 2012 Volt. LEAF sales continued to grow as more product from Japan was allocated to the U.S., while the Volt moved “sideways” due to availability. Volume of both of these vehicles will grow significantly in the second half of the year as availability increases (both in terms of production and markets served).

Diesel volume was down seven percent from last month, due entirely to a decline in the Jetta, which represents approximately sixty percent of the segment. Of course, the segment has grown with sales this June, growing by over 25 percent from year-ago levels.

Consumers have shunned showrooms in the last two months (across all vehicle types) for a number of reasons, including falling consumer confidence, higher gas prices, higher vehicle prices and of course lower product availability. Look for automakers to let consumers know that product availability is improving and prices are coming down, with hybrid and plug-in vehicles benefiting from the marketing effort. The effect will be somewhat gradual, as the market will not return immediately, but we do expect sales to rise as a result.

June 2011 Hybrid Car Sales Numbers

Hybrids sold in the US (June 2011):12,714
Hybrid Take-Rate:1.21%

US hybrid sales for June 2011

Model Units vs. last month vs. June 2010 CYTD vs. CYTD 2010
Toyota Prius 4,340 -37.3% -60.5% 66,520 0.7%
Hyundai Sonata 1,422 29.3% n/a 3,729 n/a
Honda Insight 1,021 -28.9% -31.5% 11,158 8.8%
Ford Fusion 969 -22.9% -51.8% 7,324 -26.8%
Honda CR-Z 966 -38.0% n/a 8,012 n/a
Ford Escape 826 -26.1% -34.4% 5,524 -9.8%
Linc. MKZ Hybrid 483 -13.9% n/a 2,927 n/a
Toyota Camry 449 -24.2% -59.1% 5,441 -28.7%
Honda Civic 418 56.0% -29.7% 2,433 -21.8%
Lexus RX450h 413 -32.3% -68.3% 5,539 -21.4%
Altima 250 -49.9% -47.8% 2,359 -41.7%
Lexus CT 200h 240 -47.1% n/a 3,768 n/a
Porsche Cayenne 177 55.3% n/a 865 n/a
Lexus HS 250h 159 -27.7% -73.6% 1,357 -79.1%
Chevy Silverado 76 -14.6% -7.3% 601 -16.2%
Toy. Highlander 74 -50.3% -87.9% 2,796 -18.8%
Cad. Escalade 68 -23.6% 0.0% 586 -7.6%
Mazda Tribute 64 82.9% 16.4% 243 -23.6%
Chevy Tahoe 61 -3.2% -63.7% 368 -59.7%
GMC Yukon Hybrid 59 -23.4% -55.3% 425 -43.0%
Infiniti M35h 33 -8.3% n/a 111 n/a
BMW Hybrid 7 27 -28.9% 145.5% 202 1022.2%
Mercedes S400 26 -46.9% -58.7% 182 -65.3%
Lexus GS450h 24 33.3% 9.1% 147 -17.9%
VW Touareg Hybrid 23 -42.5% n/a 284 n/a
Chevy Malibu Hybrid 22 n/a -38.9% 24 -93.3%
GMC Sierra 14 -36.4% -63.2% 119 -58.1%
BMW X6 6 100.0% -95.3% 30 -86.7%
Lexus LS600hL 4 300.0% 0.0% 39 -25.0%
Mercedes ML450 n/a -100.0% 1 -99.8%
All hybrids 12,714 -27.0% -41.4% 133,114 1.7%
All vehicles 1,053,405 -0.4% 7.1% 6,333,313 12.8%

June 2011 Plug-in Electric Car Sales Numbers

Plug-in cars sold in the US (June 2011):2,269
Plug-in Take-Rate:0.22%

US plug-in electric sales for June 2011

Model Units vs. last month vs. June 2010 CYTD vs. CYTD 2010
Nissan LEAF 1,708 49.6% n/a 3,875 n/a
Chevrolet Volt 561 16.6% n/a 2,745 n/a
Smart ED -100.0% n/a 87 n/a
All plug-in cars 2,269 39.1% n/a 6,707 n/a
All vehicles 1,053,405 -0.4% 7.1% 6,333,313 12.8%

June 2011 Clean Diesel Car Sales Numbers

Clean Diesels sold in the US (June 2011):8,653
Diesel Take-Rate:0.82%

US clean diesel sales for June 2011

Model Units vs. last month vs. June 2010 CYTD vs. CYTD 2010
VW Jetta 4,850 -10.3% 19.6% 26,919 37%
Volkswagen Golf 977 0.0% 53.1% 5,002 79%
Mercedes GL320 599 34.3% 107.3% 2,559 71%
BMW X5 580 14.6% -9.1% 3,261 -16%
Mercedes E320 325 20.4% 8025.0% 1,473 3102%
BMW 335d 313 18.1% -12.1% 1,544 0%
Mercedes ML320 289 11.6% 27.9% 1,559 54%
Audi Q7 287 -15.6% 16.7% 2,026 56%
VW Touareg 218 -29.2% 127.1% 1,338 47%
Audi A3 197 -46.0% -23.9% 1,830 18%
Mercedes R320 18 -89.5% -10.0% 362 108%
Jeep Gr Cherokee n/a -100.0% 152 -70%
All clean diesels 8,653 -7.1% 25.7% 48,025 37.6%
All vehicles 1,053,405 -0.4% 7.1% 6,333,313 12.8%

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  • JJJ

    “Volume of both of these vehicles will grow significantly in the second half of the year as availability increases “

    Only if GM bothers making the Volt. Cant sell what you dont make. And cant make what you have no intention of making.

    The Volt is looking more and more like the $199 laptop. Gets people through the door, but when they realize theres none in stock (all 2 of them were sold, probably to employee family members), they browse other, more profitable models.

  • Max Reid

    Good that Hyundai came to the rescue. So all automakers depend on Japan for Hybrids. This should diversify for the sake or risk & price.

    Only after Chinese started making LCD TVs, prices fell to affordable levels. Same thing should be repeated with hybrid components.

    If Hyundai could offer Hybrid in smaller vehicle like Kia Soul, it could compete with Prius. Soul sold 11,000 units in June. Its a very spacious vehicle.

    On another front, the 45 cent subsidy for Ethanol will be stopped by Aug-2011 while the 54 cent duty on Imported Ethanol will also be phased out. So we will soon be getting cheaper Brazilian Ethanol at a lower price. This will help the 9 million flexfuel vehicles in USA.

  • Anonymous

    Actually Nissan Leaf is #2 in the Hybrid/Plugin/EV list. If Nissan could make more, looks like people will buy more. Its possible that EVs could start challenging Hybrids.

  • Yegor

    Prius production is growing –
    Japan sales are up to 19,429 in June from 6,491 in May!


    So I think more Prii is coming shortly to USA.

  • Andreas

    @Max Reid
    Brazilian Ethanol is not a green fuel. It grows on fields where food should be produced. To produce more food the rain forrest has to be uprooted. Not at all helpful for the world climate…..

  • Max Reid

    World already has enough food that there are many obese people. Read the BP Energy Stats, bio-fuels have contributed 0.5% of the Worlds energy and this is a lot, without this, Oil prices will be staying at $ 150 / barrel.

    And dont believe the oil prices as told in US. Its $118 in London which is the benchmark for 70% of the Worlds crude.

    Meanwhile for those who believe that Canada has lots of oil, please read this. All those Oil is in the form of Bitumen & Tar which has to be converted to Motor fuels by adding a lot of Hydrogen which is an energy intensive process.

  • Max Reid

    Yikebike – This is easy to carry than Segway and is lot cheaper with Aluminium model.


  • JJJ

    Andreas, sugar cane does not grow in the amazon region. Blame vegetarians and their love of soy for deforestation.

  • Emc2

    It’s sad to see how spread are some biases within the green car community.

    First the anti-GM sentiment. GM announced in May a slow down in production of the Volt because it needed to upgrade the plant where the Volt is produced. So right now that plant has been shut down for this retooling. Expect revamped deliveries beginning in August, and in the last quarter of 2011 exports will begin to Europe.

    As for the Brazilian ethanol, just read the environmental impact section in the Wikipedia article “Ethanol fuel in Brazil”

    Also do not expect imports of Brazilian ethanol any time soon. Since 2010, as world sugar prices have risen to a historic high Brazilian producers have shifted their sugarcane to produce more sugar and much less ethanol. This shift, together with the ever growing fleet of flex fuels that actually use ethanol, have caused a supply shortage of ethanol, and at some points ethanol price has been so high that no longer it was worthy to fill the tank with ethanol. Lately, ethanol has been imported from the US and the government recently reduced the mandatory ethanol blend in gasoline from 25% to 18%

  • EUrbanist

    I am confused. Numbers show Sonata sold 1422 units in June
    That is – per your numbers – a 29.3% increase from last month.
    However, that means – mathematically – that they sold 1,005 cars in May. Thats a decent amount.
    How come there is no record of any sonatas selling in your May numbers?
    Am I missing something?

  • BBerman

    Hyundai only started reporting numbers in June–although sales started in May.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    The Volt plant re-opens in late July as they will be tripling their monthly production…..


  • Max Reid

    Mr JJJ

    Vegetarians directly eat what comes from the plant like Vegetables & Fruits. Whereas for meat, first you have to feed the cow / pig for few year which may consume lot more corn or wheat or soy and then only we can kill the animal for meat. So meat consumes lot more land than vegetable.

    You may wonder how meat is pretty cheap when compared to vegetables : Subsidies to Corn which in turn is fed to cows, pigs & chicken.

    With the rising debt, such subsidies could be cut soon.

  • Kurt 512

    “You may wonder how meat is pretty cheap when compared to vegetables : Subsidies to Corn which in turn is fed to cows, pigs & chicken.”

    What subsidies for corn???? I should know, our family owns a black angus farm in Iowa. The only subsidy out there is the ethanol subsidy. $0.51 per gallon to the ethanol distillers(Not the farmers). In order to still make a profit, the distillers would need to buy corn at a lower price.

    The paradox of corn ethanol is that helps the corn farmer while hurting the live stock farmer.

    I’m mixed about corn ethanol. On the one hand corn ethanol has raised the price of feed/food a little over what it would have been. On the other hand corn ethanol has lowered the price of gas/oil.

    Has Ethanol raised the price of food/feed??? Probably a little, but the price of Oil is the main culprit. You need Oil(diesel) to drive the tractor. You need oil to make fertilizer. You need oil to truck the food/fertilizer around. Oil is one of the biggest costs of farming. With the price of oil going from $10/Barrel to $100/Barrel, the price food/feed would have went gone up anyways.

    On the other hand there are studies like the one by “Xiaodong Du of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dermot J. Hayes of Iowa State University” that show ethanol has lowered the price of gas in 2010 by $0.89/gallon. Basically lowering the price of Oil.

    So somewhere in the middle like E10 level of ethanol production will give us the lowest food/feed/gas prices.

  • Phil Fournier

    Why do you think GM does not intend to build enough Volts to meet demand? Do you think the profit margin is too skinny? To me it seems the most sensible option for the present as compared to the Leaf, which would have to be a second vehicle for most people due to its “range anxiety.” The Volt, on the other hand, is versatile enough to be a primary vehicle as far as I can tell. It may not be the ultimate solution, but it seems like a good one for the moment and I would think GM would be building them as fast as they can sell them.