March 2012 Dashboard

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 market demand for hybrids and plug-in cars exceeded all months prior, with total March hybrid sales at 48,206 units compared to 36,222 last month, and 4,161 plug-in vehicles sold compared to February’s 1,662 sold.

The top-selling Prius hybrid – the three versions counted under “Hybrid” section, not including the plug-in PHV – hit an all-time high. Fuel prices drove this result, as did the availability of the new variants, the V and the C along with the original Liftback model. Fuel economy sells, but having vehicles that meet the needs of consumers (smaller and larger sizes) is also critical.

The Prius plug-in may be a strong success with 911 units in a partial first month available primarily in California. It is a comparatively low cost plug built on an established brand, and combines the allure of a plug-in with lower cost, albeit with reduced battery only range compared to the Chevrolet Volt.

And speaking of which, the Volt did exceptionally well even though fleet sales were negligible. As a result, the strong sales of the Volt reduced inventories dramatically, necessitating an earlier restart of production of the vehicle. GM’s marketing effort continues and the strong sales provide some good news for the product, which GM hopes will result in a change in the “story line” around the Volt.

The growth rate of these vehicles is far above the rate of the market as a
whole, with respect to March vs. February 2012, March 2012 vs. March 2011,
and YTD 2012 vs YTD 2011.

Diesels also saw an increase in sales for March of 11,642 total vehicles sold compared 9,054 in February 2012, and so it was a solid month in all.

March 2012 Hybrid Car Sales Numbers

Hybrids sold in the U.S. (March 2012): 48,206
Hybrid Take-Rate: 3.44%

U.S. hybrid sales for March 2012

Model Units vs. last month vs. March 2011 CYTD vs. CYTD 2011
Toyota Prius 27,800 35.0% 49.4% 59,944 40.1%
Toyota Camry 5,404 44.1% 276.1% 11,270 242.6%
Lexus CT 200h 2,223 35.5% 1.1 4,888 122.3%
Hyundai Sonata 2,095 33.6% 414.8 4,968 1,120.5%
Chevy Malibu Hybrid 1,416 304.6% n/a 1,761 35,240.0%
Kia Optima 1,201 -17.4% n/a 2,831 n/a
Buick LaCrosse 1,117 -50.8% n/a 3,146 n/a
Ford Fusion 1,009 -9.1% -31.2 2,730 -28.4%
Honda Insight 1,032 33.5% -62.9% 2,297 -62.1%
Lexus RX400/450h 992 20.1% -31.0% 2,571 -23.2%
Honda Civic 906 22.3% 105.4% 2,096 28.9%
Linc. MKZ Hybrid 626 49.4% 1.8% 1,298 -5.9%
Toy. Highlander 607 28.1% -23.8% 1,443 -34.2%
Honda CR-Z 536 15.0% -68.2% 1,365 -62.1%
Lexus HS 250h 261 74.0% 13.5% 563 -19.5%
Ford Escape 162 -62.7% -86.4% 941 -62.5%
Buick Regal 135 -50.4% n/a 335 n/a
Porsche Cayenne 124 -9.5% -8.8% 373 -20.1%
Cad. Escalade 105 84.2% -17.3% 196 -37.2%
Chevy Silverado 78 85.7% -17.0% 141 -57.7%
GMC Yukon Hybrid 65 41.3% -19.8% 135 -30.1%
Chevy Tahoe 57 18.8% -18.6% 123 -32.0%
BMW Hybrid 7 54 -10.0% 42.1% 144 37.1%
Infiniti M35h 47 -19.0% n/a 140 n/a
Porsche Panamera S 43 26.5% n/a 116 n/a
Mazda Tribute 29 38.1% -14.7% 74 -30.8%
VW Touareg Hybrid 19 5.6% -56.8% 73 -56.8%
GMC Sierra 16 33.3% -38.5% 32 -52.2%
Altima 18 -18.2% -96.7% 67 -94.7%
Lexus GS450h 12 -40.0% -50.0% 57 -25.0%
Mercedes S400HV 10 -64.3% -60.0% 49 -34.7%
Lexus LS600hL 5 -16.7% -44.4% 19 -20.8%
BMW X6 2 n/a% -60.0% 2 -89.5%
Mercedes ML450 0 -100.0% n/a 13 1,200.0%
All hybrids 48,206 33.1% 39.6% 106,207 37.2%
All vehicles 1,400,100 22.2% 12.7% 3,456,120 13.4%

March 2012 Plug-in Electric Car Sales Numbers

Plug-in cars sold in the U.S. (March 2012): 4,161
Plug-in Take-Rate: 0.30%

U.S. plug-in electric sales for March 2012

Model Units vs. last month vs. March 2011 CYTD vs. CYTD 2011
Chevrolet Volt 2,289 123.8% 276.5% 3,915 223.6%
Prius PHV 911 n/a n/a 911 n/a
Nissan LEAF 579 21.1% 94.3% 1,733 283.4%
BMW Active E 326 183.5% n/a 553 n/a
Mitsubishi i 56 27.3% n/a 136 n/a
Smart ED 0 -100.0% -100.0% 2 -96.2%
All plug-in cars 4,161 150.4% 349.4% 7,250 323.0%
All vehicles 1,400,100 22.2% 12.7% 3,456,120 13.4%

March 2012 Clean Diesel Car Sales Numbers

Clean Diesels sold in the U.S. (March 2012): 11,642
Diesel Take-Rate: 0.83%

U.S. clean diesel sales for March 2012

Model Units vs. last month vs. March 2011 CYTD vs. CYTD 2011
VW Jetta 5,047 45.7% 6.2% 11,021 -0.7%
Passat Diesel 2,052 5.8% n/a 5,229 n/a
Volkswagen Golf 937 40.1% 5.5% 2,270 8.6%
BMW X5 875 44.2% 57.9% 1,889 8.9%
Mercedes E320 441 48.5% 77.8% 912 44.3%
Mercedes ML320 624 43.2% 114.4% 1,585 105.6%
Mercedes GL320 435 -28.8% 2.1% 1,570 44.6%
VW Touareg 404 -3.3% 100.0% 1,218 122.3%
Audi A3 362 43.1% 45.4% 1,008 11.5%
Audi Q7 254 85.4% -31.9% 701 -31.7%
BMW 335d 110 -22.5% -62.2% 581 -21.6%
Mercedes S350 68 -23.4% n/a 186 n/a
Mercedes R320 33 83.3% -48.4% 90 -34.3%
Jeep Gr Cherokee 0 n/a -100.0% - -100.0%
All clean diesels 11,642 28.6% 39.6% 28,260 35.1%
All vehicles 1,400,100 22.2% 12.7% 3,456,120 13.4%


View Past Dashboards:
  • YegorT

    Wow! Hybrids + Plug-ins took 3.74% of market share!
    It is a record month!!!

    P.S. Thanks for the promptly March 2012 Dashboard!

  • YegorT

    Japan March sales:
    Prius: 45,496
    Aqua (Prius C): 29,156

    Wow!

  • Andres

    Please discriminate between Prius C, V and regular. It is not fair to put three vehicles in the same line.

  • Bob Wilson

    Perhaps it is time to adjust the spreadsheet so new models don’t have excessive percentage changes due to low or no volume versus the introduction. My thinking is anything over a factor of five should be flags as . . . “insufficient sample set” or “out of range.”

    Also, when you get a chance, AutoLine Daily claimed last month that diesels outsell hybrids . . . but they provided no numbers. Yet we see “clean diesels’ are a fraction of hybrids. If possible, could we get a breakdown on what they are counting versus your numbers?

    I am a fan of this report and thank you for the effort it takes to gather the data.

    Bob Wilson

  • Jeff Cobb

    Hi Andres – This is not our choice or about our lack of fairness. This is Toyota’s choice to lump all models under the Prius sub-brand. Alan was able to get the plug-in separated out this month for the info I posted here, as it slots under electric/plug-ins. – Jeff

  • Jeff Cobb

    Hi Yegor – Yes it is! … and you’re welcome. thanks for reading. – Jeff

  • Jeff Cobb

    Thanks Bob – Will review the suggestions. Regards, Jeff

  • Max Reid

    Great News. Prius has become #6 selling vehicle overall and #3 among cars. So between Japan & USA, Prius sold 100,000 + vehicles. I wish to see the Prius crossing 3 million mark soon and currently its 2.5 million +.

    If you want the break up of Prius sales, its here
    Liftback ( 18,008 ), V (4,937), C (4,875)
    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/04/prius-20120404.html

    If I divide the Hybrid sales by Engine, then its
    V4 – 45,989 (95.40 %)
    V6 – 1,835 ( 3.81 %)
    V8 – 382 ( 0.79 %)

    Among Plugins its 100% V4.

    I wish automakers realize this and stop making gas guzzling Hybrids in the near future.

  • Jeff Cobb

    Hi Max – When Toyota started putting all Prii in one category, we called them right away, and were told maybe we’d get the info if we attended the conference call, and maybe not. Since it did not look reliable, we did not change the spreadsheet so as not to set expectations we could not be sure we could always meet. With new model intros/records set this month, it was apparently in Toyota’s interest to share individual model info, therefore this time it did share. That said, we’ll look into it further, and if we can assure we can get a reliable breakout month after month, we’ll do it. Thanks. – Jeff

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Great numbers, thanks. Higher gas will drive the market share percent even higher the next few months….

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t the Coda begin delivering cars in March as well?

  • Matt88

    This is the 3rd month that I’ve had to complain about not having numbers on the Ford Focus EV! At least tell us the reason for not having the numbers. You explained why you don’t have the numbers for the Prius C and Prius V; because they are reported all together with regular Prius, but no such explanation has been given for Ford Focus EV. Please just let us know what is going on

  • Andres

    Thanks for the explanation. I think Toyota will be the leader in plug ins shortly.l

  • YegorT

    @Matt88,

    Search the Internet – Ford did not sell any Focus EV in March.

  • YegorT

    I am afraid that Toyota Hybrid sales are limited again by supply :(

    If you look at cars.com availability you will see that
    Camry Hybrid: 3,000 – 16 days supply
    Prius: 8,000 – 13 days supply
    Prius C: 1,100 – 6 days supply
    Prius V: 1,900 – 11 days supply
    Prius Plug-in: 158: 5 days supply

    All these numbers are very low – healthy supply is 30 days.
    I think that sales could have been bigger if there were a healthy supply.
    I think April sales could go down because I can see that Prius suply number went sharply down in the last couple of weeks. :(

  • YegorT

    Toyota Prius reached 2,000 per month sales only in its 4th year in USA-2003 (new technology etc.).
    So the fact that Chevrolet Volt passed 2,000 mark in its 2nd year of sales is remarkable!

  • YegorT

    I think if Toyota brings enough Priuses to USA in April they can actually pull #1 selling car in USA! They would need to sell about 42,000 Priuses in April for that.
    If they do it, it will make a huge news all over the news which will be a great advertising for Prius and bring additional customers to Toyota for a long time to come.

    It would be a great marketing trick for Toyota if they will be able to pull it!

  • Steve Hansen

    I’m pretty sure the AutoLine statistics included diesel light duty pickup trucks which would place diesel sales over hybrids. The clean diesel stats listed here do not include the pickup sales.

  • truetifoso

    Does anyone know the source of this data?

    Smart Money has an article from last week that says just the opposite of this month’s dashboard:

    http://blogs.smartmoney.com/advice/2012/04/03/despite-gas-prices-hybrid-sales-stall/

    I’d love to use these numbers in a report, but I need to have confidence in them.

  • YegorT

    @R.C.

    Wow! 30,000 in April? The article numbers are totally wrong! Toyota alone sold 38,215 hybrids:
    http://toyotanewsroom.com/releases/toyota+reports+sales+over+200000+vehicles+march+2012.htm
    http://toyotanewsroom.com/releases/march+2012+sales+conference+call.htm

    The numbers here are correct.
    “The HybridCars.com monthly sales dashboard is a collaboration of HybridCars.com and Baum & Associates, a Michigan-based market research firm”

  • Max Reid

    As per NADA Stats
    http://www.nada.org/NR/rdonlyres/7DB2F47A-A60D-45C8-AFEA-321E0A60D3A6/0/201203_NADA_Sales_Recap.pdf

    Prius has come in Top-10 Sales in YTD-2012.
    Best part is Hybrid Cars have crossed 100,000 mark in just 3 months and growth rate is 51% while the Hybrid Trucks sold just 6,057 units which is 38% decrease.

    Its high time all automakers sell Prius type Hybrid Wagons.

    I dont think Ford Focus EV is selling well, no wonder they are trying some other means. But 40K is way too much.

    Meanwhile EVs are sold in Europe at the same price as their gas models, only difference is you have to lease the battery and pay around Euro 70 / month which is the same as what you pay for gas (Petrol). This could be a very good move. It better to pay Automaker than OPEC.

  • doug card

    No kidding
    Lexus LS – 19 vehicles in first quarter…lol

  • Duhee Cho

    In Feb. 2012, KIA optima hybrid sold 925.
    But “vs Last month” in March, the number is minus.
    According to data, it sold 1,201 in March….?

    I found Buick Regal , too.

  • Rob O

    Matt88… seriously, are you that intellectually incapable? Again? It’s not for sale yet, rocket scientist, as 30 seconds with Google would inform you were you not so lazy and whiny. You coming on here whining about no info for a vehicle not sold yet would be lazy once, now it’s just pathetic. How about instead of writing the same nonsense every month you actually read the responses here or look up something yourself?

    Thanks for the usual good work for the report and site! Much appreciated as always!

  • Anonymous

    “Meanwhile EVs are sold in Europe at the same price as their gas models, only difference is you have to lease the battery and pay around Euro 70 / month which is the same as what you pay for gas (Petrol). This could be a very good move. It better to pay Automaker than OPEC.”

    Uh, specifically, what EVs are sold in Europe for the same price as their gas models? Which models even have both EV and ICE versions? The LEAF and Volt, the two sold here already, neither comes close to ICE pricing, of course. Not a knock, I drive a Volt, but clearly true.

    I hope you’re not thinking of THINK or the new Renault Fluence ZE, which seels for $35-$40k, again, not even close to the ICE version of the same car. It’s also just starting consumer sales this quarter, too.

    So, with all due respect and not meaning to be negative, just curious, what vehciles are you referring to here?

    And again, the Ford Focus may not sell well once it’s truly released for sale, but it’s not for sale yet, so your comment about it not selling well is premature. Ford unofficially plans only 15k annually anyway. As for the $40k being too high, I’ll disagree. If all one can afford is an econobox, I guess so. My $42k Volt came in a lease for $420 a month ($371, actually but I put down a little more). I’m saving about $180/month in fuel and paid $24.35 last month in extra electricity. So a savings of roughly $155/month. That makes my new Volt cost a relatively cheap $216 a month. Still too expensive? It’s not for everyone, of course, but it’s simply not that expensive, at least with the $7.5k incentive, of course.

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  • Flying2

    First Time in the market for anything, but an all gasoline vehicle. Just started looking for a high mpg vehicle. Looked at small Ranger-like pickup trucks and got the shock of my life. Looked at the Volt – high price for no spare tire! Looked at the Hyundai Sonata – lower price with no spare tire and no transfer of 10 year/100,000 mile battery warranty to anyone but children of family – are they kidding? Now onto the Malibu for a look. Am 6′-5″ and need an easy way in and out of a reasonably priced mid-size hybrid, if I am to invest in such a mode of choice. By the way, Leafs may draw too much power to run AC and Heaters, such that range is cut in half – watch out for those American basic necessities on plugins. Americans need comfort first and then mpg second. Another thought – those companies that eliminate the spare tire will have the consumer over the barrel, when the pot holes aren’t fixed in the USA. An ev is bad enough, but pot holes will stop a car dead in its tracks and no Seal and Pump Kit is going to send you on your way. Saving the weight of a spare tire is not a fair way to get more mpg out of a vehicle – totally wrong for car makers to think such a way! More mpg, without a spare, means more reliance on tow trucks and therefore, higher operating costs.

    First time into the market is rather scary, hearing all sorts of reasons why not to buy a competitor’s vehicle. It is easier to keep my 2003 beater maintained, than to face the uncertainties being force-fed on Americans by hybrids and evs. Power to those who want a less gas dependent vehicle, but just remember that hybrids need gas to get brake regeneration – no other way to get that “free” or “wasted” energy.

    By the way, my beater, a Buick, gets an average of 23.8 mpg for mainly city driving. On the highway, it gets close to 35 mpg with no problem.

    Well, that is where I am at in this process, and the makers of these new types of vehicles had better read this post, as most USA folk do not have cash sitting around and they value their beaters highly.

  • Gordon Johnson

    It looks like the data you have is flawed. For instance, you have the BMW Active E selling 326 units in both March and April, and being up 183% MoM. However, if it sold the same amount of cars in March and April, it is impossible that sales were up in April vs. March. This is one error we found, but are there more errors? Can you please advise.

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