Niche No More

April 4, 2007: Bloomberg—Toyota, Honda, Mazda Lead Asian Brands’ U.S. Gains

Prius edged out Mini Cooper in March, selling 19,156 cars (an increase of 133.2 percent). BMW sold only 3,655 Mini Coopers, down 5.1 percent from the same month in 2006.

Summary: It looks like hybrids have outgrown their niche britches, thanks to Toyota’s Prius. Even though its tax-credit benefits are shrinking, sales continue apace.

"Market share for U.S.-based General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler fell to 51.6 percent from 55.2 percent a year earlier on lower sales of light trucks and after GM and Ford cut sales to rental fleets.

"Toyota, Japan’s largest automaker, sold 242,675 vehicles in March, an increase from 217,286 a year earlier, the company said. The company sold a record 19,156 of its Prius hybrid and demand for the redesigned Tundra pickup, released in February, rose 12 percent to 13,196."

Yesterday, Detroit was losing to Asia in the race to build greener transportation. Today it’s lost market share to those Asian makers of more efficient autos. Maybe someone should be connecting these dots.

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  • joe

    They really should walk around new york city and see all the prius’s and take note.

  • Gerald F. Shields Jr.

    GM and Ford will never ship any vehicle that would be a threat to their conventional car industry. Their Volt concept car in particular, would cannibalize GM’s conventional sales in auto parts.