October 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.

Plug-in vehicles had a strong month. Both the Toyota Prius PHEV and the Chevy Volt turned in their best-ever monthly sales, and the Volt has set incremental records the last three months straight, with consistent sales of just under 3,000 units.

While incentives on the Nissan Leaf led to the second-best-ever performance. The Ford C-Max Energi (plug-in hybrid) debuted with 144 sales. These vehicles were 0.65 percent of total North American sales, again a best-ever performance.

The Ford C-Max Hybrid achieved over 3,000 sales in its second month – and Ford notes this was its Prius v fighter’s first full month – of availability which represents a strong performance bumping Toyota out of its usual third-place spot. Typically, the Liftback looms large in first place, and the next three spots have been vied for by the Camry, Prius c and Prius v, but in October Ford crashed the party with its new hybrid. Let’s see if it can do it again next month …

As for the volume king, the Prius Liftback (the “regular” Prius) was somewhat subdued, while the c and v continued at levels achieved in recent months. Total hybrid sales were at 3.1% of sales, slightly ahead of the last two months.

While total sales were down from last month (8.2 percent), plug-in sales were up by 21 percent and diesel sales were down by 2 percent. Hybrid sales were down 9 percent, in line with the overall market result which of course was influenced by Hurricane Sandy affecting the Northeast during the crucial last three selling days.

October 2012 Hybrid Car Sales Numbers

Hybrids sold in the U.S. (October 2012): 33,290
Hybrid Take-Rate: 3.06%

U.S. hybrid sales for October 2012

Model Units vs. last month vs. October 2011 CYTD vs. CYTD 2011
Toyota Prius Liftback 8,788 -18.7% -12.2% 126,042 22.1%
Prius c 3,328 -1.7% n/a 29,458 n/a
Ford C-Max Hybrid 3,038 213.5% n/a 4,007 n/a
Toyota Camry 2,986 -19.4% 796.7% 37,277 455.2%
Prius v 2,769 -10.3% 176.9 34,987 3,398.7%
Lexus ES Hybrid 1,520 8.6% n/a 3,751 n/a
Hyundai Sonata 1,510 -3.2% -24.6% 17,291 7.8%
Chevy Malibu Hybrid 1,266 -23.6% n/a 14,242 59,241.7%
Lexus CT 200h 1,199 0.3% -20.6% 14,809 42.9%
Lexus RX400/450h 997 5.6% 15.8% 9,858 15.1%
Buick LaCrosse 978 16.4% 229.3 10,467 3,424.2%
Ford Fusion 956 6.5% 11.6% 9,022 -4.1%
Kia Optima 745 -17.4% n/a 8,652 2,046.9%
Toy. Highlander 466 12.8% 95.0% 4,848 32.3%
Linc. MKZ Hybrid 465 -40.5% 2.5% 5,464 13.1%
Honda Civic 453 -8.1% -5.6% 6,114 68.2%
Buick Regal 287 38.0% n/a 2,172 n/a
Honda Insight 251 2.0% -49.0% 5,298 -62.5%
Honda CR-Z 244 -27.2% -15.6% 3,705 -64.6%
BMW ActiveHybrid5 (535ih) 184 557.1% n/a 249 n/a
Acura ILX 144 2.9% n/a 679 n/a
BMW Active Hybrid 3 (335ih) 135 938% n/a 148
Porsche Cayenne 106 26.2% -0.9% 988 -26.4%
Lexus GS450h 68 -23.6% 257.9% 495 118.1%
Infiniti M35h 66 46.7% 100.0% 544 95.7%
GMC Sierra 56 600.0% 1,300.0% 156 6.8%
GMC Yukon Hybrid 53 35.9% 130.4% 425 -19.5%
Cad. Escalade 51 18.6% 70.0% 565 -20.4%
Porsche Panamera S 48 -44.2% n/a 457 n/a
Chevy Tahoe 42 50.0% 20.0% 416 -7.8%
Audi Q5 Hybrid 33 32.0 n/a 58
Chevy Silverado 16 -23.8% -67.3% 404 -47.5%
VW Touareg Hybrid 11 120.0% -38.9% 188 -44.7%
Mercedes S400HV 10 11.1% 11.1% 107 -57.7%
Ford Escape 9 -88.9% -98.4% 1,338 -83.0%
Lexus LS600hL 5 400.0% -37.5% 46 -34.3%
Altima 3 0.0% -93.9% 102 -96.8%
Lexus HS 250h 3 -62.5% -98.5% 644 -73.0%
BMW Hybrid 7 2 n/a -77.8% 220 -16.0%
BMW X6 -1 n/a -150.0% 3 -92.7%
Mercedes ML450 0 0.0% n/a 20 1,900.0%
Mazda Tribute 0 n/a -100.0% 90 -78.2%
All hybrids 33,290 -9.2% 73.7% 355,806 67.8%
All vehicles 1,087,334 -8.2% 6.8% 11,949,690 13.8%

October 2012 Plug-in Electric Car Sales Numbers

Plug-in cars sold in the U.S. (October 2012): 5,809
Plug-in Take-Rate: 0.65%

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

Model Units vs. last month vs. October 2011 CYTD vs. CYTD 2011
Chevrolet Volt 2,961 3.9% 167.2% 19,309 285.9%
Prius PHV 1,889 14.3% n/a 9,623 n/a
Nissan Leaf 1,579 60.5% 86.0% 6,791 -15.6%
Tesla Model S 450 (est.) 200.0% 56.0% 700 (est.) n/a
Ford C-MAX Energi 144 n/a n/a 144 n/a
Ford Focus Electric 118 100.0% n/a 346 n/a
RAV4 EV 47 -23.0% n/a 108 n/a
Mitsubishi i-MiEV 30 -16.7% n/a 469 n/a
Honda Fit EV 16 0.0% n/a 48 n/a
Smart forTwo EV 0 -100.0% n/a 136 54.5%
BMW Active E -2 n/a n/a 671 n/a
All plug-in cars 7,032 21.1% 256.2% 38,145 189.9.2%
All vehicles 1,087,334 -8.2% 6.8% 11,949,690 13.8%

October 2012 Natural Gas Car Sales Numbers

Natural Gas car sold in the U.S. (October 2012): 182
Plug-in Take-Rate: 0.02%

U.S. Natural Gas sales for October 2012

Model Units vs. last month vs. October 2011 CYTD vs. CYTD 2011
Honda Civic Natural Gas 182 n/a 1,018 n/a
All Natural Gas cars 182 40.0% n/a 1,018 n/a
All vehicles 1,087,334 -8.2% 6.8% 11,949,690 13.8%

October 2012 Clean Diesel Car Sales Numbers

Clean Diesels sold in the U.S. (October 2012): 10,806
Diesel Take-Rate: 0.99%

U.S. clean diesel sales for October 2012

Model Units vs. last month vs. October 2011 CYTD vs. CYTD 2011
VW Jetta 4,314 -3.6% 18.8% 41,434 -7.3%
VW Passat 2,525 -5.6% 145.6 21,301 1,103.4%
BMW X5 806 -3.9% 75.2% 8,324 51.6%
VW Golf 768 -15.8% 8.2% 8,682 4.8%
Mercedes GL320 613 102.3% 25.2% 4,926 15.9%
VW Touareg 414 -8.8% 7.0% 3,901 51.3%
Audi A3 293 -34.2% 59.2% 3,458 14.8%
Audi Q7 288 -15.5% -4.6% 2,597 -18.7%
Porsche Cayenne 238 -9.5% n/a 800 n/a
Mercedes ML320 204 78.9% -78.9% 4,251 24.2%
VW Beetle 199 19.2% 473 n/a
Mercedes E320 97 1,840.0% -29.7% 1,925 -18.8%
Mercedes S350 35 -10.3% -52.7% 678 816.2%
Mercedes R320 11 175.0% -63.3% 362 -17.0%
BMW 335d -1 -150.0% -99.6% 710 -75.8%
Jeep Gr Cherokee 0 n/a -100.0% -100.0%
All clean diesels 10,806 -2.1 21.2% 103,822 25.6%
All vehicles 1,087,334 -8.2% 6.8% 11,949,690 13.8%

View Past Dashboards:

More Hybrid News...

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Ford really has things covered with the Fusion plug-in coming as well. More plug-ins to be added next year including the Accord plug-in and Chevy Spark. Anyone know which other ones are coming?


  • Volume Van

    Both Volt and PIP has set records while C-Max Plugin (sold for few days in its first month) sold a decent 144 units. Expect C-Max Plugin to do good this month. Plugin / EV combo has crossed 0.5% share and thats great. Seems PIP has taken some share from Prius Liftback.

    C-Max Hybrid has done a great job by taking #3 spot. When the Fusion Hybrid goes on sale this month, it may compete better with Camry-H.

    Meanwhile on Natgas front, RAM CNG Truck has gone on sale and Civic -NG will continue with such low volume sales like its Hybrids.

    But with gas prices being very low, we cannot expect big uptake in Hybrid sales in November.

  • Max Reid

    By cylinder

    4 Cylinder – 30,975 (93.0%)
    6 Cylinder – 2,091 ( 6.3%)
    8 Cylinder – 224 ( 0.7%)

    Tesla Model S continues to give boost to EVs and also the upcoming Leaf base model could add up along with more affordable Smart EV @25K. So EVs are alive and fighting.

  • YegorT

    A few very interesting observations:
    1. C-Max is the big news today: 3,038 is a Great start! Consider this Ford does not have so long and good reliability record as Toyota. So sales of 3,038 in the first full month is really an amazing result!

    2. C-Max did not take any of Prius-V sales! Prius V sales are in line with the previous month. Wow – it shows you how strong is a brand loyalty! I guess if all car manufactures offered decently priced hybrids, Hybrids market would have been 15% – the same as in Toyota today!

  • YegorT

    A few very interesting observations:

    3. C-Max Energi is a better value than Prius PHV so we should expect sales of at least 2,000 per month!!!

    4. Plug-in market share of 0.65% and growing in its second year is nothing short of amazing! Hybrid reached this kind of levels only in their six year!!! Kudos to GM, Toyota, Nissan, Tesla and Ford!

    5. I strongly believe that Prius Liftback is loosing its share to Plug-ins. People who used to buy the most fuel efficient car (Prius Liftback) are now buying Plug-ins.

  • akx

    I’m wondering if the dashboard includes all light trucks such as Ford F-250 Diesel? The overall sales numbers seem to include trucks up to 14,000 lbs GVWR but I can’t see any of the large trucks in the lists. So does the list cover all light trucks being on the market for last October or might there be some models missing?

    Thanks for your help!

  • Jeff Cobb

    akx – The Dashboard covers the (to some controversial) class of diesels known as “clean diesel” and not light duty trucks that could be used commercially. It only includes a few hybrid LD trucks because they are unique as hybrids (GM 2-mode, now apparently being discontinued). This is primarily about vehicles aimed at consumer transportation.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Jeff, Tesla delivered 68 roadsters in the 3rd quarter, so something should probably be added in to the list. Also, what happened to Coda?


  • YegorT

    Hey, one more great news is despite falling gas prices Fuel Efficient market share is growing!!!

    The last time we had the gas prices like this in June 2012, then we had:
    Hybrid Take-Rate: 2.7%
    Plug-in Take-Rate: 0.26%
    Diesel Take-Rate: 0.83%

    So more and more people are turning to Fuel Efficient cars!

  • Jesse G

    What happened with BMW ActiveE? why is it -2. I have never seen that before. Did people return them because they didn’t want it anymore?

  • Volume Van
  • froggy96

    Meanwhile the Toyota plant in Blue Springs Mississippi is producing 600 Corollas a day. Which plant saves more gas?

  • Black Dynamite

    Remember Prius PHEV is NOT available nationwide, just 14 states.

    Surprised the Sonata does so well. It MPG is no better than the 2012 Fusion….

  • CharlesF

    @BD, it must be price. The Sonata Hybrid has never matched the Fusion Hybrid in MPG, and after its recent haircut it is down about 8% to the old Fusion and 30% to the new Fusion. Some people do prefer its 6 speed automatic to the CVTs that Ford and Toyota use. CR has the old Fusion Hybrid slightly quicker to 60, so that is not the reason.

  • Volume Van

    Just 3 Plugin models sold 4,994 units while 15 Diesel models sold 10,806 units.

    Seems Plugins have Diesel in their range especially with C-Max Plugin yet to pickup.

    In fact, instead of a EV having 300 mile range and driving only 40-50 miles / day, it will be better if that same battery is applied in 15 Plugins each with 20 mile range and every vehicle driving at least 20 miles. That way 300 Electric Miles will be used.

    So it will be better if in the future, the automakers sell a Plugin with multiple ranges like 10, 30, 50 and so on so that different people can pick up different models based on their daily driving.

  • YegorT

    The new Fusion 2013 is not fully rolled out yet. When it be it will beat Camry Hybrid sales – more than 3,000 per month.

  • Max Reid

    Wow, Toyota is planning new model Prius in Spring 2014. This is Very Significant.
    Prius of Gen-1, Gen-2 lasted 6 years while Gen-3 will be lasting only 5 years. Clearly C-Max Hybrid / Plugin has sent a message to Toyota.

    They are also considering move to Lithium Ion.
    Plan to introduce Fuel Cell version is also considered.
    This year Prius sales worldwide has surged to 691,28.
    I don’t know whether they will merge Liftback and V into 1 model.

    Things are getting interesting.


  • akx

    @Jeff Cobb thanks for your reply!

    For some research i do want to figure out the current market share of alternative fuel vehicles in the US. Can you recommend any page covering sales rates of LD trucks running e.g. on CNG, diesel so that I can calculate a total number out of the named overall CYTD? Thanks!

  • Volume Van

    Japan Sales

    Aqua (Prius C) – 24,192
    Prius – 18,116

    This is expected. Japanese prefer smaller cars and so the Aqua has overtaken Prius. Again their mini vehicles with 3 cylinder 660 cc is gaining.

  • Shines

    Honda better come up with some better hybrids – Toyota, GM, Ford and Hyundai are now ahead of them.

  • Jeff Cobb

    akx – I’m afraid we do not know a source to direct you to.

  • bloggin

    Actually C-Max Hybrid pulled Prius v sales and prius lift back.

    Prius v sales have been over 3k the two prev months, and oct took a dip to 2,700. The prius liftback and v are the #1 and #2 cars traded in for the C-Max hybrid. This was Ford’s plan all along, and why it is positioned between the liftback and the v.

    The C-Max Energi plug-in delivering in dec in limited markets, will also pull many potential prius plug-in customers offering three times the EV range, 21 miles. Prius plug-in only offering 6 ev miles.

    As dealer lots fill with 2013 Fusion and Fusion Hybrid models in Nov/Dec, expect to see the Camry sales drop, as the Fusion sales rise.

    Toyota will be offering free cars. $199 Camry leases, $99 Corollas, or Zero down, along with 30, 60, 90 days no payments, desperately trying to move units. Which is why they only earned $807 Million for 2nd QTR, and Ford earned $3.2 Billion.

    The key….make cars people actually want, and you don’t have to offer them for free to get them to drive them.

    With 47mpg Fusion Hybrid currently has a greater than expected 25% take rate.

    Also, the 2013 MKZ and MKZ Hybrid with 45mpg hits dealer lots in December.

    January brings the 2013 Fusion Energi in limited markets, which will pull more from the Volt and Prius plug-in, as buyers realize they can have a real midsize car, and still get 47mpg and 21EV miles.

    Focus Electric is finally going to all 19 initial markets in Jan, so expect sales to take a spike due to availability. Ford has done zero advertising for the Focus Electric, only internet. Dealer lots are filling with them now, as one local CA dealer now has 7 as of Nov, along with a lease price of just $328/mo.

    I expect to see Ford vehicles continue to climb higher on the hybrid vehicle sales charts over the next few months.

  • Anonymous

    “The prius liftback and v are the #1 and #2 cars traded in for the C-Max hybrid. This was Ford’s plan all along, and why it is positioned between the liftback and the v.”

    Liftbacks might get traded in significant quantities for the C-Max but it is *extremely* doubtful that there’s any noticeable numbers of V’s that have been traded. The car has been on the market for less than a year. Leases aren’t up and anybody with a significant loan is looking at having a hard time clearing the balance without ponying up extra cash. The V is slightly larger, the probability of Toyota owners ownsizing just to get into a Ford is very, very low.

    I am not saying that the C-Max isn’t a worthy competitor, it’s a great effort by Ford, but you should check your sources on what’s actually getting traded for the C-Max.

  • c_harnett


    The take rate on the Ford Fusion hybrid will not be 25%. The Camry hybrid carries an upcharge of $3500 and the take rate is consistently 10%. The Fusion hybrid upcharge is $5500, which will depress the take rate.

    It also remains to be seen exactly what the real fuel economy is. Ford will be able to advertise 47mpg, because it tested that way, but will it achieve 47 in consumer hands? My hybrid is rated at 49 and it gets 50 (measured at the pump over a dozen fills – I never trust the computers).

    Sample sizes for the Fords are smaller than I’d like but this is what owners have reported, so far, with a couple of other vehicles for comparison:



    And you might just go and check some of your other facts:


  • Black Dynamite

    I would expect the Fusion Hybrid to sell around 45-50k next year, and Camry Hybrid to stay above 40k.

    The Camry is less expensive, has a larger trunk, and is noticeably faster, so it still has some fire in the furnace……

  • jay

    EMF’s scare me when it comes to hybrid cars. The electro magnetic fields are highest at the gas pedal and back right seat…where my boy sites. I wish manufacturers would address stuff like this. Memory foam mattresses scare me too because of their chemicals but at least some companies are addressing this. Why doesn’t someone do this for hybrid car? If i was sure they were safe i’d buy one.