September 2012 Dashboard

The monthly sales dashboard is a collaboration of and Baum & Associates, a Michigan-based market research firm focusing on automotive issues including the hybrid and electric vehicle market.

While the Toyota Prius Liftback continues to pace the hybrid vehicles, the Camry Hybrid continues to perform well at over 10 percent of Camry sales, with annual sales in the range of 40,000 to 45,000.

The Prius c and v held their own and were consistent with prior months, while the Liftback declined somewhat. Even with the slight decline in the Liftback, the three models are in line to sell 225,000 units or more for the year which would be the best result ever for the model line (no doubt aided by the addition of the c and the v).

For its first month of sales, the Ford C-Max Hybrid found itself as the ninth-best seller among hybrids.

Hybrid sales reached 2.9 percent of sales, almost in line with last month. As a whole however they dipped slightly with a 2.94-pecent take rate compared to 3.0 percent in August.

Plug-in electrified cars on the other hand still appear to have nowhere to go but up, given they are a new category with various automakers in process of rolling them out.

Among them, the Volt continues to do well, with September sales in line with the August result. Incentives on the vehicle continue and they have clearly been effective. The Volt represents almost 50 percent of plug in sales in September, and over 50 percent year-to-date.

The Prius plug in had a very good month, especially for a car available in just 14 states, returning to its previous volume level attained in April. Sales should exceed 10,000 for the year, with full availability only since March.

As a result of these two vehicles, the plug-ins reached half of 1 percent of the total vehicle market in September, which is the highest level to date.

The Tesla numbers are estimated based on reports on verbal statements by Tesla. It, Fisker, and Coda are still finding their way as new start-ups, and not willing at this stage to regularly post numbers as is the industry norm.

The Toyota RAV4 EV, Audi Q5 hybrid, and BMW Active Hybrid 3 are new to the sheet.

Diesels as a whole are down 2.2 percent compared to August which is less of a decline of the overall auto market, down 7.5 percent from August.

Furthermore, diesels are up year over year by 44 percent, compared to 12.7 percent for the overall market. Take rate is inching upwards from 0.88 percent in August to 0.93 percent in September.

September 2012 Hybrid Car Sales Numbers

Hybrids sold in the U.S. (September 2012): 34,835
Hybrid Take-Rate: 2.94%

U.S. hybrid sales for September 2012

Model Units vs. last month vs. September 2011 CYTD vs. CYTD 2011
Toyota Prius Liftback 10,806 -18.8% 15.9% 117,254 25.8%
Toyota Camry 3,704 -3.5% 1,517.5% 34,291 437.4%
Prius c 3,386 -1.2% n/a 26,130 n/a
Prius v 3,088 -7.1% n/a 32,218 n/a
Chevy Malibu Hybrid 1,656 -31.4% n/a 12,976 53,966.7%
Hyundai Sonata 1,560 -11.7% -22.0% 15,781 12.4%
Lexus ES Hybrid 1,400 68.5% n/a 2,231 n/a
Lexus CT 200h 1,195 -18.8% -17.2% 13,610 53.8%
Ford C-Max Hybrid 969 n/a n/a 969 n/a
Lexus RX400/450h 944 -19.3% 45.2% 8,861 15.1%
Kia Optima 902 -0.6% n/a 7,907 1,862.0%
Ford Fusion 898 -16.2% 62.7% 8,066 -5.6%
Buick LaCrosse 840 -18.0% n/a 9,489 n/a
Linc. MKZ Hybrid 781 -21.7% 71.6% 4,999 14.8%
Honda Civic 493 -14.9% 61.6% 5,661 79.4%
Buick Regal 463 39.9% n/a 1,885 n/a
Toy. Highlander 413 -8.0% 89.4% 4,382 27.9%
Honda CR-Z 335 -14.5% -37.6% 3,461 -66.0%
Honda Insight 246 -% -64.5% 4,801 -63.4%
Acura ILX 140 2.9% n/a 535 n/a
Lexus GS450h 89 -5.3% 394.4% 427 105.3%
Porsche Panamera S 86 79.2% n/a 409 n/a
Porsche Cayenne 84 21.7% -25.0% 882 -28.6%
Ford Escape 81 138.2.0% -85.7% 1,329 -81.8%
Infiniti M35h 45 -25.0% 11.1% 478 95.1%
Cad. Escalade 43 -31.7% 57.5% 471 -29.3%
GMC Yukon Hybrid 39 8.3% 143.8% 372 -26.3%
BMW ActiveHybrid5 (535ih) 28 7.7% n/a 65 n/a
Chevy Tahoe 28 -22.2% 2,700% 374 -10.1%
Audi Q5 Hybrid 25 n/a n/a 25
Chevy Silverado 21 -70.0% -72.0% 388 -46.1%
BMW Active Hybrid 3 (335ih) 13 n/a n/a 13
Mercedes S400HV 9 -18.2% -59.1% 97 -60.2%
Lexus HS 250h 8 14.3% -96.5% 641 -70.6%
GMC Sierra 8 69.2% 14.3% 100 -29.6%
VW Touareg Hybrid 5 -70.6% -64.3% 177 -45.0%
Altima 3 n/a -98.6% 99 -96.8%
Lexus LS600hL 1 n/a -87.5% 41 -33.9%
Mercedes ML450 2 0.0% n/a 20 1,900.0%
BMW X6 0 100.0% -100.0% 4 -89.7%
Mazda Tribute 0 n/a -100.0% 90 -73.7%
BMW Hybrid 7 -1 -107.1% -106.7% 218 -13.8%
All hybrids 34,835 -9.2% 97.6% 322,516 68.0%
All vehicles 1,183,799 -7.5% 12.7% 10,863,076 14.5%

September 2012 Plug-in Electric Car Sales Numbers

Plug-in cars sold in the U.S. (September 2012): 5,809
Plug-in Take-Rate: 0.49%

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

Model Units vs. last month vs. September 2011 CYTD vs. CYTD 2011
Chevrolet Volt 2,851 0.7% 294.3% 16,348 319.7%
Prius PHV 1,652 57.8% n/a 7,734 n/a
Nissan Leaf 984 43.6% -4.67% 5,212 -27.6%
Tesla Model S 150 (est.) 111.3% n/a 250 (est.) n/a
RAV4 EV 61 n/a n/a 61 n/a
Ford Focus Electric 59 73.5% n/a 228 n/a
Mitsubishi i-MiEV 36 -2,7% n/a 439 n/a
Honda Fit EV 16 77.8% n/a 32 n/a
Smart forTwo EV 0 -100.0% n/a 136 54.5%
All plug-in cars 5,809 23.2% 231.2% 31,113 178.2%
All vehicles 1,183,799 -7.5% 12.7% 10,863,076 14.5%

September 2012 Natural Gas Car Sales Numbers

Natural Gas car sold in the U.S. (September 2012): 130
Plug-in Take-Rate: 0.01%

U.S. Natural Gas sales for September 2012

Model Units vs. last month vs. September 2011 CYTD vs. CYTD 2011
Honda Civic Natural Gas 130 77.5% n/a 836 n/a
All Natural Gas cars 130 -77.5% n/a 836 n/a
All vehicles 1,183,799 -7.5% 12.7% 10,863,076 14.5%

September 2012 Clean Diesel Car Sales Numbers

Clean Diesels sold in the U.S. (September 2012): 11,033
Diesel Take-Rate: 0.93%

U.S. clean diesel sales for September 2012

Model Units vs. last month vs. September 2011 CYTD vs. CYTD 2011
VW Jetta 4,474 1.2% 7.6% 37,120 -9.6%
VW Passat 2,675 4.4% n/a 18,776 2,430.5%
VW Golf 912 -28.1% 31.4% 7,914 4.5%
BMW X5 839 -1.3% 37.5% 7,518 49.4%
VW Touareg 454 7.8% 26.5% 3,487 59.2%
Audi A3 445 10.7% 90.2% 3,165 11.9%
Audi Q7 341 86.3% 35.9% 2,309 -20.2%
Mercedes GL320 303 -25.9% 8.2% 4,313 25.7%
Porsche Cayenne 263 -12.0% n/a 562 n/a
VW Beetle 167 56.1% 274 n/a
Mercedes ML320 114 -57.5% -68.3.0% 4,047 58.3%
Mercedes S350 39 -42.6% n/a 643 n/a
Mercedes E320 5 -58.3% -98.0% 1,828 -18.1%
Mercedes R320 4 33.3% -76.55% 351 -13.5%
BMW 335d 7 0.0% -97.9% 711 -67.8%
Jeep Gr Cherokee 0 n/a -100.0% -100.0%
All clean diesels 11,033 -2.2 44.0% 93,016 26.1%
All vehicles 1,183,799 -7.5% 12.7% 10,863,076 14.5%

View Past Dashboards:

More Hybrid News...

  • Volume Van

    Nice to see C-Max storming into 9th place in very 1st month and that too with only 10 days of sales. There was month when Prius Liftback alone sold 24,000 units, even with gas prices above $ 3.80 / gallon, Liftback model sold only 10,806 units and that’s disappointing. Probably more people are waiting to buy C-Max when its widely available.

    Finally a viable competitor for Prius.

    Good to see the Plugin tally increasing and even nice is the 150 unit sale of Tesla Model S.

    In NGVs, the Chevy and Chrysler’s Pickups can also be added since they offer with CNG version.

    Expect the Big SUV Hybrids (Escalade, Yukon, Tahoe, Silverado & Sierra) sales to go down as they were discontinued. LS600h may also be closed, since it sold only 41 units in YTD.

  • Volume Van

    2 Plugins sold 4,503 units while the 6 EVs sold 1,306.
    If Model S sales increase, EV tally will go up and that the only company which is fully Electric only car company.

    But on plugin front, C-Max Plugin could sell better than Volt & PIP as it has many good features for its price. Its expected to come in Fall, so thats before Dec-21.

    While Diesel is never an alternative fuel, the Ethanol and the Flex fuel vehicles that use E85 are AFVs. Unfortunately even though many such models were sold, they dont buy E85 since its priced so high.

    But now with E15 coming on the way and especially with GM & Ford saying that their 2012 & 2013 models can use it, we can expect that fuel to be sold more widely.

    Finally when the Ethanol usage increases, I hope the automakers will reveal the sales of FFVs to

  • Tony Tan

    Japan sales
    Prius – 22,091 (Liftback & V) – Infact V is sold as 5-Seater (Nickel) and 7-Seater (Lithium)
    Aqua – 22,039

    So with subsidies ending, Aqua (Prius C) may overtake Prius, since Japanese prefer smaller vehicles.

    Soon the sales of Minivehicles may overtake the regular vehicles there as Honda & Nissan are getting into that segment.

    I wish they launch such vehicles here as well.

  • DonWallace

    I tested the Prius C this week. Pleasantly surprised by the interior comfort, good seats and good peripheral vision, except in the back course…same problem as with the yaris. For performance, quite surprising for an electric car, but when buying this type of vehicle that is not what we’re looking for, but rather fuel economy. I really liked it and will probably buy in the coming months.

  • Modern Marvel Fan


    You wrote: “. For performance, quite surprising for an electric car,”

    Prius C is a hybrid, NOT electric car… It is NOT even a plugin hybrid…

  • Van

    A Hybrid is a combination of electric drive and ICE drive, usually with a power split device (transmission) that allows both to work together to achieve optimum ICE performance.

  • Max Reid

    By cylinder

    V4 – 32,979 (94.7%)
    V6 – 1,718 (4.9%)
    V8 – 139 (0.4%)

    When it comes to Plugin – Its 100% V4.

    As expected the V8 content has gone down with the announcement of phaseout of GM’s 4 Hybrid SUV / Pickup models.

    1 good thing is that the sales of Hybrids have crossed 300,000 in a year for the first time in US History. Time to celebrate.

  • Max Reid

    Thank you for publishing this stats. Please keep this link in the main page for the next few days, so that more people get a chance to see and may plan to buy a hybrid.

    Mistake. The 300,000 / year target has already been hit in 2008 during the Oil Crisis. However the recession in the subsequent years combined with Tsunami last year has brought down the Hybrid sales.

    Its regained in the first 9 months of this year itself. So even 400,000 is within target.

    October will see full month of C-Max and partial month of Fusion (Mild & Full) Hybrids.

  • Jeff Cobb

    OK, Max, we can do that. Do you mean I-4 (inline-4)?



  • DownUnder

    Yeah, hardly seen a V4 in a car. Only in motobikes.

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    Yeah, I mentioned to Max few times already that there are NO V-4 in any of the cars here. V is the configuration of the cyclinders.

    There are I-4, H-4, just NO V-4. But he refuses to change it… There are also I-6, H6 in his stats too if you want to get technical…

  • Escape HEV

    With the pricey Volt ranking 5th out of all hybrids, the C-Max approaching 1,000 in sales during it’s truncated debut month, and an avalanche of new models about to hit the market, I think Toyotas days on top of the hybrid heap may be numbered.

  • R O’Keefe

    ModernMarvel, I know… I’ve also told Max the same thing twice and another person mentioned the same thing. He apparently loves the “V” for whatever reason, even though it’s 100% wrong every month. Not to nitpick, Max, but C’mon, you’ve been corrected at least ten times and still write the same nonsense. There are also L-4s, in addition to all the other types mentioned by you, me and others by now.

    There is no V-4, Max, please learn from your mistakes and the kind corrections of people like us. Nothing personal intended and a minor error, anyway, but no need to keep making it, correct?

  • R O’Keefe

    As a purchase, not even that expensive if one includes the fuel savings (I save about $166 on gas after including electricity). For a lease, a no-brainer. $299 now, so much cheaper than a Civic/Corolla, etc. overall. After driving mine briefly, two others in my office now drive one, too.

    Overall, great to see the options increasing. Thanks for the great web site!

  • CharlesF

    @Escape HEV, come on, the Prius lift back has about as many sales as the next three hybrids combined (all Toyotas BTW). It is going to be a long time before anybody knocks off the Prius left back as the number 1 hybrid. I do think you will see the C-Max beat the Prius v and the Fusion hybrid beat the Camry. The Camry and Fusion hybrids go back and forth depending on which is the better car at the time. The Fusion is about to be the better car again.

    Now for plug ins, Toyota has a very weak offering. It has the best gas MPG, but a pure EV range of only 6 miles (anybody that disputes the 6 mile figure take it up with the EPA, no need to waste your time here). The Volt at 38 miles and the soon to be here C-Max and Fusions at 20 miles and the Accord at 15 miles should blow it out of the water.

  • YegorT

    Jeff, thank you for the September Dashboard!

    It is all positive!!! Not to worry that Hybrids Market share did not grow much – the reason is that people are switching to plug-ins! And it is amazing!
    Plug-in Take-Rate: 0.49% (5,809) is amazing!
    Hybrids have reached this kind market share only in their 5th year in USA!!! On contrast Plug-ins are only in their 2nd year in USA.
    Plug-ins are a very new technology and their Take-Rate of 0.49% (5,809) is nothing short of amazing!
    5,809 is 6!!! times more than number of GM EV1s sold in 3 years!

  • Volume Van

    Prius Worldwide Sales crossed 3 million mark. I am surprised why Toyota did not break this out.

    Here are some important links.
    says that upto April -2012
    Prius Liftback – 2,631,000
    Prius V – 138,000
    Prius C – 95,500
    and the total comes to 2,864,500

    The sales of Liftback, V & C in USA in the next 5 months are
    58764, 16255, 17126 respectively while in Japan
    Liftback + V and C are
    128,562 and 112,559 respectively

    and the totals come to 3,197,766 respectively. Great.

  • Volume Van

    Great job Tesla. Keep working hard and keep progressing. One day this could be the Apple of Cars.

    Let your next vehicle be a small functional affordable 4 seater car thats priced for the masses.

  • Max Reid

    OK guys, your criticism of V4 is taken.

    Can I write it as I4 here after.

  • Max Reid

    When I write V4 for 4 cylinder, people are criticizing.

    But the whole lot of media are comparing
    Prius with Corolla
    Volt with Cruze.

    Who will point their mistake.

  • Tony Tan

    Nissan plans lower trim Leaf. Seems those who were anxious to buy the high end model have already bought it in the first few months.

    Later only those who want a budget vehicle are buying and they are expecting more basic model at a lower price.

    Nissan also makes other steps to lower the price by producing it in Tennnesse and also producing battery there instead of importing from Japan. Hopefully Leaf will sell better next year.

  • Modern Marvel Fan


    Thanks for correcting it. Actually just call it “4-cylinder” is more than correct.

    As far as media mistakes go on comparing Prius vs. Corolla and Volt against Cruze, I try to clear it up every chance I get…

  • JPnuss

    You give an estimate for tesla sales. Why not do the same for Fisker?

  • Dwight Mannsburden

    No chance of getting FIskers?

  • Black Dynamite

    The Prius Plug-In is ONLY available in 14 states.

    The opening of this article implies it is available nationwide. They are incorrect….

  • neil brockett

    Is there any information publicly available about the bottom fifteen states regarding purchase or ownership of hybrid vehicles? In September 2009 Dashboard listed the top fifteen.

  • neil brockett

    Is information available about the bottom fifteen states or metropolitan areas when it comes to purchases of hybrid vehicles? Thanks for any suggestions.