Survey: Consumers Are Waiting for More Affordable Hybrids

A new survey by Consumer Reports found that 48 percent of consumers said they will continue to wait before making their next vehicle purchase. That’s not surprising considering the dismal slump in new car sales in recent months.

What is surprising is the number of people who said they are delaying their car purchase to wait for fuel-saving technologies like hybrids to become more affordable. Nearly one in five—or 18 percent—are holding out for an affordable hybrid.

The other chief reasons consumers are waiting, according to the survey:

  • Current vehicle is in good shape (39 percent)
  • Concern over the weak economy (30 percent)
  • Vehicles, in general, are too expensive (30 percent)
  • Interest rates on auto financing are too high (18 percent)

Which brands will consumers look for to deliver those affordable green cars? Twice as many car-shoppers associate Toyota with being environmentally friendly as second-ranked Honda. Consumer Reports explained, “That image is probably due to Toyota’s role as a pioneer in hybrid technology and its strong-selling Prius hybrid.” The Prius is the most popular hybrid on the market.

Rounding out the top five brands viewed by consumers as green are Ford, Chevrolet and GMC—all are brands that offer hybrids.


  • Charles

    Put me in the group waiting for more hybrids. I am waiting for a hybrid small minivan or station wagon.

    Ford, please put your Fusion Hybrid system in your C-Max or Mazda 5. A 39 MPG six passenger vehicle will sell, at least to me.

  • AP

    They may be waiting for a while.

  • Boom Boom

    If an sub-20k Insight isn’t affordable.. I’m not sure what is….

  • Bryce

    Its funny the conclusions that can be drawn fro the same survey……

    Jalopnik looked at this same survey and deduced that people are in fact waiting for their current perfectly fine vehicle to break down…..

    No criticism to hybridcars.com of course, you guys have your priorities, but maybe you should atleast mention the thing that was noted as the alrgest reason for not buying a vehicle……just sayin…..

  • Shines

    Umm, Bryce, Isn’t “Current vehicle is in good shape” about the same as “waiting for my vehicle to break down”? I’ll have to re-read my latest Consumer Reports to see what it says exactly.

  • Bryce

    exactly….that is what I am saying, the article kinda ignored the main reason consumers are not buying vehicles…..1……this one works fine…..2 insecure job based on the economy.

  • sean t

    Jalopnik worshiper,
    It’s just a case of paraphrasing, why keep criticising? Is it because GM is ranked 5th?
    The bottom line is “My current car is good enough for me for now, why change?”

  • Shines

    GM ranked 5th in providing affordable green cars? Lets see that puts it ahead of: Nissan, Mazda, Volvo, Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Audi, Subaru, Chrysler, VW, Hyundai, Suzuki…

    Anyway, Who can identify the car in the cart above? Is it a hybrid or electric? Is that a really big cart or a really small car?

  • ex-EV1 driver

    Actually, the greenest thing we can do is to keep driving our current cars longer, then, when they finally MUST be replaced, replace them with a green car. It sounds to me like the American public may be getting smarter.

  • Ross Nicholson

    Combine them all. It’s the economy, people. People are waiting for things to get cheaper (hybrids, interest), and they are getting cheaper. The dollar/euro/yen/pound hard currencies are getting more expensive. Deflation, is that. People are basically being paid to wait and not buy cars by the Bush administration.

  • Bryce

    lol….I just said that, the vehicles don’t all need replacing right now…..and I don’t know if this has anything to do with GM…..or Jalopnik……I was just pointing out something and citing sources….

    sorry for being thorough….

  • RKRB

    A reasonably good new car costs around $20,000. When you add sales taxes, increased insurance, the loss from depreciation, and higher new vehicle registration costs, that new car costs an average person about six to eight months of their hard work. When you aren’t even sure you are going to have a job to work hard at, a new vehicle begins to sound quite expensive.

  • Picky McPicky

    Oh Brother…You guys really need a brain re-boot. There’s one good comment in this bunch of verbous quackery and that’s the fact that the American consumer is getting smarter.

    Retail is suffering because consumers don’t need new stuff when it first comes out. Do you know who the really dumb people are? The guys that companies laughingly call EARLY ADOPTERS. They laugh because these are the pie holes that pay full mark-up plus the research and development costs for brand new products. I went to the mall today and they were jammed with shoppers getting 80% off on the same goods that goofballs paid full retail for. These are the smart shoppers. They realize that being the first kid on the block with a new pair of designer slacks isn’t going to win them any trophies or respect from peers.

    Likewise…being the first idiot on the block with the latest car is just plain egomaniacal. America…the car you have in your driveway is just fine. Change the oil…get it tuned up at your local mechanic…he’ll be happy…and pay it off…then drive it some more…enjoy that freedom of not having a car payment and don’t try to keep up with the Jones…They are probably in foreclosure or bankruptcy by now anyway.

  • Bryce

    O the Jones…..I remember them…..

  • cranky pants mcgee

    Early adopters are also known as SUCKERS!

  • Bryce

    or rich folks…..but they have a purpose of course themselves, they help the companies pay for the R&D making the vehicles cheaper for you and me when they price comes down……so….in an odd way, you should thank those….suckers…..for subsidizing your purchase.

    Thank you rich snob…..

  • michael foster

    I stopped waiting. I bought an all-electric car and came out even, after I sold my Mazda! I got it from a mechanic in town who has been converting the Geo Metro to all-electric for years. Now I plug in where the gas cap used to be. And it doesn’t use as much electricity as I feared, possibly since it only goes 45 miles on a charge, but that’s been plenty far enough for my family! The conversions he does cost from $12K – $16K using standard batteries and you provide the car to convert. I think that’s pretty standard these days in the home conversion world.

  • Jin Micro

    There’s one good comment in this bunch of verbous quackery and that’s the fact that the American consumer is getting smarter.
    I have to agree with you, Picky.
    -Forex Contest

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