in partnership with Polk

Analysis of 2009 Sales Numbers

Hybrids Worldwide

"Top 5 global hybrid markets" based on vehicle registrations CYTD November 2009.

"Top 5 US hybrid markets" based on vehicle registrations CYTD November 2009.

The final tally of hybrid sales for 2009 comes in at 290,272 units—not bad for a year in which auto sales imploded. Hybrid sales were off by 8 percent compared to 2008, while the overall market fell by 21 percent. The total market share of hybrid gas-electric vehicles was 2.8 percent.

How did hybrids manage to maintain a decent sales performance in 2009, when they are more expensive than comparable conventional models, and gas prices were modest? The answer is new product introductions, including the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Honda Insight, and Lexus HS250h. Fusion sales helped Ford bypass Honda to become the second biggest seller of hybrids. Sales of all the existing popular hybrid models took a tumble, but the new models softened the blow to the segment.

The expected growth of hybrids in 2010 will benefit from even more new models, as well as an improved market, and higher production output on popular models like the Toyota Prius. We expect the share of market to easily surpass 3 percent next year, as it climbs approximately one point a year throughout the decade. There will be casualties along the way—particularly hybrid models from General Motors, such as the Chevy Malibu Hybrid, and the Saturn Vue and Saturn Aura hybrids. These models are either dead or will soon be killed off. These cancellations will have limited impact on the market, because they never made more than a blip on the sales radar in the first place.

The arrival of plug-in hybrids and electrics makes it difficult to forecast hybrid sales for 2010. What impact will these electric-drive cars have on conventional hybrids? Will buyers waiting for a more robust electric drive hold off on a hybrid purchase in 2010, until plug-in technology arrives? Will the new models simply displace sales of conventional models? Or will plug-in cars fuel growth in all greener advanced technology vehicles? With the right economic conditions and government incentives—and compelling new models coming to market—sales of hybrid and electric cars could exceed the rosiest predictions.

US Sales

Our information is based on hybrid sales as reported by the manufacturers. For each model, this month’s sales are shown compared to sales in the previous month and at the same time last year. We also examine hybrid market share by model and manufacturer.

Hybrids sold in the US (December 2009): 25,160

US hybrid sales for December 2009

6,699

Model Units vs. last month vs. December 2008 CYTD vs. CYTD 2008
Prius 11,775 22.4% 49.8% 139,682 12.1%
HS250h 1,980 40.7% n/a n/a
Insight 1,639 16.8% n/a 20,572 n/a
RX400h 1,598 32.1% 9.2% 14,464 -4.8%
Fusion 1,556 19.3% n/a 15,554 n/a
Camry 1,513 3.3% 19.97% 22,887 -50.5%
Escape 1,036 18.5% -0.7% 14,787 -14.0%
Highlander 1,029 42.5% 15.6% 11,086 -42.8%
Altima 842 67.4% 18.6% 9,357 6.1%
Civic 471 93.8% -54.5% 15,119 -12.1%
Silverado 279 (est) 78.6% n/a 1,598 n/a
Escalade 205 (est) 78.6% -33.0% 1,959 145.0
Yukon 237 (est) 78.6% -46.3% 1,933 18.0%
Tahoe 203 15.9% -79.3% 3,301 19.3%
Vue 186 38.7% 45.0% 2,656 -13.4%
Aura 159 448.3% 367.6% 527 84.3%
Malibu 132 -37.7% -70.9% 4,162 74.3%
Milan 130 34.0% n/a 1,486 n/a
Mariner 121 40.7% 14.2% 1,693 -27.3%
GS450h 54 45.9% 5.9% 469 -30.8%
LS600hL 15 0.0% -70.0% 258 -73.7
All hybrids 25,160 25.8% 42.1% 290,272 -7.6%
All vehicles 1,029,936 37.9% 15.1% 10,429,014 -21.4%

US hybrid sales for December 2009 by manufacturer and model

United States Sales by Make



U.S. hybrid market historical sales (1999 – 2009)

United States Yearly Sales

Regional Data

Source: R. L. Polk & Co.

Curious where hybrid buyers live? We present the data in two ways. First, we list the 15 cities and states that boast the largest numbers of new hybrids on their roads within the past year. For example, residents in the New York City area put over 19,000 new hybrids on the road in 2007. Second, we adjust for population and look at hybrids per person (in states) or per household (in metro areas.) This lets us include cities like Portland, OR: a city that has fewer overall vehicles (and thus fewer hybrids) but has more hybrids per capita than anywhere else.

States with the Highest Hybrid Sales

Rank State New Hybrids*
1 California 55,553
2 New York 15,348
3 Florida 14,949
4 Texas 14,632
5 New Jersey 11,367
6 Illinois 11,124
7 Washington 9,650
8 Virginia 9,545
9 Pennsylvania 9,126
10 Massachusetts 8,425
11 Maryland 7,294
12 Ohio 7,206
13 Arizona 6,106
14 North Carolina 6,050
15 Michigan 5,899

*Registrations CYTD November 2009

States where hybrids are most popular

Rank State New Hybrids per 1000 Residents*
1 District of Columbia 3.79
2 California 1.54
3 Washington 1.53
4 Vermont 1.42
5 Massachusetts 1.32
6 New Jersey 1.30
7 Maryland 1.30
8 New Hampshire 1.28
9 Virginia 1.26
10 Connecticut 1.21
11 Oregon 1.18
12 Colorado 1.13
13 Montana 1.08
14 Arizona 1.04
15 Hawaii 0.89
US State Average 0.87

*Registrations CYTD November 2009

Metropolitan areas with the highest hybrid sales

Rank Metropolitan Area New Hybrids*
1 Los Angeles 26,677
2 New York 21,193
3 San Francisco 15,799
4 Washington, DC 11,595
5 Chicago 8,990
6 Boston 8,668
7 Seattle 7,959
8 Philadelphia 7,367
9 Phoenix 5,037
10 Dallas-Ft. Worth 4,941
11 San Diego 4,683
12 Denver 4,573
13 Atlanta 4,096
14 Orlando 4,007
15 Minneapolis-St. Paul 3,941

*Registrations CYTD December 2009

Metropolitan areas where hybrids are most popular

Rank Metropolitan Area New Hybrids per 1000 Households*
1 Portland, OR 8.8
2 Helena, MT 6.7
3 San Francisco 6.7
4 Washington, DC 5.1
5 Los Angeles 4.8
6 San Diego 4.7
7 Seattle 4.7
8 Juneau 4.6
9 Santa Barbara, CA 4.4
10 Monterey, CA 4.3
11 Charlottesville, VA 4.1
12 Austin, TX 3.7
13 Billings, MT 3.7
14 Lafayette, IN 3.7
15 Boston 3.6
  US Metro Area Average 1.8

*Registrations CYTD December 2009