Hybrid Sales Grow

Even though gas prices have been making a seemingly inexorable rise during the past several weeks, driven in part by turmoil in the Middle East, chances are there are very few people who drive by their local gas station on the way home from work and then upon arrival at home announce, “Honey, gas went up another 10 cents today.

Even though gas prices have been making a seemingly inexorable rise during the past several weeks, driven in part by turmoil in the Middle East, chances are there are very few people who drive by their local gas station on the way home from work and then upon arrival at home announce, “Honey, gas went up another 10 cents today. Let’s go buy a hybrid.”

Presumably, hybrids—like any car—are considered purchases, so while there may be discernable buying behavior changes over a period of time, the “Honey, let’s go buy a hybrid” probably doesn’t happen over a few weeks (unless said buyer was already in the market for a car, at which point the hybrid selection would be enhanced by the rising fuel prices, despite the alleged math that says, “You’re not going to pay back the hybrid price unless you drive it for umpteen years and gas costs umpteen-plus dollars per gallon”).

That said, Edmunds.com has organized some rather remarkable numbers regarding purchases of hybrids during the first quarter. While the numbers may not be those of pickup trucks, they’re certainly growing at a significant clip:

Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Sales by Manufacturer

Manufacturer

Q1 2011

Q1 2010

Percent Change

Toyota

54,609

39,861

37.0%

Honda

11,354

6,160

84.3%

Ford

7,704

7,047

9.3%

GM

2,323

1,585

46.6%

Nissan

1,728

2,072

-16.6%

Porsche

432

0

N/A

Volkswagen

169

0

N/A

Mercedes-Benz

110

458

-75.9%

BMW

94

64

46.8%

ALL HYBRID AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES

78,523

57,247

37.2%

Edmunds.com