Sales of gas-electric cars jumped nearly 20 percent in May, compared to last month, outpacing the overall vehicle market that increased by 12.3 percent. Sales of the 2010 Toyota Prius, which continues to make up half of all hybrid purchases, increased by 13.5 percent to 14,248 units—despite a relatively poor showing by the entire Toyota brand. Industry observers believe that Toyota has yet to overcome negative publicity from safety recalls earlier this years, yet car shoppers are apparently excusing the Toyota Prius from those quality concerns.
2010 Toyota Prius.
Sales of the Ford Fusion Hybrid accelerated by a whopping 64 percent to 2,486 units. Ford also added nearly 25 percent more sales of the Ford Escape Hybrid. At this point, Ford has decisively leapfrogged Honda to become the number two seller of hybrid cars. Toyota owns 68 percent of the hybrid market; Ford holds 14 percent; and Honda has dropped to nearly 9 percent of hybrid car sales. The upcoming Honda CR-Z hybrid might help the company regain the second place spot—and Honda executives are promising a clean-slate approach for future hybrids.
Sales of the Altima hybrid, which is only available in eight states, soared by 253 percent. It’s unclear if publicity about the company’s all-electric Nissan Leaf helped raise the green perception of the entire Nissan brand.
Popularity: 3% [?]