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Automotive hybrid model counts continue to rise, but sales don’t keep pace




There is a theory that by adding a model (to a brand or segment, for example), sales will go up. IHS Automotive new vehicle registration data indicate this does not always occur in the area of alternative fuel vehicles. The number of hybrid models in U.S. showrooms has increased every year from 2009 through this year, but their market share has not kept pace. Hybrid share actually declined from 2009 to 2010 and again from 2013 to 2014, despite an increase in model count during both these time periods. During the five year span from 2009 through this year, the number of hybrids available has almost doubled to 47, but their share has increased .6 percentage points, or 25% (all data are March CYTD).

The Prius is the most popular hybrid, as it has been in each of the past five years. Although its share of the hybrid market has declined from a peak of 55.3% in 2011 to 23% this year, this is somewhat deceptive as there are now four Prius’s available versus just one five years ago. Today all Prius’s account for about 40% of the hybrid category, down from the peak but still a formidable piece of the pie. Ford’s two leading hybrids, the Fusion and C-Max, have moved in different directions, with Fusion hybrid deliveries climbing to almost 11% of the market while C-Max has dropped from 8% a year ago to 5% now. Six of the ten most popular hybrids are built by Toyota and two by Ford. Chrysler LLC, American Honda, and Nissan are not represented in the 2014 list of leading hybrids.

Hybrid Market Share and Model Count

Ten Most Popular Hybrids and their Hybrid Market Share (March CYTD)

Tom Libby is manager, loyalty practice and industry analysis, IHS Automotive 
Posted on May 30, 2014

About The Author

Tom currently uses his passion for the auto industry to serve as a Solutions Consultant for IHS Automotive's Loyalty Practice. His past roles here include Sr. Forecasting Analyst and PolkInsight Advisor (he worked for two years in Polk’s Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey office). Tom's other interests include reading, gardening, sailing and running. Aside from Detroit and New York, Tom has also lived in Los Angeles, Denver, and Boston, where he drove a taxi for two years. Tom has also traveled extensively in the United States and overseas, including an overland trip across Asia after graduating from college. Tom is inspired by people who practice what they preach and enjoys socializing with friends that he's met throughout his career and from school.

Tom is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA). During the 2009 calendar year, Tom was President of that organization. He is an active member of the Automotive Press Association, and in the past has written a blog for the online version of the Detroit Free Press. Tom has a bachelor's degree in history from Amherst College, an MBA with a marketing concentration from Columbia University and once served as an Adjunct Professor of Market Research at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.


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