What Drives Global Hybrid Sales?

Mass produced hybrids have come a long way since 2001 when the Prius was first launched in Japan. In 2009, 35 different hybrid models were offered accounting for just over 1 percent of the global market share. One percent (1.28% to be exact) may not seem like a big deal, but the emergence of hybrids is more than a vehicle purchase. It's a culture change. Hybrid sales are a direct results of multiple forces within a market coming together to drive a change in automotive purchase behavior.

These forces encourage consumers to include hybrids into their consideration set and ultimately buy a hybrid:

  • High retail fuel prices
  • Availability of hybrid supporting infrastructure (i.e. dealerships and service facilities)
  • Consumer range and reliability confidence
  • Government incentives
These hybrid selling forces have only been seen in more established markets such as Japan or the U.S., which represent 84% of the global hybrid market share. But will this continue with the emergence of new technology such as electric vehicles?

These topics and more are discussed in a new Polk View titled "Asia Pacific Region Propels Growth of Hybrid Market." I invite you to read the article and let me know your thoughts on the future of global hybrid sales including the adoption of hybrids within emerging markets and if Japan can sustain the hybrid sales trend growth experienced in 2009.

Posted by Margaret Zewatsky, Product Strategist, Polk (03.31.2010)

About The Author

By day, Margaret is a Product Marketing Manager, aptly and effectively "strategizing" to enhance Polk's products and services. By night, Margaret is a super-mom and loves working out, biking, boating and running. With a secret minivan obsession, Margaret aspires to save the almost-extinct minivan segment. In her later years, you'll find Margaret and her many grandkids chilling out on a 52-foot boat cruising into the sunset...


Name: Geoff
Time: Friday, April 9, 2010

I think this is really interesting data but here's a couple more points to consider: you say in the article that China doesn't actively promote "green image" but their government has been pretty aggressive in pushing electric cars. I wonder if their lack of hybridization comes partially from their push towards e-cars? Another developed economy I wonder about is South Korea...with relatively high per capita income, why have they not embraced hybrids? This seems like it would make a good policy paper....

Name: justinowell
Time: Monday, July 18, 2011

This is great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

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