Hybrids Breeding Sales - Tucson News Now

Hybrids Breeding Sales


Written By Scott Kilbury

Hybrids are breeding new buyers.  United State registrations of new hybrid vehicles rose 38 percent in 2007 to a record 350,289, according to data to be released today by R.L. Polk & Company, a Southfield, Michigan-based automotive marketing and research company.

Hybrids made up just 2.2 percent of the U.S. market share for the year, but they were growing steadily even as overall sales declined 3 percent.

Lonnie Miller, director of industry analysis at Polk, says rising gas prices may affect some buyers, but they're not the main driver of hybrid sales. Instead, he thinks sales jumped in 2007 because buyers had more options.

He says another important factor is that hybrids have been on the market long enough for consumers to trust the technology. The Prius, the second mass-market hybrid after the Honda Insight, went on sale in the U.S. in 2000.

The Prius remained the best-selling hybrid in 2007, commanding 51 percent of the hybrid market, up from 43 percent in 2006 despite the influx of new hybrids. California remained the top state for hybrid sales in 2007. Twenty-six percent of all hybridregistrations were in California.  Florida, New York, Texas and Washington followed.

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