IRVINE, Calif. – With gas prices declining, sales of hybrid and electric cars have remained surprisingly resilient. In fact, sales of dedicated hybrid and alternative-energy vehicles surged more than 164 percent in June, according to Kelley Blue Book’s Blue Book Market Report for July 2012. With gas prices expected to continue their descent, hybrid and electric vehicle sales could slow; however, today it appears as though the sales decline will be relatively mild.
Blue Book Market Report Highlights:
- Sales of alternative-energy vehicles typically fall rapidly after fuel prices peak, and although sales are down from the March 2012 high, they remain stronger than in previous years.
- Sales of the Lexus CT200h improved nearly 500 percent year-over-year.
- In addition, the Chevrolet Volt was a strong performer with sales improving more than 200 percent year-over-year. The Volt, popular for its longer driving range, has outsold the Nissan Leaf nearly 3-to-1 so far this year, even though it has a higher manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) and is not considered a “true” all-electric from a purists’ standpoint.
- The Honda CR-Z, Honda insight and Nissan Leaf all fell short of figures from just a year ago.
Alternative-Energy Vehicle Sales
Gas Prices (National Average)
Quote from Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book:
“The Toyota Prius was the most significant driver of segment gains, with sales surging more than 300 percent from June of last year. The Prius has been in high demand since the introduction of the subcompact Prius c and wagon-esque Prius v. Sales numbers for the Prius also look especially strong due to the inventory shortages that plagued Toyota at this time last year.”
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