March 8, 2006
U.S. hybrid sales are down month-to-month but up from 2005
Torrance, California – Hybrid sales in the U.S. in February 2006 dropped 5.7 per cent below January 2006 levels to 14,957 units, but were up 43.8 per cent from February 2005, reports the Green Car Congress. Much of the decline is due to a drop in sales of the Toyota Prius, which commands an approximate 50 per cent of the U.S. hybrid market. The Prius declined 7.5 per cent from 7,078 units in February 2005 to 6,547 in February 2006.
Overall, hybrids slightly increased their percentage share of the total light-duty market, reaching 1.26 per cent in February 2006, up from 1.19 per cent in February 2005.
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid sold 2,631 units in February 2006, up 16 per cent from January, and up from 2,565 sold in February 2005. Of all Highlander sales in February, 29.1 per cent were Hybrids. The Lexus RX 400h sold 1,803 units in February 2006, up 22 per cent from January but down compared to February 2005 when 2,565 were sold.
Ford’s combined sales of the Escape and its U.S.-market clone, the Mercury Mariner, were up 49 per cent from January, and up 22.8 per cent from Escape sales in February 2005. Ford attributes the increase to a new coordinated national advertising campaign; following the onset of the advertising’s online segment, traffic to the Escape Hybrid Web site increased 12,000 per cent, with 1,500 leads generated within one week.
The Honda Civic Hybrid dropped from 3,165 in January 2006 to 1,780 units in February 2006, but February sales were up 31.6 per cent from February 2005. The Honda Accord Hybrid went from 351 units in January 2006 to 783 in February, but dropped 8.4 per cent when compared with February 2005. The Insight held steady at 72 units.