Washington, D.C. – Reported U.S. sales of hybrids dropped 45.5 per cent in April 2009 when compared to April 2008, despite full month sales for the new Honda Insight, Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids, according to the Green Car Congress. Total light duty vehicle sales in the U.S. were down 34.4 per cent for the month.

With 21,735 vehicles sold, hybrids accounted for 2.65 per cent of the new vehicle market. It is the highest monthly share for hybrids so far this year, but below the high mark of 3.2 per cent in April 2008. Year-to-date for 2009, hybrids hold 2.4 per cent of the new vehicle market.

Overall, Toyota dropped 62.8 per cent year-on-year in April in its combined hybrid sales. Prius sales dropped 61.5 per cent, in advance of the market introduction of the new 2010 Prius. Sales of the Camry Hybrid were down 67.1 per cent to 2,198 units, representing 8.7 per cent of total Camry sales; conventional Camry sales were down 31 per cent. The Highlander Hybrid dropped 63.8 per cent to 933 units, for 16.7 per cent of Highlander sales; conventional model sales were down 37 per cent.

Sales of the Lexus RX 400h Hybrid were down 59.7 per cent, to 655 units, representing 10.5 per cent of RX sales; conventional RX models were up one per cent. The GS 450h was down 59.8 per cent, to 33 units, representing 7.1 per cent of GS sales; conventional models were down 71 per cent. Sales of the LS 600h L were down 84.4 per cent, to 19 units, representing 2.5 per cent of total LS sales; conventional models were down 60 per cent.

Honda moved up to the number-two slot behind Toyota with its first full month of Insight sales, with 5,457 hybrids sold, with 2,096 of them Insight sales. Honda also sold 3,361 Civic Hybrids, down 22.3 per cent, and representing 12.8 per cent of all Civics sold; conventional models were down 23 per cent.

Ford reported combined hybrid sales of 2,299 units, up 21 per cent combined with April 2008, due to the addition of the new hybrid models of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan (not sold in Canada). The new models sold a combined 1,165 units, representing 5.7 per cent of all Fusion and Milan sales; sales of conventional models rose 3 per cent. The Escape and Mariner hybrids sold a combined 1,134 units, down 40.5 per cent, and representing 7.3 per cent of all sales; conventional Escape and Mariner models were down 13 per cent.

General Motors reported a total of 1,534 Hybrids in April, including 523 two-mode Tahoe, Yukon and Escalades, representing 4.5 per cent of all combined sales of those models; 95 two-mode Silverado and Sierra pickups, for 0.27 per cent of total sales; 547 Malibu Hybrid models, representing 3.7 per cent of all Malibu sales; 338 Saturn Vue hybrids, for 11.3 per cent of all Vue sales; and 31 Saturn Aura hybrids, or 1.7 per cent of all Aura sales.

Nissan sold 222 Altima Hybrid models, down 72.3 per cent from April 2008, representing 1.8 per cent of total Altima sales; conventional models were down 46 per cent. The Altima Hybrid is only sold in eight states.

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