Washington, D.C. – Reported U.S. sales of hybrids in May 2008 declined 20 per cent from May 2007 to 35,943 units, according to the Green Car Congress. The drop is largely due to a 37 per cent drop in Toyota Prius sales, from 24,009 units in May 2007 to 15,011 units in May 2008, which Toyota characterized as due to “limited availability”.

The May 2008 figures also include sales of the Lexus LS600h and five hybrids from GM, which did not previously break out its hybrids separately in its sales reports. Total light-duty vehicle sales in the U.S. declined 10.7 per cent in May 2008; reported sales of hybrids represented 2.6 per cent of new vehicle sales, a decrease from the April 2008 high of 3.2 per cent and also below the 2.88 per cent share in May 2007.

Toyota sold 5,999 Camry Hybrids, a 12 per cent decline from May 2007, representing 11.7 per cent of all Camry models sold. Total Camry sales increased 2.3 per cent by total volume in May 2008 to 51,291 units. The Highlander Hybrid sold 2,644 units, a decrease of 20 per cent from May 2007 and representing 24.4 per cent of all Highlanders sold. Sales of the Lexus RX400h rose 23 per cent to 2,155 units, representing 26.7 per cent of all RX models sold, while the GS450h sold 98 units, a decrease of 46 per cent and 5.7 per cent of all GS models sold. The LS600h sold 112 units, or 5.3 per cent of all LS models.

The Honda Civic Hybrid’s sales climbed 3 per cent to 4,676 units in May 2008, representing 8.8 per cent of all Civics sold. The discontinued Accord Hybrid sold 16 units, a 96 per cent drop from May 2007.

Sales of the Ford Escape and sister vehicle Mercury Mariner (not sold in Canada) hybrid models dropped 26 per cent in May 2008, representing 11.3 per cent of all Escape and Mariner sales.

The Nissan Altima Hybrid sales almost doubled, climbing 96 per cent to 1,607 units and representing 4.7 per cent of all Altima sales. Total sales of Altima models hit 34,428 units, the best month in the vehicle’s history.

GM reported a combined 589 units of the two-mode Tahoe and Yukon SUVs, representing 5.5 per cent of total Tahoe and Yukon Sales. The Chevrolet Malibu sold 282 units, representing 1.8 per cent of all Malibus sold. The Saturn Vue Green Line sold 340 units, or 4.1 per cent of all total Vue sales, while the Saturn Aura hybrid sold 36 units, representing 0.7 per cent of total Aura sales. For calendar year through the end of May, GM has sold 3,227 hybrid vehicles in the U.S.

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