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Sales are Up in December for Hybrids

With most of the results in, it looks like December will be a big month for hybrids.  Although they won't match the sales from December, 2007, they are already up over 45% from last December.

Toyota, Honda and Ford were all up by 60%, 103% and 147% respectively. 

There is one caveat to those.  The Prius (which dominated hybrid car sales, accounting for 1 out of every 2 hybrids sold) sales were down in December of 2008.  Dwindling stock plus anticipation of the new generation Prius was keeping new buyers away.   So, the 48% increase in Prius sales over last years numbers isn't as great as it looks.

While these numbers aren't final (I only have the total numbers from Toyota, Honda and Ford so far), it's clear that 2009 will end up being down for the year by as much as 8% from last year.  The recession, lower fuel costs, a run down in anticipation of the new Prius, and a redirection of hybrids to Japan as sales have taken off there have all combined to keep hybrid sales down despite the introduction of several new models. 

But 8% down means that overall hybrid sales will still be way over the overall vehicle sales in the US over the past year (down 21% for the year).

Stay tuned for the monthly sales report sometime soon.

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