Sales of 30+ MPG Vehicles Drop in 2010

Camhybrid
Sales of vehicles that get 30 mpg or greater have fallen off precipitously in the first five months of 2010, according to a Fuel Economy Index by Ward’s Auto. Sales of the most fuel-efficient vehicles have fallen by 10% compared to the same period of 2009.

Keep in mind that this period in 2009 also saw low gas prices due to the worst effects of the recession. Though prices are just slightly higher now, the effect of reasonably priced gasoline clearly has some correlation to the fuel economy of new vehicle sales.

Models that have suffered particularly include the Honda Civic Hybrid (77% drop in sales), the Toyota Camry Hybrid (40% drop, but one could also point to Toyota’s recall troubles here) and the Honda Fit (19.7% drop). All of which are a bit long in the tooth compared to some of the competition, but with the entire industry seeing sales increase in 2010, these are still remarkable anomalies.

It will not bode well for these fuel-efficient models if gas prices continue to stay in reasonable territory this summer. As the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt prepare to debut, we wonder if Nissan and GM are hoping for a fortuitous gas-price spike.

U.S. Consumers Steer Away From Most Fuel Efficient Vehicles, May FEI Shows (Ward’s Auto via Autoblog)

Comments 

Paul

Hybrids stink.Their cache is about done.Only the "evergreen" Prius seems to survive and thrive (why?).When these things come off warranty,they will be littering the junkyards.Who will pay $10K for batteries? Who will foot the bill for electric motor failure? For computer failure? Will their local garage be able to service these things? At least some people have common sense,thinking ahead.A hybrid is not forever,its only for the term of the warranty.What a waste.

Zack

Nice facelift on the Camry hybrid. Very sharp car.

J.

Hybrids do not stink, you just do not like them. They've been in America for 10 years now and are popular for a reason. Do you see the local salvage yards with huge piles of the Prius that you so greatly hate? No. Nobody pays $10k for the batteries because they're not that expensive, do your research and you'll find the batteries are serviced in individual packs and can be tested very easily for failure. Why would someone automatically have to worry about an electric motor failure anymore than they would about a transmission going bad? What about the ECM and TCM do hybrid owners need to worry about? Do they have to process 100x harder than the standard module? Do they have a self-destruct feature? Could you tell me what manufacturer doesn't have an expensive module? Local garages service hybrids all the time, the resources available through online guides such as Mitchell and AllData are abundant. Not to mention the amount of independent classes that are out there, WorldPac for example, holds them all the time.

George

Don't look at the rear of the Camry refresh.
Toyota has cheapened the Camry once again, red turns signals. (and still four LEDs for the CHMSL. Terrible and unsafe)

JJJR

Perhaps the public has finally smartened up to the fact hybrids are not cost-effective. Once gas returns to the four dollar per gallon and up category I might anticipate their popularity will increase. But that still won't change the fact older models get hit with steep declines in valuation due to the anticipated battery replacement cost. However if that problem is ever solved, hybrids may yet rule the roads. Although I'm betting something else will come along first. In the meantime newly designed more powerful and economical four-cylinder engines are putting huge dents in the demand for hybrids. If the past proves to be an indication of the future hybrid technology will not be long lived.

Tony

Paul,
I think you exaggerating a bit.
Well. OK. May be you talking about GM or Chrysler future hybrids...
One of the positive news we get is that, if the battery of the hybrid fails 8 years down the road (that is warranty), by that time the batteries will be MUCH cheaper. Since the first Priuses came out, the cost of the battery dropped about 50%. You can get one pack under $3K.
Also, electric motors don't cost as much as, lets say, transmission. If they ever fail. I have 10 year old computers at home and they work well. I've changed the hard drives but motherboard, video card and all still work fine. Who said, your hybrid's computer must fail?
Here is first thing I googled http://www.newsoxy.com/hybrid-cars/2010-toyota-prius/article11971.html

One problem I know with hybrids is recycling of them. Apparently they using a lot of "rare earths" for hybrids production and nobody recycles them. Something has to do with China, who monopolized "rare earths" business

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