Hybrids going mainstream, have to sell on cost and mileage, not image
So far in 2007, the Prius, Camry hybrid and Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner hybrids have all had sales increases. On the other end of the scale high-end hybrids from the Lexus and the now-discontinued Honda Accord hybrid haven't fared so well. These more expensive models haven't held the same appeal, perhaps because buyers of such vehicles aren't as concerned about mileage and the lack of visual differentiation doesn't set them apart the way a Prius does. It remains to be seen how the new LS600h hybrid holds up after strong initial sales. The new hybrid SUVs from GM are visually different from their conventional counterparts and the dramatic increase in fuel economy should attract some of the larger families that have a need for such a vehicle.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd]
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