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2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

One month of dreary sales figures doesn't signal the end of the hybrid, but the numbers reported for August hint that without a rise in gas prices, hybrid vehicle sales will likely continue to suffer. Overall hybrid sales dropped 40.4 percent in August compared to a year ago. Not even the mighty Toyota Prius could avoid the plunge. Prius sales fell 37.5 percent compared to August 2009 and dropped off 16.3 percent compared to the July 2010 numbers. Combined, Toyota and Lexus hybrids saw a 36.2 percent decline from a year ago. Ford fared better by posting a 17.1 percent drop in year-over-year numbers.

Hybrid sales were clearly boosted last August by the government's Cash for Clunkers program, but this summer's low gas prices take much of the blame for the current hybrid sales plunge. Toyota remains in the number one spot, posting 15,444 sales last month. Ford sits in second place after moving 3,894 hybrid vehicles off dealer lots, while Honda holds onto third with 3,485 sales. It's getting redundant, but Toyota still leads the hybrid market. Anyone want to place bets on when (or if) that'll change?

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well it's time to be crude. And i have always felt this way ever since the first hybrids came out 10 years ago...Here we go ... Hybrids Suck... when i found out that you could not charge at home, and they only charge if you drive them...it remined me of a wind up toy from the 1970's... it reads like 2 steps forward 1.5 steps back...a high milage small displacement car is seemingly a much better choice. Hybrids look funny, they drive funny,anytime one passes me on the road it was winding it's guts out...which can be funny....and they smell funny...and the fact that it produces electricity while your sitting in it...i could guess, would wreak havoc on your nervous system....humans should not be around that. material of the battery," HIGHLY TOXIC"... cell phones, sonar...are not healthy... This is not a strecth....We can make new fuels that are clean, absolutley. It is up to the government to force this issue...there is still so much money to be made drilling for crude... green algae Let's do this... full electric cars that are fast and fun and look cool,( Tesla) awesome.... wind turbine and solar in you side yard that juice it....awesome... Hydrids that don't plug in.....Blah
        • 4 Years Ago
        "material of the battery," HIGHLY TOXIC"... cell phones, sonar...are not healthy... Let's do this... full electric cars that are fast and fun and look cool,( Tesla) awesome."

        Logic Fail.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Duh! Cash for Clunkers made for a BIG hybrid sales month - only logical without taxpayer paid for bribes that hybrids would have sold.

      As for anyone who thinks going from a Prius to a VaporVolt is a "trade-up", you should seek immediate psychiatric attention! No one should consider that pathetic effort until at least two years after launch. Remember the V-8-6-4 engine? The GM diesel engines? The x-cars without any brakes? The Vega? If you trust GMC, you are a fool.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hybrids and compacts are like soccer in the US. No matter how much hype surrounds them, no matter how much those of us who actually spend our own money on cars and entertainment are told they are the future, the reality continues to be what has always been. Americans like large, powerful cars. In the late 70's and early 80's GM downsized all of their cars not because Americans wanted small cars, but because of the fuel crisis. As soon as the economy recovered and gas prices fell in the mid 80's, GM started increasing the size of their cars. Don't forget, that SUVs were a way around the government regulations that resulted in downsizing. Now, I don't care for large cars myself, but I'm willing to admit that I'm in the minority of the car buying public.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If they were not so boring to look at and drive, they might sell more. They are still new to the market, so I have faith that they will become more appealing in a broader sense over time.

        You also must consider the other more fuel efficient options that are significantly cheaper all around. A Prius is about 30k. It is an overpriced eono-box.

        You also have to consider how the data are skewed because of the impact of Cash for Clunkers and the lousy economy where people are not thinking of buying new cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Face it. As soon as the price of oil falls, most Americans are back to pickup trucks, ladder framed suv's, and big engined, boudoirs on wheels. I'm not criticising; if that's what they like, fair enough. But it is true that interest in hybrids, small cars, and diesels only seems evident when people are scared that they might have to pay the real cost of fuel.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Patrick, your rebuttal is pretty impressive. In what way is it a rubbish post? You can see the sales figures yourself. When fuel prices went up to 4.00 a gallon in 2008, Americans suddenly discovered small cars. as soon as prices went down, sales of SUV's were on the rise again.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What a rubbish post
      • 4 Years Ago
      Fck, I could of had a V8..........
      • 4 Years Ago
      why are there hybrid owners posting here? shouldn't you be ironing your panties?
        • 4 Years Ago
        that is so funny...cool
      • 4 Years Ago
      pretty sure that hybrids and EVs are just gimmicks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      C4C definitely helped last year. With that gone and the economy not much better, the added expense of a hybrid is a lot harder to bear. That also leads to cheap fuel, which turns off even more. Electric/ICE hybrids will increase in sales, albeit slowly. And they are far better than the folly of hydrogen-powered vehicles, which has a reformation plan based on fossil fuels. Which is stupid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah, the government paying folks $4500.00 to drive more fuel efficient vehicles didn't have anything to do with the sales drop it was the dollar a gallon cheaper gas. Really....can we just not use August 2009 as any kind of indicator because it will skew all results because the car biz never had a 4500 incentive from the government before and I know we didn't have one last month.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Without a doubt had something to do with the sales drop.

        Speaking of tax breaks, the government should also "pay" people to drive less as that can help the environment, conserve oil, etc. as much or more than buying a hybrid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      All those money on Prius sales go back to Japan, and Japan spend all those money buying oil from the middle east and rare earth metal from China. Not very smart decision.

      Who has been sticking with the US military in Afghanistan all these years?

      Who took care of all the flights during 911?

      Buy fuel efficient cars from domestic brands eg. Ford, GM or buy diesel VW. We Canadians can supply you lots of oil from Alberta at least for another 50 years, don't worry about supply.

      You guys really need to support your own genuine American car companies. I am not American and I own one Ford and two German cars, why are Americans not buying American cars? So next time when you are thinking about test driving a new car, try to visit your local Ford and GM dealer. Toyota is not the only choice.
        • 4 Years Ago
        JustMega - you're a disgrace to your fellow Americans.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Alaska has a great deal of oil as well, but then the environmentalists get all bent out of shape and then turn around and complain that we are "funding those tolerant, misunderstood Muslims who hate us". They do this while overlooking the negative impacts of hybrids and electrics, as there is not perfect solution, even if that is what they would have us all believe.

        With that said, I am all for getting off Middle East Oil, and drilling more here in NA. I am also all for hybrids and electrics as alternatives, not the solution.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ugh. Here we go with the tired old "buy American" argument. If that's the case, you SHOULD buy a Toyota seeing as they have 6 manufacturing plants in the US and also have 2 in Canada. The Canadian plants alone employ 5,900 people and that's not including the suppliers and other manufacturers that rely on those plants for business as well. So, buy not buying a Corolla or Matrix, you are putting 5,900 Canadians out of work.

        And you say "buy Volkswagen" but they only have 3 manufacturing plants in North America. Far less than Toyota. Sorry but, from your own logic, you are still better off buying Japanese.

        The times have changed, the old view of only American companies are the ones that employ Americans isn't true anymore. And don't forget how North American companies are moving more and more of their jobs overseas.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Americans are not buying American cars for many reasons. One reason is that for years, the American auto makers became complacent after many years of owning this market. During the 70s, they ignored emerging auto makers from Japan who built cheap yet reliable cars. The Americans hesitated to adapt on that front, and the Japanese continued to gain market share.

        Another thing that has hurt the Big 3 was all of the legacy costs they had to contend with brought on by the UAW. As a result, they are constantly trying to cut costs just to compete and stay afloat. As a result, quality took a backseat.

        This has left a bad taste in the mouths of many American buyers, and it will take a while of producing quality cars to finally convince people that American is not the same junk it was in the 70s, 80s, and much of the 90s.
      • 4 Years Ago
      you go Toyota , I love the way you are falling apart..... oh what a feeling ....

      • 4 Years Ago
      As others have noted, sales were artificially bolstered by the CFC program last summer.

      He mentions nothing of how the sales of other types of vehicles have been over the same time frame.

      Given the bad economy, not a lot are going out and buying cars, especially 30k econo-boxes like the Prius.

      ...More "we must raise gas taxes like Europe" dribble!!
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