It's that time again: January sales numbers are in and gas-electric hybrids started the New Year off by posting gains of 12 percent compared to the same month a year ago. Hybrid sales did decline by 32 percent compared to December, but it's unfair to compare January's numbers to those posted at the close of 2010, a time when automakers scrambled to reach annual sales targets and provided incentives to get consumers into showrooms.
Toyota accounted for 70 percent of total hybrid sales for January, a 10 percent improvement over the mark it set a year ago. The gas-electric Prius tallied 10,653 sales in January, retaining its top spot as the best-selling hybrid vehicle in the U.S. The Honda Insight, with 1,554 units sold, placed second and was followed by the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which racked up 969 sales in January. Coming in fifth was the Honda CR-Z, with 894 units sold.
Some models, such as the Lexus HS 250h, Ford Escape Hybrid and the Lexus RX450h lost ground in January 2011, but others, like the Honda Civic Hybrid and Toyota Highlander Hybrid posted substantial gains. Want the full details? Head over to Hybrid Cars for a model-by-model breakdown of gas-electric sales for January 2011.