Meanwhile, total sales of light-duty vehicles in first quarter of 2011 grew by just 20.2 percent, resulting in an increased market share of 2.5 percent for hybrids, 0.7 percent for diesel-engined vehicles and 3.5 percent for subcompact cars. In contrast, sales of SUVs rose by a measly 7.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011.
Alan Baum, principal of the market research firm, outlined the company's findings, stating:
We can thank soaring fuel prices for the boost in hybrid, diesel and subcompact sales, as Baum attributes the shift to more fuel-efficient vehicles to a 30-percent increase in pump prices over the past year.The growth rate of small cars and crossovers relative to the overall market growth is very positive, with the small car growth rate almost doubling overall vehicle growth in March. Conversely, SUVs and pickups trail the overall market significantly. For the first quarter, small crossovers double the overall market growth rate. Given these growth rates, market share for small vehicles is impressive, with share declining in SUVs and pickups.
[Source: Green Car Congress, Baum and Associates (pdf)]