• Apr 28th 2011 at 1:07PM
  • 5
U.S. sales of hybrid, diesel and subcompact vehicles outpaced the automotive industry's overall growth in the first quarter of 2011, according to a report released by Baum and Associates, a firm that specializes in forecasting and market research related to the auto industry. Sales of hybrid vehicles soared upwards by 33.9 percent in the first quarter of 2011, compared to the same period in 2010. Likewise, sales of diesel-engined vehicles shot up by 42.9 percent and sales of subcompact cars rose by 23.3 percent in the first quarter of 2011, compared to the same period last year.

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:
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.
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.

[Source: Green Car Congress, Baum and Associates (pdf)]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Well being an early fan of hybrid technology, I am gratified. For years I've had to endure the scepticism of the V crowd, and more irritatingly the sneers of the 'It's not EV' advocates. No, hybrids aren't pure EV's, but for the last few years they showcased EV technology and had the added advantage of exiting outside the imagination of EV advocates. In viewing these US statistics, I wonder if the slowdown in SUV and Pick-Up sales could be attributed more to the US recession, than a desire for small efficient vehicles? A large portion of SUV and pick-up buyers are small business, self employed, tradesman, type buyers. These buyers want to tow things, carry things and have some rough road capacity. These are the very consumers hit hardest by the recession. Maybe they just aren't buying a new vehicle. Making do with their currant vehicle, rather than purchase more debt? Just a thought.....
        Ford Future
        • 8 Months Ago
        EV's have just gotten on the market. Ford's EV won't be out for another year yet. The market has only been hybrids. I'd be surprised if the early adapter's would be just 3% of the market. Should be more like 13% soon. Especially when you see the money that stays in your wallet. EV's are just nicer cars: Smoother, Quieter, and More Powerful. Plug in every night, and you have 100 mile range every day. Who's laughing now Osama.
        • 8 Months Ago
        What's the "V Crowd"?
          • 8 Months Ago
          My apology, typing error. it should read V8 crowd. Thank you for pointing it out.
      • 8 Months Ago
      "..resulting in an increased market share of 2.5 percent for hybrids," Hybrids have been between 2%-3% for years. If remember correctly hybrids have never accounted for more than 2.9% of market in any given year. That number includes every car and truck called a hybrid by it's maker. I don't see these numbers as anything more than a gas price blip. When small cars outsell light trucks, or even midsize cars, then you will have meaningful change.
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