Alt-fuel vehicle sales across all automakers in June more than doubled from a year earlier.

The Prius may be better associated with soft-pedaling drivers, but June showed us that the world's best-selling hybrid is figuratively smoking its tires when it comes to getting some distance from a brutal 2011, lifting all U.S. alt-fuel sales figures as a result.

Overall U.S. alt-fuel vehicle sales across all automakers in June more than doubled from a year earlier to more than 42,000 vehicles, as Americans continued to shop for fuel-sipping vehicles despite the fact that U.S. gas prices, which peaked this year at about $3.90 in early April, have been steadily dropping during the last three months to about $3.30 a gallon, according to AAA. With overall June auto sales estimated to have risen about 18 percent from year-earlier levels, advanced-powertrain vehicles appear to be accounting for a progressively larger percentage of cars sold.

And while some of this jump can be attributed to sales increases in General Motors' Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug in and the company's mild-hybrid sedans as well as a monthly-record number of Ford Focus Electrics sold, most of the increase can be attributed to Toyota, which was besieged last year by supply constraints stemming from the earthquake and ensuing tsunami that struck Japan last March. The Japanese automaker more than quadrupled its Prius sales from a year earlier to 19,150 units in June, with the newer Prius C, Prius V and Prius Plug-in variants collectively accounting for about 40 percent of the Prius hybrids sold. Non-Prius Toyota sales jumped more than sevenfold to 3,955, likely on the continuing popularity of the revamped Camry Hybrid. Overall, Toyota and its Lexus division boosted hybrid sales to 25,776 vehicles from 5,705 in June 2011.

Chevrolet more than tripled its Volt sales from a year earlier.

As for GM, the U.S. automaker more than tripled its Volt sales from a year earlier to 1,760 units, marking June the second-best month ever for the model. Through the first six months of the year, the Volt sold 8,817 units, compared to 7,671 vehicles sold for all of last year. Overall, GM, which also sold 3,461 of its mild-hybrid Chevrolet Malibu, Buick LaCrosse and Buick Regal models, boosted alt-fuel vehicle sales from June 2011 by a factor of six to 5,383 units.

Additionally, German automakers Volkswagen and Audi increased their clean-diesel vehicle sales. VW diesel sales last month increased 22 percent from a year earlier to 7,329 units, while Audi diesel sales rose 36 percent from a year earlier to 657 vehicles.

Ford, which introduced its electric-powered version of the Focus in very limited numbers late last year, sold 89 units in June after moving just eight during the previous six months combined.

Such gains far more than offset the challenges Nissan faces to meet last year's pace for sales of its all-electric Leaf as well as continued hybrid-sales declines for Ford and Honda. The Leaf, which outsold the Volt by about 2,000 units list year, saw a 69-percent year-over-year sales drop to just 535 units. As a result, the model fell behind last year's sales pace for the first time in 2012, with the Leaf's six-months total of 3,148 units accounting for a 19-percent decline from a year earlier.

For the first half of the year, U.S. alt-fuel sales jumped 54 percent to more than 264,000 vehicles.

Meanwhile, Ford's hybrid sales dropped 41 percent from a year earlier to 1,354 vehicles as Ford Escape Hybrid sales dwindled to just 17 units and Fusion Hybrid sales fell 18 percent to 797 vehicles. Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sales fell 6.6 percent to 451 vehicles.

As for Honda, the lack of popularity for its CR-Z pulled its numbers down, as the compact sports hybrid's sales plunged 58 percent to 409 units. Honda Insight sales fell 52 percent to 494 vehicles, more than offsetting the Honda Civic Hybrid's 31-percent year-over-year sales increase to 548 vehicles. Overall, Honda hybrid sales fell 40 percent to 1,451 vehicles.

Finally, Mitsubishi, which came off monthly-record May of 85 units sold for its all-electric i, saw sales of the model fall to 33 units last month. And Porsche hybrid sales dropped 62 percent from June 2011.

For the first half of the year, U.S. alt-fuel sales jumped 54 percent to more than 264,000 vehicles. Toyota nearly doubled sales of its Toyota and Lexus hybrids to almost 170,000 vehicles, while GM's alt-fuel vehicle sales jumped fivefold to 24,594 units and Volkswagen diesel sales rose 33 percent to almost 43,000 vehicles.

Ford hybrid sales have dropped this year by 44 percent to 8,875 units, while Honda hybrid sales through June declined 51 percent from a year earlier to 10,565 vehicles.



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 62 Comments
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Latest sales numbers for Europe April month only 2012. Prius 1,956 (Europes 137th best selling car) GM Opel/Vauxhall Ampere 499 (No 214th best selling car) Leaf 345 sales (No 230th) Peugeot iON 146 (258th place in Europes sales chart)
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Since when is Diesel and "alternative fuel" ? Diesel has been around for a century and is not "alternative". It is old garbage repackaged by marketers!
        Rick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        LOL your right Nick, outside North America & Japan, diesel is the No1 choice in most countries. UK Car Sales Jan-June 2012. No1 Diesel 541,241 sales up 5.2% No2 Gasoline 501,818 sale down 0.1% No3 Gasoline/hybrids 12,720 up +7.7% No4 Electric Cars 559 down -10.2% Cycle sales 1,600,000 up +28%
          SNP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rick
          That's only because of Gas taxes. They tax gasoline to the point where people have no choice. Fact is, the original engine was made for gasoline, gasoline is naturally cleaner burning, and those countries outside north america / mid east / russia only use diesel because they dont have gasoline themselves.
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      Interesting data on the Toyota Plug Prius: 1,654 April 1,086 May 695 June It was amusing how Toyota crowed about the April PIP sales, but doesn't want to talk about it now. This exponential decay, losing almost exactly 35% each month since introduction, projects forward like this: 450 July 290 Aug 187 Sep 121 Oct 78 Nov 50 Dec = 4,612 total for CY 2012. It looks like the PIP may not catch the Leaf after all.
        spw
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        Toyota always said that plugins dont make sense, right now... thats why they will sell 1,100,000 hybrids this year, worldwide, while Volt will sell how much again?
          nitrostreet
          • 2 Years Ago
          @spw
          @spw, Let's wait and see what it looks like 10 years from now, Toyota must have some concerns about the Volt or they wouldn't have tried to make a Prius more Volt-like.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @spw
          They don't make sense the way Toyota builds them. Overpriced and with a very small battery.
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @spw
          The Volt in year one outsold the Prius in year one. The Prius was hit then with much of the same FUD as the Volt goes through now - high price, unprofitable, too mechanically complex, green ethos, carping about the appearance and styling, requires a tax credit to get the price remotely down to viable levels, not driven by market forces but by politics, etc. Toyota did not get rattled and gave the Prius time to find iits market and now the Prius is a high selling, low priced hit, a top seller in the USA, THE top seller in Japan, no longer qualifying for tax credits because it has sold so many units. A shame Toyota is trying to do to the Volt what many tried to do to the Prius.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @spw
          GM will sell a lot more plug-ins than Toyota will. And GM sells a fair number of hybrids as well. BTW, you got a source for that 1.1M hybrid number you're throwing out there?
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Leaf EV seems a total sales disaster both side of the pond, sales down -68%, Chevy E-REVS sales up +213% the way to go.
        JakeY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        It's doing okay if you include Japan. Percentage points don't tell the whole story, since the US sales numbers are roughly flipped (this month): Leaf was 1708 June 2011, 535 June 2012. Volt was 561 June 2011, 1760 June 2012. http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2883
      lmaoallthetime100
      • 2 Years Ago
      if ford make more ford focuses their number would be way higher
      TPGIII
      • 2 Years Ago
      So in June Toyota had 60% of the "Alt-fuel" market. At this rate Toyota will totally dominate as more and more vehicle will be required to be "Alt-fuel" as CAFE standards increase. GM's most successful "Alt-fuel" vehicle is the Volt and I don't see that becoming a mass market car any time soon. Honda doesn't appear to know what they are doing wrong. Maybe Ford's new entries will manage some change to Toyota.
        mchlrus1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TPGIII
        The new Fusion with 44/47 mpg's will beat Toyota Camry, not to mention the plug in version. Plus the new hybrid and Energie C Maxes, and the 3 cyl Fiesta should do well. Ford just needs a strong competitor with the original Prius, and not the C max which only competes with the Prius V.
          Michael
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mchlrus1
          Rotation, the C Max Energi is a 2013 Model Year vehicle, slated for release in the Fall of 2012 per Ford's own website.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mchlrus1
          C Max Energi doesn't come out until 2013 according to Ford.
        Vlad
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TPGIII
        Toyota took time to develop Prius into "the" hybrid it is now, and it sure reaps the rewards now. Good for it. One month worth of data doesn't show a trend, though. It will be interesting to see if it stays ahead of the game and expands its share, or become complacent and fall behind, like many big car manufacturers before it. Like so many things in life, it's a game of balance. If it milks its current hybrid tech for too long without doing something drastic, it may allow others to out-innovate it. If it spends too much cash and effort pushing a paradigm shift (like Nissan is doing), it risks burning and crashing. For the sake of us all I hope it finds a way to stay relevant, but doesn't find a way to kill competition off.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TPGIII
        Given that Diesel counts as "alt fuel", it seems that every single Chevy or GMC truck with a Duramax diesel engine should be counted (out of 46,000 sold). Same with Ford F-series with diesel engines.
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      Meanwhile, more fossil fuel companies get massive tax subsidies: http://cleantechnica.com/2012/07/05/bloomberg-chesapeake-energy-paid-less-than-1-tax-rate-on-5-5-billion-in-profits-wth/ "Chesapeake Energy, the second largest producer of natural gas in the U.S., and the company described by its founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon as “the biggest frackers in the world,” has earned roughly $5.5 billion in pre-tax profits. To date, the company has paid $53 million in taxes. That’s an effective tax rate of under 1 percent - a massive taxpayer subsidy."
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        Chesapeake is a strange company. They've got an incomprehensible financial structure. They have to keep drilling like crazy because decline rates on fracked wells are so high. But natural gas prices have dropped through the floor so they have little cash coming in to pay for all the drilling. I can't see how their business works . . . they'll probably be bought-out by a bigger company eventually. Either that or they may fail spectacularly due to being over-leveraged and having such low natural gas prices.
      JakeY
      • 2 Years Ago
      There's no Japanese figure for May 2012 and June 2012, but from a recent press release saying there are ~28000 Leafs sold so far in the US and Japan (as of June 2012), that works out to about 1100 sold in Japan in May. http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nissan-global.com%2FJP%2FNEWS%2F2012%2F_STORY%2F120702-01-j.html
      Scambuster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stupid Honda is still trying to force feed the low-tech and inept IMA hybrid to unsuspecting American consumer. While everyone's hybrid sales increased, Honda's hybrid sales declined by 40%. Undeterred, the stupid Honda CEOs continue to shove that garbage IMA down the throats of American consumers. People are beginning to vomit at the sight of all Hondas.
      GeorgeS
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM's e assist is doing better than I expected. That's good. Also Volt outsold PiP. (also good---but I don't expect that to last)
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GeorgeS
        You don't expect what to last? eAssist will continue to do well because it is a well-priced feature. The Volt will outsell the PIP from here on out - the PIP is grossly overpriced for what little it delivers.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GeorgeS
        PIP is too costly and doesn't qualify for as much of a rebate because of its smaller battery pack.
        EVdriver
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GeorgeS
        "Also Volt outsold PiP." PiP is available in a few states only, http://www.toyota.com/prius-plug-in/availability-map.html while Volt is nationwide. Apples to oranges.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVdriver
          That could account for some weakness. But once you are in California and a few other states where these vehicles sell well, that makes up most of the market. It is not like there is some gigantic plug-in Prius fan club in Wyoming ready to buy hundreds of them.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVdriver
          I would totally be willing to see Volt vs Leaf vs PIP on a state-by-state basis. Based on the huge drop in sales, I strongly suspect that the Volt crushes the PIP in every single market from here on out.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVdriver
          Most PiP sales will be in California anyway, because its primary draw is that you can drive it solo in a carpool lane in California. If the current availability states don't account for 85% of US PiP sales once it is nationwide, I'll be shocked. Heck, add in Texas (just Austin, really) and I bet you make it to 90%.
      Yegor
      • 2 Years Ago
      alt-fuel vehicles hold their ground despite low gas prices. Kudos to Toyota and GM!
      carney373
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's ridiculous that flex fuel vehicles, which can actually run on alternative fuel (E85 ethanol) are ignored in this list, while non plug-in hybrids (which are locked in to ONLY being able to run on gasoline), are included. Include FFVs and the situation changes drastically.
        Robdaemon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Including FFV's would only be an apples-to-apples comparison if excluded those that were actually operated on gasoline.
    • Load More Comments