May 2016 Green Car Sales: The things-got-bad-to-a-little-worse edition
Less Leaf demand, VW diesel stop-sale, Honda's sales lag are all culprits.
While the new Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in continues to see increased demand, plug-in vehicle sales declined 5.5 percent to about 9,700 units. In fact, factoring out the stop-sale of Volkswagen diesel vehicles – which generated 7,900 sales units for May 2015 – May's green-car sales were still about 9,000 units short of a year earlier.
There was plenty of pain to go around. Ford's green-car sales dropped 18 percent from a year earlier to 5,893 units. The Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid was the lone brought spot, with sales growing 47 percent to 1,453 vehicles. All of the other Blue Oval green cars saw sales declines.
Toyota's sales were also down 18 percent to 22,321 units. The four Prius variants collectively had a 36-percent plunge to about 12,500 units, while hybrid sales at Toyota's Lexus division fell 24 percent. The savior was the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which moved 4,185 units
Prospective Nissan Leaf buyers continued to wait things out for the next-generation version of the electric vehicle, as the model's sales dropped 53 percent from a year earlier to just 979 units. Honda green-car sales all but disappeared to 359 units, down 85 percent from a year earlier.
General Motors and BMW fared relatively better. GM's green-car sales fell 11 percent from a year earlier to 2,648 units, as a drop in demand for the Cruze diesel and the continued phase-out of the Cadillac ELR extended-range plug-in more than offset a 17-percent increase in Chevrolet Volt sales to 1,901 vehicles.
And BMW's sales of its i brand fell about 10 percent, as a decline in sales for the i3 more than offset the 25-percent increase for i8.
Through the first five months of the year, US green car sales have fallen 23 percent from a year earlier to almost 162,000 vehicles. Plug-in vehicle sales are still up 7.4 percent to almost 43,000 units.
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