Last month, Nissan and BMW helped stem a disconcerting (for green-car watchers, at least) trend of declining year-over-year sales, as increased demand for the Japanese and German automakers' plug-in models made November slightly less painful than October. The year-over year decline of hybrid, plug-in and diesel sales narrowed to 10 percent in November from 13 percent in October, as Americans bought more than 43,000 new green cars. Last month's plug-in sales reversed their temporary decline, incr
Fans of small victories will appreciate the "progress" that Americans made with their purchases of green-car vehicles last month. Automakers and everyone else, though, will scratch their heads. That's because green-car sales had their fourth straight down month in September, as Americans purchased about 42,000 hybrids, plug-ins and diesels last month. And while the deficit compared to last year wasn't as steep as August's 11 percent year-over-year decline, sales were still down 9.6 percent and c
Heaven help the analyst trying to get a handle on year-over-year green-car sales numbers, because there is little rhyme or reason to them. Just when one would think the usual summertime bump in gas prices may spur more Americans to buy hybrids, plug-ins or diesels, the industry turns in another down month in July.
Going against popular perception, diesel vehicles are showing some pretty good pickup. The context, of course, is US sales of oil-burners. And those sales are on the rise as more Americans look to cut refueling costs via more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Diesel and hybrids both selling well in Texas, California
As we've already learned, 2013 was a pretty big year for diesel and hybrid sales. According to registration data, there are now 7 million diesel passenger vehicles and 2.8 million hybrids on the roads in the US. Diesel registrations grew by 410,040 last year, and hybrids increased by 531,385. From 2010 to 2013, diesel registrations increased by 30 percent, and hybrid sales grew by 64.5 percent. When compared to an overall market growth of just 3.7 percent, those numbers are remarkable. Diesel Te
"Now and again, I get the feeling, well if I don't win, I'm gonna break even," Tom Petty sang on his 1994 nugget You Wreck Me. And while we're not out to wreck any hybrids or electric vehicles, it's safe to say that the sentiment of that lyric is an appropriate one when analyzing last month's green-car sales.
Gas prices are up. There are more hybrid and plug-in vehicle models available to the public than ever. Nissan's doing great with its Leaf and Tesla continues to exceed sales expectations with its Model S. And yet advanced-powertrain and alt-fuel vehicle sales continue to crater compared to the numbers from a year ago. What's going on here?
Green-car enthusiasts are probably hoping that Toyota's Super Bowl ad with the Muppets will pay for some brand equity with the Japanese automaker because soft demand for the company's batch of hybrids continue to sink US green-car sales.
Anyone hoping September's flatlining of US green-car sales was an aberration will be disappointed. October's numbers are in and they're not much better. With gas prices working their way down from their summertime highs, Americans continued to show tempered enthusiasm for hybrids, plug-ins and diesels, as October green-car sales rose just 4.3 percent from a year earlier to 48,191 units. While plug-in vehicle sales rose 29 percent compared to October 2012, year-to-date plug-in numbers had been up
The Volkswagen XL1 will be expensive (roughly $145,000 US, if reports are to be believed) but that doesn't mean buyers aren't interested in the sleek, hyper-efficient machine. InAutoNews reports that more people are telling VW they want to buy the 261-mpg car than VW plans to make.
After plateauing earlier this year, US green car sales are settling into a steady pattern of chalking up year-over-year increases in the 30 percent to 50 percent range. Last month, Toyota and Ford both sold their hybrids to a broader range of customers. Plug-in vehicle sales also received a boost after the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in, Nissan Leaf and Toyota RAV4 EV battery-electrics and Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion Energi and Ford C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrids all set monthly sales records
While diesel cars are popular on most other continents, these less-complex alternative to hybrid-electric vehicles have yet to gain major traction in the US. As an increasing number of light cars and trucks start to offer these fuel-efficient engines, though, sales are expected to climb as well. While BMW, Mercedes-Benz and the Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche) continue to lead the way, more non-German automakers like Mazda, Nissan, Chrysler and General Motors are starting to get s