2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery
One month of dreary sales does not spell the end of the hybrid, but the numbers reported for August do hint that without a rise in gas prices, sales of hybrid cars and trucks will likely continue to suffer. As a whole, hybrid sales dropped 40.4 percent this August compared to a year ago, and even the industry's volume leader, the Toyota Prius, didn't escape from posting plunging sales results. Sales of the Prius plummeted 37.5 percent from August 2009 and dropped off 16.3 percent compared to July's posted numbers. Combined, Toyota and Lexus witnessed a 36.2 percent decline from a year ago, while Ford fared better by posting a 17.1 percent drop in year-over-year numbers.
In all fairness, hybrid sales were boosted last August by the government's Cash for Clunkers program, but this summer's low gas prices continue to bear the burden of the blame for the hybrid fallout. Toyota remains in the number one spot and posted 15,444 sales last month. Ford sits in second place and moved 3,894 hybrid vehicles off dealer lots in August while Honda holds onto third with 3,485 sales. It's getting redundant, but Toyota still leads the hybrid market. Anyone want to make bets on when that will change?