2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery
One month of dreary sales figures doesn't signal the end of the hybrid, but the numbers reported for August hint that without a rise in gas prices, hybrid vehicle sales will likely continue to suffer. Overall hybrid sales dropped 40.4 percent in August compared to a year ago. Not even the mighty Toyota Prius could avoid the plunge. Prius sales fell 37.5 percent compared to August 2009 and dropped off 16.3 percent compared to the July 2010 numbers. Combined, Toyota and Lexus hybrids saw a 36.2 percent decline from a year ago. Ford fared better by posting a 17.1 percent drop in year-over-year numbers.
Hybrid sales were clearly boosted last August by the government's Cash for Clunkers program, but this summer's low gas prices take much of the blame for the current hybrid sales plunge. Toyota remains in the number one spot, posting 15,444 sales last month. Ford sits in second place after moving 3,894 hybrid vehicles off dealer lots, while Honda holds onto third with 3,485 sales. It's getting redundant, but Toyota still leads the hybrid market. Anyone want to place bets on when (or if) that'll change?