Hybrid sales shot up ten percent in September, compared to a year ago, but the year-to-date numbers tell a different story. So far in 2010, automakers have tallied ten-percent fewer sales of gas-electric cars then they did a year ago. Meanwhile, the entire automotive market has grown nearly ten percent. While it may look like hybrids have gained ground, truth is, gas-electrics are sinking. Analysts like to chalk up low hybrid sales numbers to modest gas prices, but clean diesel vehicles are flying off lots like never before, indicating that the cost of fuel isn't the only deciding factor.
For September 2010, every clean diesel model, aside from the Mercedes E320, reported sales gains over the numbers released a year ago. In fact, sales of some clean diesel models, like the BMW X5 and 335d, shot up more than 800 percent versus numbers posted in September 2009. The entire segment of clean diesels, dominated by the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, rose 10.3 percent over the reported sales for August and a remarkable 124.1 versus last September. So, why are hybrids suffering while diesels continue to thrive? Check out our Honda CR-Z vs. VW Jetta TDI comparo; perhaps the answer lies within.