Jul 18, 2007

Toyota Is Running A One Person Hybrid Race

Jerry Flint, in a Forbes.com article, paints a clear picture of the market and the near-term prospects for the hybrid auto industry. The MSM has hyped hybrids as our only current solution we have to save America from the evil oil companies, at least till ethanol production and distribution spreads across the country. But that’s another article.

Toyota has five hybrid models that have combined sales, for the first six months of 2007, of 140,000. The Prius accounts for 94,000 or two-thirds of the hybrid sales for Toyota and Lexus combined.

For the same six months the
Honda Civic Hybrid sold 17,141, the Ford Escape Hybrid 11,444 units, while its half-brother the Mercury Mariner sold only 2,028 and Nissan’s didn’t bother to distribute the Altima hybrid nationally.

While Detroit will offer the Ford Tahoe and the Chrysler Durango with a hybrid option this fall, it appears that they still haven’t learned their lesson. The big three gave up on the small car market years ago, when oil was under $20 a barrel. They made a conscious and deliberate decision to capture the large (high margin) vehicle market with luxury sedans, pick-ups and vans. That decision worked for awhile but today the “Big 3” has become the small 3 and they are falling-over-themselves to send manufacturing offshore.

Other than Toyota, Flint does not paint a rosy picture for hybrids. He feels that the next reasonable step for the auto makers is in diesels. Honda has plans for a four cylinder diesel and again the “3” plan them larger vehicles.

They refuse to learn that margin is not always king and are making it harder and harder for Americans to buy American.


Jason h said...

Hey! i'm going to cali this sunday.. gonna be there for a week, this is the site i was talking about where i made the extra cash. later!