Toyota’s Prius rules the hybrid roost, and consultancies say the car will continue to do so: Toyota sold a record 16,062 Priuses last month – a 50 percent increase versus the month last year, MediaPost reports. Year to date, the company saw an 85 percent increase through July versus the period in 2006.
On the domestic side, Ford has sold over 11,000 units of its Escape hybrid in the first half of this year. General Motors’ Saturn division has hybrids under the Green Line sub-brand of the Vue crossover and Aura sedan. GM’s price premium is between $1,000 and $1,500. GM has sold less than 1,000 of its Aura hybrids since it went on sale in April.
Although there are now 11 hybrid models for sale in the U.S. market, Prius still accounts for over 50 percent of all new hybrid vehicles bought in the U.S. According to J.D. Power & Associates, it will continue to dominate.
The winners in the hybrid wars will be the ones offering the whole package. “The key will be–do they look different, how are they priced and do they offer that much of an advantage? It had better offer gasoline advantages and look different. That’s what’s required,” says one industry expert.