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U.S. Hybrid Sales Up 49%

U.S. sales of new hybrid cars were up 49 percent in the first seven months of this year, according to R. L. Polk & Co.

Hybrid sales were up 57 percent in the Midwest, 52 percent in the West, 49 percent in the Northeast and 42 percent in the South.

Large gains were made in the Midwest due in part to the Toyota Prius, which boasted an 88.3 percent increase, and the Toyota Camry with a 214.9 percent increase from the first seven months of 2006, which marked the entry of the Camry hybrid in the U.S.

“Hybrids are being adopted by vehicle buyers in all regions at an increasing rate for many factors which include fuel prices, differentiating themselves from other consumers and environmental activism,” said Lonnie Miller, Polk director of industry analysis. “The data indicates that hybrids have not hit plateau and that there is room for continued growth within the marketplace in all regions.”

Oklahoma led all states with growth of more than 143 percent compared to the first seven months of 2006 while Hawaii was the only state showing a decline in new hybrid vehicle registrations, dropping 5.3 percent.

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