The automotive industry is still recovering from the 2008-2009 crisis, and overall the industry posted an increase in sales during June 2010. Despite the increase in automotive sales across the board, sales of hybrid vehicles were actually down for the month. As the summer travel season began, hybrid vehicles did not see the anticipated bump in sales.
The Toyota Prius remains the best-selling hybrid vehicle. In June 2010, 10,998 Prius models were sold, down 15.4 percent from the 12,998 units sold in June 2009. Despite the dip in June sales, the Toyota Prius has seen an overall growth in sales during 2010. Year-to-date sales of the Toyota Prius topped at just over 66,000 units, which is up 19.2 percent when compared to the first six months of 2009.
Sales of the Honda Insight dropped again in June 2010. Honda only sold 1,491 Insights last month compared to 2,079 in June 2009, a difference of 28.3 percent. Despite the drop, Honda Insight sales are up by 37.2 percent year-to-date when comparing 2010 to 2009 sales. However, the Insight wasn’t available until the spring of 2009, which is contributing to the lower 2009 sales figure.
While hybrid sales were down at both Toyota and Honda, sales of the company’s fuel-efficient subcompacts were also down. Sales of the Toyota Yaris were down 54 percent in June 2010 while Honda Fit sales were down 21.1 percent.
On the other end of the fuel-efficiency spectrum are trucks and SUVs. Both Toyota and Honda posted an increase in sales in their truck divisions. The Toyota FJ Cruiser saw an increase in sales of 172.9 percent and Toyota 4Runner sales increased by 232.3 percent. Honda’s sales increases weren’t as dramatic, but the Pilot posted an increase of 19.3 percent over June 2009 numbers and the CR-V increased by 10.8 percent.
As gas prices remain relatively stable across the country, sales of hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles are dropping yet again. Although there are more benefits to buying a hybrid vehicle than just fuel savings, it appears that the American public’s desire for hybrids follows the gas pricing trends.