Now that the huge media blitz surrounding Toyota’s recent recalls has started to simmer down, sales are starting to climb. Gas prices are on the rise across the nation, and Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) has seen a big jump in demand for its hybrid vehicles. In April 2010, TMS sold a total of 17,242 hybrid vehicles — 14,902 from the Toyota lineup and 2,340 from the Lexus division. This represents an increase of 41.1 percent over the April 2009 hybrid sales figures.

During April 2010, Toyota sold 12,555 Prius models up from 8,838 in April 2009 — a 49.7 percent year-over-year growth. Overall, the automaker has sold nearly 41,000 Toyota Priuses this year and sales are up 26.1 percent over 2009. TMS posted sales of 1,076 Lexus HS 250h models in April 2010, which brings the year-to-date total for this dedicated hybrid to 4,529. The HS 250h was not available until fall 2009 and so there are no 2009 figures for comparison.

The increase in hybrid sales at Toyota was also mirrored at Ford. Ford Motor Company reported sales of 2,726 hybrid models in April 2010, up 19 percent from one year ago. The company has sold nearly 10,000 hybrids so far this year, which is up 55 percent from last year. The Ford hybrid lineup includes the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner.

Unfortunately sales of Honda hybrids were down in April. Only 1,880 Honda Insights were sold. The Honda Insight is the company’s only dedicated hybrid and in April 2009, 2,096 Insights were sold. Although sales of the hybrid were down 10.3 percent when comparing April 2010 to April 2009, the year-to-date sales are up. Through the end of April, Honda has sold 6,853 Insights, up 159.7 percent from the same time period in 2010.

Although General Motors and Nissan both make hybrid models, the automakers do not differentiate between hybrid and non-hybrid sales. However, Nissan is gearing up for production of its all-electric vehicle, the Leaf. Pre-orders for the Nissan Leaf are nearing 4,000 units in Japan. Nissan’s fiscal year 2010 sales target for the Leaf is only 6,000 units. As the Nissan Leaf enters the domestic market later this year it will be interesting to see how it affects hybrid sales.