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Hybrid Sales Doubled in 2005 but are Varied Thus Far in 2006

The number of new hybrid vehicles on U.S. roads doubled in 2005, according to R.L. Polk & Company. Registrations for new hybrid vehicles fell just short of 200,000, representing more than one percent of all new vehicle registrations in the United States. The Toyota Prius continues to lead the market with 52.6 percent of new registrations, followed by the Honda Civic with 12.8 percent and the Lexus RX400h with 9.7 percent. See the Polk press release.

So far this year, hybrid sales are seeing mixed but mostly positive trends. Ford Motor Company's Escape Hybrid and Mariner Hybrid are benefiting from zero percent financing; in April, the company sold 3,039 Escape Hybrids and 381 Mariner Hybrids, more than double its hybrid sales in April 2005.

Toyota Prius year-to-date sales are down about 10 percent, at 30,357, but the company claims that a limited supply is slowing sales, while demand remains strong. Honda Civic Hybrid sales are up, with 10,264 sold from January through April, a 17 percent increase over 2005, while Accord Hybrid year-to-date sales are down significantly at 2,329, a 58 percent drop from last year. Honda Insight sales for the year to date, though meager at 320, are up 85 percent over 2005 sales. Honda has not significantly updated the vehicle since its introduction in 1999.

See the press releases from Ford, Toyota and Honda.