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Does the current situation affect hybrid sales more?

13

Comments

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    Are the Prius selling well in the EU or Asia?

    I do see the good side. With Toyota building a Prius factory in the USA, it will strengthen our weakening auto industry. When GM and Chrysler bite the bullet. Toyota should buy Jeep now that they are dumping that POC FJ Cruiser. Corvette would just about fill out the roster for ToyLex.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,876
    This discussion is a better place for your question (and to look at others' previous comments):
    Toyota Prius Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • Addressing the issue presented here, I'd say that any vehicle is subject to this downturn recession. This period, that has all of us guessing just when will we hit bottom, is scary and no one is exempt. Well, maybe CEO's with huge parachutes. The industry as a whole is undergoing a stagnent period. Motorcycles, R.V.'s and automobiles and the like are in a tail spin. Indiana has record breaking unemployment due to R.V. no sales.and it's still rising. The steel industry too is also going thru dire times. Steel production falling off. Everyone looks to the Government to bail out Banks, Federal Corp.'s and now the Automakers. Tighten your seatbelts this is going to be a rough ride. I & many of my friends are still glad we own our Prius's as gas prices tumble. It was a tollerable ride thru the ups & downs of high gas prices.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "Toyota has put all its marbles into the wrong markets. The US buyer is fickle. And the meager Prius sales when gas is cheap, attests to my belief."

    Gas prices and Prius sales do not have a direct correlation:

    Sales in 2004: 53,991 Avg gas price 2004: $1.895

    Sales in 2005: 107,897 Avg gas price 2005: $2.314
    Gas prices went up, and so did Prius sales.

    Sales in 2006: 106,971 Avg gas price 2006: $2.618
    Gas prices went WAY up, and Prius sales BARELY dipped.

    Sales in 2007: 181,221 Avg gas price 2007: $2.843
    Gas prices went up, Prius sales went WAY up.

    Sales in 2008: 158,884 Avg gas price 2008: $3.299
    Gas prices went WAY up, Prius sales went DOWN.

    There is no direct relationship between gas prices and Prius sales. People do not ONLY buy Priuses when gas prices are high.

    People stopped buying Priuses when ALL car sales dropped. Not for any other reason.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    Prius sales were off 61.5% last month. That is even worse than GM SUV sales. Heck Sequoia sales are only down 36% for the year. Compared to Prius being down 50% for the first 4 months. You are a dyed in the wool hybrid fanatic. That is the bottom line. People quit buying Prius last year when the price of gas dropped. You can try and spin it all you like. It will not change the facts.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I gave you the facts, and you are trying to spin it into something it's not.

    Facts are facts and your opinion is your opinion. They do not become facts just because you opine them, mi amigo.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,693
    poor lars,
    the reason sales did not incease as gas prices went up was due to supply.
    this was well documented. unit prices were way up.
    eco 101.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Hybrid Sales 101:

    People don't STOP buying hybrids just because gas prices go down. Sales might dip a LITTLE, but they don't fall off a cliff.

    Prius sales, just like all car sales, fell off a cliff because of the economy. Not merely because of lower gas prices.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,162
    Strange! You'd have thought Prius sales would've peaked last summer!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    How about a compromise. Prius sales are down 60% because they are over priced for what you get!

    I know my pastor friend is having a horrible time getting anyone to take over his Toyota lease that cannot be transferred to Hawaii. That still boggles my mind that you cannot move when you have a Toyota lease. A good reason not to buy from them. And another chink in their armor. What part does their ambitious hybrid plans have in their enormous loss the first quarter. Even worse than bankrupt GM. Maybe they have lied to US and they are selling every hybrid at a loss. No way to know the truth with their closed society.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,970
    People don't STOP buying hybrids just because gas prices go down. Sales might dip a LITTLE, but they don't fall off a cliff.

    Sure they do. Remember, people panic, and follow every little trend like it's going to go on forever. Then when it changes, they quickly forget.

    Although you are right, the crashing economy was probably the primary factor in Prius sales drying up. However, when gas prices were shooting up, I imagine a lot of Prius sales were "pulled forward", and the market eventually got saturated.

    Also, didn't the currency exhange rate between Japan and the US make the Prius unprofitable to sell in the US, so they purposely started cutting back the supply?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Oh, God, Gary, how many times do we have to hear about your Priest friend who had a problem with Toyota FINANCE?

    Toyota is not the only company who does not allow cars to move. They are not alone in anything they do.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    See my post #66 in this Forum about the Prius sales statistics. Proof positive that there is no linear relationship between Prius sales and gas prices.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,970
    See my post #66 in this Forum about the Prius sales statistics. Proof positive that there is no linear relationship between Prius sales and gas prices.

    What I'd like to see is a month-by-month breakdown. 2008 was a very wild year with fluctuations. At its worst, I was paying over $4.00 per gallon. But towards the end of the year, I was paying as little as $1.49 per gallon, which was the lowest I'd seen since perhaps May of 2003. Heck, I still remember the very first fill-up that I gave my Intrepid, way back in November of 1999, at $1.39 per gallon.

    Also, I'm not saying that fuel prices are the ONLY factor in determining Prius sales. But they were a factor.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    andre1969 says, "Also, I'm not saying that fuel prices are the ONLY factor in determining Prius sales. But they were a factor."

    No more of a factor than it was a factor for any other fuel-efficient car - not just the Prius.

    When gas prices go down significantly, fickle American car buyers have historically gone for luxury and size, and that has changed a little bit.

    People understand now that we are not going to have cheap gas all the time, forever. And I think 5 years ago the majority of Americans DID believe that cheap gas was here forever.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Sales not being affected by recession for the new Insight in Japan:

    Insight Becomes First Hybrid Vehicle to Rank as Best-Selling Vehicle* in Japan
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    And why didn't the Prius get their first? Someone posted an article that Toyota is not highly regarded in Japan like it is here in the USA.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    You can't look at one month and tell anything. That's a typical forest/trees issue.

    Last April was one of the greatest months in sales for all hybrids as the public realized that gas prices were going to go out of sight. In March of last year an astute buyer could and did get a 'deal' on a Prius. 45 days later by May 5th every Prius in the US was gone. Pffttt snapped up during the month of April.

    Thus to compare any month to last April is disingenious, last April was an aberation. It's not worth looking at any figure except the year over year totals. That's all the matters. I've been doing this for 35 yrs in three different industries. The shortest time frame that matters is a quarterly comparison. Even that's too short. That's the way sales are.

    See my post above about why total sales are down last year and this year. IT'S INTENTIONAL!!!!! No spin those are the facts.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    poor lars,
    the reason sales did not incease as gas prices went up was due to supply.
    this was well documented. unit prices were way up.
    eco 101.


    Yes this is precisely the case. The sudden spike in fuel prices caught every maker unawares and autos/trucks are not products that you can turn on and off at the whims of the marketplace. The sudden spike in fuel prices sucked every last unit out of every dealer in the US and supply never caught up with deman until Oct 1....when the market suddenly turned 180 deg and headed south falling off a cliff. All during last summer when there was hyper-demand every store was short of supply meaning every store missed sales.

    This was exacerbated during the summer by a dollar that fell like a rock so Toyota didn't try to ship anything extra to meet the hyper-demand.

    Then buyers stopped buying when the banks began failing and credit dried up temporarily. Weird year.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "Someone posted an article that Toyota is not highly regarded in Japan like it is here in the USA."

    I have never heard THAT before. I tend to doubt that source. Maybe they just found a few owners in Japan who are not happy and made an assumption for the whole country? Where is that link?

    But if true, it's reasonable in a WAY, because of the style of driving and the roads in Japan, and probably the pricing issue. Most Japanese people don't need a midsize car - they get along with smaller cars.

    The Insight got there first because it's:

    1. New
    2. Cheaper
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    They would have if the vehicle makers had any advance notice that fuel prices were going to go through the roof. But like everybody else in the world they were caught flat-footed. The lead time on increasing demand is 4 months minimum and 6 months typically. I was in that business for 30 yrs.

    On top of that the US$ fell like a rock versus the JY so Toyota pulled back the supply of exports for the 2nd half of last year and all of this year.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The Prius was always scheduled for production in April 09 with sales starting in May/June. Again forest/trees. The only figure that counts is year-end total sales.

    The Insight II has had a free playing field for these last two months and next as the Gen 2 Prius winds down and the Gen 3 ramps up. Revisit this at the end of the year.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    I am agreeing with you. The fuel prices were the main impetus in the sales of the Prius last year. It is Larsb that hates to believe that could be the main reason that hybrids sell well.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    How many times I have to post this?

    Gary says, "Toyota has put all its marbles into the wrong markets. The US buyer is fickle. And the meager Prius sales when gas is cheap, attests to my belief."

    Gas prices and Prius sales do not have a direct correlation:

    Sales in 2004: 53,991 Avg gas price 2004: $1.895

    Sales in 2005: 107,897 Avg gas price 2005: $2.314
    Gas prices went up, and so did Prius sales.

    Sales in 2006: 106,971 Avg gas price 2006: $2.618
    Gas prices went WAY up, and Prius sales BARELY dipped.

    Especially notice the data in the last two years:

    Sales in 2007: 181,221 Avg gas price 2007: $2.843
    Gas prices went up, Prius sales went WAY up.

    Sales in 2008: 158,884 Avg gas price 2008: $3.299
    Gas prices went WAY up, Prius sales went DOWN.

    There is no direct linear relationship between gas prices and Prius sales.

    And people do not ONLY buy Priuses when gas prices are high.

    People stopped buying Priuses when ALL car sales dropped. Not merely because gas prices came down.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    "Have it your way Toyota!"
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    Tax incentives
    pay a lot to not pollute
    save gas
    when gas was at $4, they said it will soon be $7
    stop oil imports
    I have to drive very far
    availability
    additional dealer margin
    the health of the economy

    these are 9 of the many factors affecting Prius sales.

    gas prices ramped down from late Oct thru mid Dec 2008

    what is the aug 2008 to jan 2009 prius sales look like as high gas ended?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Yes, I agree on many of those factors.

    I'm just pointing out that Prius sales don't fall off a cliff when gas is cheap.

    A lot of Priuses sold BEFORE the gas spikes started.
  • newyorker6newyorker6 Posts: 2
    How does it look for leasing a 2009 Prius these days. I understand they may be hard to find. ??
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Wait a few weeks and lease the greatly improved 2010 model....:)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    They are overflowing the lots in CA. Take a vacation and drive one home. The dealers in San Diego list 60 available today. Use the Edmund's inventory feature for all the dealers in your area. I am sure the 2010 will be in short supply most of this year. Dealers will not have to deal on them to sell.
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