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Does the current situation affect hybrid sales more?

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
edited April 27 in Chevrolet
Does the turmoil in the Detroit and with the economy hurt the sales of hybrids more than non-hybrid economy cars?

The $4 gas prices this past summer certainly drove people away from trucks and SUV's. Faced with uncertainty in the financial markets, people are quite naturally "pulling in their horns" and not spending as much. Do you think this will translate into a bump in the road for sales of hybrids?

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  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    It will only effect Hybrids in that they cost more than their non hybrid counterparts and they don't have an entry level hybrid. The economy will more than likely help lower cost new cars more than anything else. But hybrids more than likely will not be disproportionately effected. They were in the pipeline before the economy hit the wall.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,391
    I almost hope it means a bump in the road for them but only because I hate cars selling for more than list. I realize that's how the market works - doesn't mean I have to like it.

    On the other hand I won't be in the market for at least a year ir two so I'll see what things look like then.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
    In a bid to move iron, Ford has combined employee pricing and 0% financing on 9 models, but doesn't include the Mariner and Escape hybrids in that group?

    How long is it recommended that a car sit in one spot without being bought? ;)

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,391
    Wow. That is odd. I actually would mind one of those.

    I'm still waiting for them to just start giving cars away. They're getting there.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,056
    but doesn't include the Mariner and Escape hybrids in that group?

    My brother in law just bought a new Escape with V6. He was thinking about the Hybrid Escape. Said it was almost $10k more than he paid. Did not think he would ever use that much more gas. I told him he made a wise choice.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,391
    Indeed he did. That is just plain nuts. I'd like a hybrid next time around but not at that expense.

    The VW Jettta TDI wagon looks better every day.
  • What amazes me is that folks seem to forget that the price of gas has dropped quite suddenly and will most certanly climb again in the future. Anyone out there doubt it? While I did not like the near 5 buck a gallon gas price this summer I certanly was happy for the fact it only cost me a fraction of what SUVers were paying. I have never found a car that gave me the satisfaction that my Prius has and will continue to do. I'm at 95K miles and Lord knows the buckets of $$$$ I've saved. I too could consider another vehicle besides a hybrid. I like other cars but just don't tell my Prius. She might object. She's earned the right to object. Back to gas prices. Next summer I predict gas at 3-4 bucks again and then we'll be right back where we started. Hardly the wiser. Oh! Why am I the wiser you ask? I was bold enough to take the plunge when lesser folks shyed away. ;)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,056
    I went to lunch with a friend last week. He had just bought a brand new 2009 Prius and wanted to take me for a ride. The last Prius I was in was when they first came here in 2000. Quite frankly I was not impressed. The road noise was more than I expected. The engine kicking in was noisier than my GMC Hybrid PU. I was sitting in back it had plenty of leg room. It just was not a smooth comfortable ride. I rarely ride in small cars and they will have to be much nicer riding and quieter to get me to buy one. I don't care if it gets 100 MPG. Sorry James I am not that desperate to save gas. Maybe for short trips to the store. I would never head out on a road trip in one.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,855
    the escape and mariner hybrid are not produced in great quantites, which has a lot lot to do with exempting them from employee pricing.
    you basically can't find one here in new england.
    some dealers in california have a good supply.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Said the other night. "The only thing dropping faster than gas prices in california was the smug look on prius drivers as they drove down the street." Even at $4.00 a gallon they didn't pay for themselves compared to a Yaris at half the price. At $2.00 they may never make up the difference. California gas was $1.85 a gallon for Regular on the way home for family thanksgiving. I almost stopped to get gas and I had almost a full tank.

    I like the idea of a hybrid if it is put in a practical car that doesn't look so strange. Even I was tempted to purchase a Insight from a friend from out of state. But now I can hold on till they come out with a EV city car, I hope. Still I don't think lower fuel prices will effect hybrids from Toyota and Honda. It might push the manufacturers into some small diesels but that would be fine as well. I prefer some comfort over strangeness for strangeness sake.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,056
    One of the San Diego dealers has 22 Prius on their inventory. Prices start at $22,999 go to $29,386. Same dealer has 18 Camry hybrids and 12 Highlander hybrids. I had no idea you could spend $55,000 on a Highlander Hybrid. That is about $12,000 over the top of the line non hybrid Highlander. That gives you about the first 130,000 miles worth of gas free on the non-hybrid version.

    I would say the cheap gas has made the hybrids a lot less desirable.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Well they are going to have to price them within reason but I think Hybrids are the wave of the future unless we can get reasonable small diesels. If they produced small entry level diesels and brought them to market at prices people could afford they could corner the market before hybrids had a big foot hold. But that doesn't seem to be the way anyone wants to do things. The one thing lower fuel prices might do is force hybrid manufacturers to make hybrids more price competitive. I never liked the idea of them pricing hybrids like cabbage patch dolls just because they could.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,056
    With Toyota and Ford lots busting at the seams I think a person with patience could cut a good deal on a Hybrid. I like to start at invoice and go down from there. After riding in my friends 2009 Prius, I would never buy one. Just too rough around the edges comfort, noise and ride. I test drove a Yaris while my Sequoia was being serviced. It was Yugo time in my opinion. I have never seen a Yugo up close. It was what I perceived from my little drive in one. Strictly entry level. Not even close to the Jetta or VW Beetle. Neither was the Prius. If I wanted a small car. The new Jetta TDI would be right at the top of the list. Owners getting 50 MPG and the handling is great. Time will tell if VW has improved reliability. I know my 2005 Passat TDI was great the year I owned it. Only car I kind of miss. That and my Suburban.
  • I actually have a Highlander Hybrid and took into a consideration of factors for my purchase.

    1. I was looking at the macro perspective and wanted to do my part in lessening our dependency on oil... I just got back from Iraq with the military, so I guess that pretty much sums up this reason.
    2. Our county charges personal property tax for every vehicle owned... hybrids are tax exempt from these taxes. :) So my savings in the payoff difference has now accelerated compared to just saving fuel.
    3. The vehicle is very roomy, comfortable, and is surprisingly a very quiet vehicle (can't say much in comparison to a Prius... but I'd imagine it's better).
    4. In the DC area, we can ride in the HOV lanes as a single passenger with hybrids... for those that's driven in DC before, that in itself is a lifesaver!
    5. Of course, the environment - I guess I'm helping a little bit in that too.
    6. The Highlander Hybrid uses regular unleaded. For a vehicle that has all the premium features that it has, I don't have to rely on paying extra for premium fuel as other vehicle manufacturers recommend with similar vehicles in it's class.
    7. Great reviews from Consumer's Report so far and so far from my experience, I'd have to agree with them.
    8. Toyota reliability and resale value (although it will be interesting how hybrids will fit into the equation years down the road.. but I planned to run it to the last mile anyway).
    9. From what I understand, less wear and tear and the engine since it's assisted with the hybrid technology... brakes are also less prone to wear and tear as well since the hybrid electric motors take some of the load off in braking to regenerate it's charge in the batteries.

    I avg about 24-30mpg (mainly depends if I run the heater a lot, how conservative I drive it).

    I guess it depends on how you look at things by putting all the considerations together... if you really enjoy driving your vehicle, see the overall value(s) in what you're getting out of it, the benefits that you're gaining from the additional cost in the long run, and feel that you got a good price for what it serves... then at least you're making an informed decision. Although I may have paid some extra... I still feel pretty good about the purchase regardless. :D
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,196
    Someday, hybrids may be regarded as a historical curiosity or maybe they'll catch on and become the de facto standard for automobiles. Whatever, I hope progress towards better fuel economy proceeds. We will all benefit regardless of the price of gasoline.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
    I don't think hybrids become THE answer. But they certainly create pressure on the conventional ICE vehicle to improve fuel efficiency whichis a good thing.

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  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,707
    "...I was bold enough to take the plunge when lesser folks shyed away..."

    You may indeed have made a smart move if you bought your hybrid a few years ago when gas was cheap. That takes courage. So many folks though ran out in a panic this summer and dumped their SUV for a 10K loss while picking up their hybrid for 3K over sticker.

    They would have to drive to the moon and back to have saved any real money. That's just foolish in my book.

    I think the smart move now would be to buy a SUV for pennies on the dollar and drive it on the cheap gas. In a year or so when all the people who bought hybrids get tired of them and trade them in, there will be a glut on the market and you can walk away with one cheap.

    Buying a car so you can feel smug is usually not a good idea from a financial point of view. This applies to both hybrids and SUVs.

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    That's why there are so many choices. OTOH after 40+ yrs of driving all kinds of cars from every maker except Nissan I find the Prius to be the most comfortable ride I've ever had. :surprise:

    Why? Because it's not soft and cushy. It's firm and supportive. Just personal preferences I guess.

    You are right it does not minimize road noise at all. It's the trade off between extra weight for sound dampening materials and lighter weight for better fuel economy.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,066
    You are right it does not minimize road noise at all. It's the trade off between extra weight for sound dampening materials and lighter weight for better fuel economy.

    I'd also imagine that the Prius has some kind of special tire that's a little extra hard, to reduce rolling resistance?

    I've never driven a Prius, but I have ridden in a few. I think it's pretty comfy and roomy. Definitely a step above something like a Yaris or Corolla. I don't think it has enough shoulder room to rightfully be called a midsized car, even if the EPA says it is. But IMO it's a very comfy 4-seater.

    My biggest beef with the Prius is that I just can't get past the styling. Well that, and the fact that I don't drive nearly enough to justify ever buying something like that. But I can see its appeal, in the right circumstances.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,056
    I did not find the ride that uncomfortable. Though we only went about 5 miles. It seemed like my two test drives in the original Prius back in 2000 were much quieter than this 2009 model. The most important thing is my buddy loves it and that is good enough for me. He drives from home 2 miles to church and to the golf course. Fits his needs and saves wear on his little Nissan PU truck.
  • Well sure I do!! The thing is ...When gas is cheap it costs even less for me to fill up and go 500 miles plus between visits to the pump. When gas crowded 5 bucks it sure was less painfull for Prius owners. For those of you not getting on the great bandwagon for whatever reasons I say....Find me an unsatisfied Prius owner. As of yet I have come up zero. Everybody that owns one thinks it's the best thing since duct tape. I'm at nearly 95 K and I can't remember ever (I said ever) had a car that delivered such dependable, thrifty, and green car satisfaction. One other noticable plus with my Prius...It takes up so little room in the garage that I never experienced B/4.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The Prius tires are just normal Goodyear Integritys which are run of the mill small vehicle tires. The first Gen Prius had special tires but the the current model uses tires that are also used on Corollas, Civics and others of this size.

    Nothing special one way or another. $60 at Tire Rack.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    was developed because of high gas prices it might have a dog in this fight. But it wasn't, it was the bone Toyota tossed at the American public to get their minds off of a zero emissions vehicle. At least that is what they were in California. Until the Prius CARB mandated a zero emissions vehicle by 2000 and right after the Prius came out the concept was trashed. Hybrids may have a place but there is no law they have to be ugly nor that they are the solution to our fuel useage. If, and there is always a if, there is a limited amount of oil to be drilled for then all cars like the Prius do is slow down that useage and with more drivers getting cars every year that slowing down isn't going to do much. They do not solve the problem and they are not zero emissions.

    However back to the subject today gas was $1.88 for regular in Riverside, Ca. You would be very hard pressed to get the additional money a hybrid costs over their non hybrid counterparts. So unless I could get Insight fuel mileage why jump on any bandwagon? Hybrids need to optimism fuel mileage and if and when they do then it will not matter what fuel cost they will sell. When they get 15 to 20 percent better fuel mileage than their counter parts and in return cost 15 to 20 percent more they will not sell.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This is wrong but don't let a lack of knowledge keep you from forming a solid misconception.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Anyone know why the November car sales totals have not been announced?

    Google News shows not stories yet....WTH?
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The last four days of November were either holidays or weekends. Give 'em a day to count everything up.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The official end of Nov was yesterday, Monday. When the calendar month-end hits on a weekend the Monday following is included in the prior month in order to gather all the weekend deals. In this case sales on 12-1 are actually included on Nov.

    This occurs several times a year and all the vehicle makers agree to the procedure.
  • kenlwkenlw Posts: 190
    "This is wrong but don't let a lack of knowledge keep you from forming a solid misconception."

    which "this" are you referring to here?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,855
    the numbers are out there. everyone down about 30-45%.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The entire post essentially.

    The post was inaccurate in attempting to sling mud at hybrids in general. The Malibu 2-Mode and the Camry hybrid and the Escape hybrid and the Civic hybrid and the GS 450h are not uglier than their non-hybrid counterparts. In fact they are no different. So that whole misconception is faulty.

    The second paragraph is factually inaccurate as well except for the price of gas in Riverside.
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