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Does the current situation affect hybrid sales more?



  • That's quite accurate and concise. Sez it all in just a very few words like...."Tis better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."
    I don't mind the difference of opinion about the Prius but I do mind misinformation and negitive inuendoes by others. I speak with 95K miles under my belt in an '04 Prius. If someone doesn't like the styling or they think there's a bit too much road noise that's just fine but when the issue is a hybrid doesn't make itself worth the extra money I say baloney. I've saved in access of 10 Grand in gas money. Everyone reading this site must know that gas will rise again. It's just a matter of time. Funny..Remember when we all thought gas was high when it crowded 2 bucks 6 or 7 yrs ago? The resale of a Prius ranks up there with the best of em. Owners are consistantly glad owners. The car has a great track record and has been the receiver of accolades from just about every noteworthy critic and that is a fact that sez it all. I will be looking forward to the 3rd Gen Prius and any car that attempts to follow Toyota's lead to build quality, dependable and "smart, green " cars. I also have hopes that this country of ours gets back on its' feet soon so we can put the last few years behind us while learning from our blunders. Ever wonder if gas was just a buck and a half over these last 5 or 6 yrs we'd be in as much trouble as we are? Some might say that gas started it all. Who knows?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,644
    I would say the hybrids are taking a real beating with the low priced gas. Dealers in CA the largest Prius market are loaded with inventory. This cannot be blamed on the dollar or batteries. It is Americans typical knee jerk reaction to the price of gas. I think the only thing that has not taken a hit in the ToyLex lineup is the big SUVs. figure that one out. Even with record high gas prices the Prius is down for the whole year by 10%. Are the buyers all waiting on the plug-ins?
  • I just don't understand your retoric. The "WHOLE" auto industry is taking a beating. People don't know if they'll have a job next month. Buyers are scarce for a dozen reasons. Once again you slid in the "BATTERIES" that have proven to be exemplary. I do think that the Prius inventory will change as soon as dealers start discounting them as they did a few times b/4. The knee jerk will kick in when gas edges back up in a few months or if we're lucky a year or so. We'll see. These are troubling times. If you're working, thank your stars. If you're out of work, God help you. What ever the situation, the times they are a changing.
    Your stats on the Prius are dubious and even if close it says nothing about the car that the same figures say about the rest of the industry. How about the sales numbers of Hummers ..Escalades.. and...the last of the Excursions? They're collecting rust and dust as the situation worsens. Take a look at another vehicle that's taking a beating worse than the "Big 3". Recreational vehicles are litteraly dead. Indiana laid off thousands this past summer and that's just the beginning of this problem. Ask an if he can sell his behemoth that's sitting in the yard collecting cobwebs.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,368
    This isn't "Are hybrids good/bad?".

    Given the current economic "state of mind" I think hybrid sales, as with the sales of any higher priced item are going to suffer a bit more than sales of basic items.


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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,644
    Once again you slid in the "BATTERIES" that have proven to be exemplary.

    That was not a slam on the batteries. It was in reference to those that said there was a shortage of Prius because there were no batteries available. I think you are blinded by your love of the hybrids. It is true that the market overall is down. Toyota has sold more Sequoias and Landcruisers this year than last. Even November was in the plus column for the big ToyLex SUVs.

    The question was Does the current situation affect hybrid sales my post was stating that yes Cheap gas has affected hybrids sales more than most small cars.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,599
    The question was Does the current situation affect hybrid sales my post was stating that yes Cheap gas has affected hybrids sales more than most small cars.

    I don't think it's just cheap gas that's affected the hybrids, but a combination of cheap gas and the recession. Hybrids always carried a price premium, and now that the economy is shot, that premium might be putting them out of reach of many buyers.

    The recession might be making some buyers re-think what they really need, and go for something cheaper and more economical, regardless of gas prices. As a result, some cars like the Civic, Corolla, etc, might still not do too bad in this economy. But a hybrid, and the price premium it carries, is going to be viewed as more of a luxury item.

    Cars like the Prius also might have been over-sold back when gas was at its peak, pulling forward buyers who might have bought one, but just at a later date. So that could also partly explain why sales have fallen off so sharply.

    Also, I'd think that something like a Prius isn't the type of car that people are going to trade in every few years. These are probably people who did the math, figured out their breakeven point, and intend to drive the car until it gets there. So while some cars, especially those with a high lease rate might commonly get replaced every 2-3 years or so, the typical Prius owner might hold onto their car longer. And that lower turnover is going to saturate the market more quickly.
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    the prius came out in japan in 97, had nothing to do with carb. The idea is to develope a low emission vehicle with great gas mileage. It is an evolutionary step towards a ev, I mean a practical ev
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,644
    the prius came out in japan in 97, had nothing to do with carb.

    About 1990 CARB mandated 10% ZEV cars by 1998 in CA. Clinton authorized a few billion to build next generation cars in 1993. The money was only allocated to the Big 3. They did in fact come up with high mileage hybrids. Toyota went to Japan and got funding to also build a hybrid at the same time. The Big 3 showed off their hybrids in 2000. The Dodge intrepid ESX was being tested in 1997. There are many stories as to why they never built them. Most was related to the high cost of lightweight materials. These cars were all capable of 72-80 MPG. The Big 3 were also working on EVs to satisfy the CA mandate. The impracticality of the lead acid and NiMH EVs was soon apparent. And with the hybrids just around the corner CARB changed their mind. That gave Toyota a great opening for the Prius. I know for a fact they could not give them away to start with. I test drove one of the first ones in San Diego. I thought it was cool and it was being offered for $20k with a great 8 year B to B warranty. Wife hated it and that ended the Prius in my garage. The Big 3 lost out because they did not think it would ever sell. It did and Toyota got the jump on the Big 3.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Thanks for pointing out how I came to my rant. They also stopped the EV program by Toyota after CARB dropped the Zero emissions standard and left those of us that believed they were doing the right thing sitting on the side of the road. By the way at the time when CARB mandated the zero emissions cars the Big three and Toyota told them they couldn't do it but, and this is the kicker, the could see their way into offering a gas electric hybrid. This was years before they introduced the Prius. Does it seem like maybe they already had the concept of the Prius in the pipeline? Once Toyota brought the Prius over here CARB folded like a cheap paper bag and GM even crushed all of the old EV-1s. Toyota stopped supporting the Rav-4 program. Now where is the reasoning off base? And now nine years later we are talking about EVs without a CARB mandate.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,644
    They also stopped the EV program by Toyota after CARB dropped the Zero emissions standard and left those of us that believed they were doing the right thing sitting on the side of the road.

    That is how it happened. Sadly the RAV4 EV was a decent vehicle. Those that have them are still going. Some have replaced the NiMH with Li-Ion batteries. As is still the case, the batteries are expensive and will need to come down a lot to bring EVs back to the forefront.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Sure they cost too much but remember they sold the first Prius here at a net loss for the a year or two. They could have done the same thing with the Rav-4 EV. For now all I can hope for is a city car with California's low speed certification. I almost have my wife talked into a GEM or similar vehicle. Not that I don't get around town now without one. I will have more than 1000 miles on my Road Bike and 600 miles on my comfort bike (bicycles)before the year is out and I have only been riding since the middle of June. Like I said I lucked out and moved to a Bike friendly city.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,644
    I should ride my bikes more often. I moved up here on the mountain. Going anywhere is downhill. It is coming back that is a killer for me. We have a lot of hardcore riders up here in Alpine on the weekends.
  • imscfimscf Posts: 34
    Today's NY Times report big drop in all auto sales for November, as buyers are postponing purchases due to the economy. Of the top 16 most popular cars and trucks, the only increase is in the Malibu (all models) 9,400 autos, or + 35%, and the most decrease was in the Prius, 8,600 sold, -48%.
    The top five best sellers were: Ford Fseries (37,900, -18%), Chevy Silverado (29,500, -22%), Camry (25,200, -29%), Corolla (21,800, -13%), and Civic (17,700, -29%).
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    You do live in a nice area. When I was up in Crestline / Lake Arrowhead I didn't ride much because of the same reasons. Getting anywhere was either up hill or getting home was up hill.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    "and the most decrease was in the Prius, 8,600 sold, -48%."

    If that is the case I may have to reverse my earlier post. I simply didn't think it would effect hybrids anymore than other cars.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Nobody is buying anything for the time being. Inventory is piling up across the board on every product. Nothing to see here, move on.

    Oh did I mention currency currency currency .... again for the 27th time. The JY / US$ exchange rate stood at 94 / 1 yesterday !!!!! At this rate there is NO incentive at all to ship products form there to here. Every month this same subject comes up and every month I have to keep bringing up the reminder about the currency.

    With the industry down 20-30% for the year it's pretty strong that Prius sales are down only 10% due to the super strong in spring and summer
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,368 - -gas-prices-fall-credit-tightens.html

    In sheer volume, Toyota's Prius was hardest hit.

    Although still the industry leader with slightly more than half of all hybrid sales in November, Prius volume of 8,660 for the month was down 48.3 percent from 16,737 sold a year earlier and off 26.7 percent from 11,804 sold in October.

    "It's just too expensive" when gas prices are low, said analyst Caldwell.

    Not the time to be expecting higher ticket items to move big numbers.


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  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Interesting post, but some printed facts bother others more than they do some of us. I didn't take into account the higher price of hybrids in my origional post. I figured many were already committed to hybrids so they wouldn't suffer any more than any other car.
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    wow, it took a nosedive in prius numbers and a rocket shot in malibu (all models) numbers to have a 800 unit difference? malibu is suppose to be the savior of gm and their future bread and butter product. I consider it to be on par with the camcord. Tell me the malibu's number is incorrect.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,644
    again for the 27th time. The JY / US$ exchange rate stood at 94 / 1 yesterday !!!!! At this rate there is NO incentive at all to ship products form there to here

    I'm not buying that. Why are the hybrids stacked up on the dealers lots? Yaris is up in sales YTD. It takes up as much room on the ship as a Prius. I think cheap gas has tempered the average buyers willingness to spend $5k to $10k more for a car that only gives marginal increase in MPG. What will a Prius do that a $12k Yaris won't do? They get easy 40 MPG highway.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "What will a Prius do that a $12k Yaris won't do?"

    Lots of stuff.

    You get what you pay for. A $12K car is a $12K car, and a $26K car is a $26K car.

    Never the twain shall meet.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,599
    What will a Prius do that a $12k Yaris won't do? They get easy 40 MPG highway.

    Well, by the time you equip a Yaris nicely, that $12K car is more like a $16K car. And it's easy to get a Corolla up over $20K these days. The Prius, even in base form, is pretty well-equipped, so once you factor in the added content that narrows the gap.

    Then consider the fact that the Prius, despite its awkward proportions and small-ish dimensions, actually is a midsized car. It doesn't have the shoulder room that your typical intermediate would, so forget about squeezing three across in back and having them comfortable. But for four good-sized people, it's probably about as comfortable inside as most intermediate cars, and better than the Corolla or Yaris. And the Prius's trunk volume, at 16 cubic feet, is actually generous for a midsize car these days. Some of them are only 13-14!

    As for fuel economy, a Prius and Yaris might be close out on the highway, but in local driving, I'm sure the Prius would win out by a fairly wide margin.

    So yeah, it comes at a price premium. But the Prius also gives you more standard equipment and more interior room, in addition to the improved economy.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,644
    I expected a smoother quieter ride for my $10k difference from the Yaris. Unless you are hauling lots of stuff the Yaris will do the job. If you want more room and 50 MPG, the new Jetta Sportwagen TDI will beat the Prius in every category that most people are thinking about for the same or less money. And their sales in this down market agree.

    I would say hybrids have peaked and are headed down hill. Nothing from GM is worth buying. Ford Escape is a decent over priced hybrid.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "I would say hybrids have peaked and are headed down hill"

    Wishful thinking, Oh Great Diesel Sniffer. (LOL)

    Hybrid sales are not directly linked to lower gas prices. Hybrids were selling just fine with low gas prices three years ago.

    What has changed is "the ECONOMY, stupids." (Stupids with an "S" on the end to include all of us, myself included.)

    Not just hybrids, but ALL vehicle sales are basically on the downturn. People are just not buying new cars when their homes are in foreclosure or they just got laid off or are worrying about keeping groceries on the table and a roof over their kids heads.

    The downturn in sales will happen to the Jetta TDI also, once all the initial Diesel Worshippers get their cars.
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    I don't think VW has shipped a lot of tdi cars over from the motherland this year. I have yet to see a new golf/jetta tdi on the road and I live in the birkenstock central of the eastern seaboard.

    One thing the yaris can do and the prius can't: heel and toe shifting! And for that I will take a yaris 5 dr over a prius any given day. Car sat a prius for 3 months and hated every minute when I have to drive it.
  • At my job we have 5 Prius's and they get used to run all of our errands. For that they do a great job. But, if I were out buying a car right now, I have to say I would prefer a 14k dollar Elantra, and pocket the other 12k. I would never make up that difference in gas, plus I would get a 10 year warrantee over the Prius's 8.
  • Ready to buy a 2009 Prius Pkg. # 6. Got a price in So. Cal. of $27,900. Anybody do better? If so, dealer?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Right now no vehicle above $25000 is moving. Nothing. Everything is backed up on the lots. It takes about 6 months to slow the flow of shipments or to speed them up when demand changes. Remember in the spring when demand went out of sight and every Prius in the US was sold and waiting lists went to 6 months. Suddenly BLAM !! the market stops buying. All the efforts to catch up with those unfilled orders started flowing in here in Oct. That's when the public stopped buying. Fun business to be in at this time aye?

    As regards the currency issue here is the data. See for yourself.

    A $25000 Prius MSRP is shipped from Japan and sold to TMS here for about $20000 ( round numbers ). When that sale was made over the last 5 yrs with the Y/$ at about 110-120 : 1. That sale in the US returned about 2.3 MM JY to Toyota in sales revenue.

    Today at 94 JY / US$ that same sale returns 1.9 MM JY. That's about a 20% loss in sales revenue. Why ship these to the States when they can be sold at home or in Europe or SE Asia with no currency loss?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The Yaris is fine for short trips of a few miles and/or for the young of body and budget.

    Under no circumstance will I ever consider owning/driving a Yaris given my personal situation. Thus in this case it is not even an option. The new Corolla, with certain amenities, is as small as I will go.

    If I want to hold down purchase costs to be in the Yaris price range than I'm looking at a 3-4 year old Prius with 40000 miles or so on the clock. In this case I get the best of all options. The problem is finding one now. After getting 48 mpg in relative comfort these past 3 yrs there is no way I can go backwards in room, amenities, safety features and fuel economy.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Ah Ha. You first must decide a few priorities.

    Are you speaking of buying only NEW vehicles? Then yes the base model Elantra is a bargain and a logical choice. Personally I will not drive in anything that small. Just a personal choice.

    But if your priority is minimizing the total cost of transportation then you have to open up the possibility of buying a used (xxx) ( Civic, Corolla, Prius, Elantra, Fusion ). Then it's just a matter of how cheap do you want to go? The baseline choice is a bicycle. Why not in good weather for short distances. I do that here on the Outer Banks in summer.
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