Hybrids, plug-in electric-cars sales plunge to 16 month low in May

2011 Toyota Prius

May sales saw a drastic drop for fuel-efficient hybrids and plug-in electric cars as numbers reached a 16 month low. Conventionally powered cars and trucks also saw a drop of 8.3 percent, and advanced technology car sales decreased by over 30% from the April.

Despite an increase in demand for these vehicles, sales still fell short due to a few different factors. Disaster in Japan resulted in interference with production, transport and power. Edmunds.com analyst Ivan Drury says media reports of the disruption resulted in buyers overlooking Japanese brands Toyota and Honda, as they were under the assumption that they were unavailable. Another contributor to the problem is that Japan, of course, actually struggled with getting things up and running again.

The popular Toyota Pruis, which normally makes up half of fuel-efficient vehicle sales, dipped 38.8% for May sales. The introduction of the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and the like this year couldn’t boost sales either.

Toyota and Honda, on average, account for up to 70% of U.S. hybrid sales. Their sales were down 45.1% and 29% respectively, dramatically effecting the market.

– By: Alexandra Koken

Source: Inside Line