Ford Fusion Gaining Share on Toyota Prius in Green Car Market

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Green car sales were higher year over year in October for all-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and diesels. That’s the good news.

The not-so-good news is that hybrid sales, the best-selling category of green cars, saw a year-over-year drop of 13.1%.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s (NYSE: TM) Prius Liftback was the best-selling hybrid in October, with a market share of 20.5%. Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE: F) Fusion Hybrid pulled 18.6% share to rank second. The Toyota RAV4, Camry Hybrid and Prius C rounded out the top five in hybrid sales.

One interesting note is that month-over-month sales of the Prius Liftback dropped nearly 45% to 5,421 units, while the Ford Fusion got a 30.2% boost in sales to 4,915 units. Compared with October 2015, the Prius Liftback’s sales dropped nearly 44% while the Fusion’s sales jumped nearly 140%.

Among plug-in hybrids, the top seller was the Chevy Volt from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) followed by the Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi. The Volt sold 2,191 units in October, up nearly 8% month over month and 7.7% year over year. The Fusion Energi saw sales jump nearly 62% year over year to 1,372 in October, but that was down by nearly 17% compared with September 2016.

Among all-electric vehicles, the Nissan Leaf continues its hold on first place with unit sales totaling 1,412 in October, up 7.3% month over month and up 14% year over year. Tesla Motors Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model S and Model X combined for an estimated 2,200 unit-sales in October. Sales for the entire category were down about 42%, and HybridCars.com explained:

Battery electric vehicle sales were down significantly this month based upon a dramatic decline in Tesla sales. … Tesla sales were down this month based on at least two factors: 1) Sales were brought forward (in September) to allow for strong third quarter results and 2) Production (and therefore sales) was down as Tesla modified its production to enable new hardware for semi-automated driving as it switched suppliers. Sales in November and December are likely to increase dramatically, as Tesla works to have another strong quarter and meet its aggressive yearly goals. As a share of total sales, battery electrics were at their lowest level since May – due primarily to lower Tesla sales.

Overall, sales slipped 6% year over year in October and 5% month over month. Full details and charts are available at HybridCars.com.