Market for Hybrid, Plug-In Cars Continues to Grow

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Hybrid car sales totaled 46,327 vehicles in March, with Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) grabbing just over 68% of the total, with sales of more than 31,512 Toyota and Lexus models sold. Toyota’s plug-in electric vehicles sold about 920 units.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold about 6,700 hybrids and another 969 all-electric vehicles. The Chevy Volt from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) sold 1,478 units in March, a year-over-year decline of 9.1% compared with March 2012.

Plug-in electric vehicles, like the Chevy Volt and the Model S from Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), accounted for just 0.53% of total vehicle sales in March. That was up more than 84% from March 2012, but still a trifling number compared with total auto sales of 1.45 million for the month.

In 2012, sales of hybrids rose 61% over 2011 sales, and as a percentage of total sales, hybrid sales rose 13%. Overall, hybrid cars comprised 3% of total auto sales in 2012, according to, up from 2.1% of all sales in 2011. For the first three months of 2013, hybrid sales are up 14.2% compared with the first quarter of 2012, and sales of plug-in cars are up 6.3%.

New models are entering the market, and that is helping boost hybrid sales. That is particularly true of plug-ins, but also holds true for the hybrids. As notes, “hybrid sales are performing above the market average, both in terms of growth rate and share.”

The report is available here.

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