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USA: Small, High MPG, Hybrids, Plug-in Cars All Gain Sales in 2012

With continued uncertainty about gas prices, more Americans than ever are buying smaller, more efficient cars.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), the demand for small, high gas mileage cars has meant that sales of compact cars — like the Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio and Chevrolet Sonic — has grown 80 percent over the past year.

Although the entire U.S. light-vehicle market growth climbed 15 percent in the first six months of 2012, the alternative fuel segment, which includes hybrid cars and plug-in vehicles, also experienced massive growth.

Thanks to an impressive 90 percent sales increase from Toyota’s Prius hybrid range and an unbelievable 221 percent increase in sales of the Chevrolet Volt electric car, sales of alternative vehicles through June increased by 71 percent.
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