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Mintel: Hybrid, Electric Car Consideration, Sales Up

In has been axiomatic that the growth in hybrid-vehicle sales, now a smidgen of the market, would be a slow curve upward. That may be too conservative an estimate. But the increases are tracking the growing number of hybrid and electric vehicles in the U.S. market, including new Toyota Prius variants, and soon hybrid versions of Ford Fusion, and Honda Accord, plus the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in and the Honda Accord Plug-in.

Chicago-based market research firm Mintel says hybrid sales are up 73% this year, with 440,000 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electrics sold. That would make this category of vehicles the fastest-growing in the U.S. this year. Within the segment, the fastest-growing category are compact hybrids, comprising 58.9% of the category total. And The Prius accounts for over 85% of compact hybrid sales, partly because of recovery from the tsunami last year, which affected production of Prius components, and because of the expansion of the lineup to include the v and c to 3.3% of total vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2013.

Also, sales of plug-in and electric models have nearly quadrupled from three last year to 11 now in showrooms. Mintel also points out that the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Study says opinion of hybrids, electric and plug-ins is at an all-time high.


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