1,907: A troubling number in the hybrid and plug-in segment
More hybrid and plug-in models, less sales
In October, Ford sold more hybrids and plug-ins than any other automaker except Toyota. Unfortunately, Ford only sold 1,907 alternative powertrain vehicles.
Is the hybrid and plug-in segment stuck between a revolutionary new battery and a hard place?
Outside of the Toyota Prius, the numbers are ugly. For instance, GM sold 53 hybrid pickup trucks — the most important vehicle segment in America — and 88 hybrid SUVs. The Chevy Volt, on the other hand, had its best month ever, but it still posted only 1,108 sales — a relatively insignificant number in terms of overall October sales. (For a further breakdown of October’s hybrid and plug-in sales, check out AutoObserver).
What will turn the tide?
Many might suggest higher gasoline prices, but I say hold on. Higher gasoline prices might push hybrid sales up a bit, but probably not that much above 3 percent of overall sales. And even 4 or 5 percent still wouldn’t mean that much, and those numbers might be unrealistic as higher gasoline prices in this economy would just mean consumers have less to spend on vehicles. Thus, it would be far cheaper, at least in the short term, to simply downsize.
Outside of more tax credits and other incentives, can anything other than an almost revolutionary breakthrough in battery technologies push the hybrid and plug-in segment significantly higher? I doubt it.