Hybrid vehicles have come a long way in the ten years since
the first Toyota Prius was sold in Japan. The United States slowly embraced the
vehicles when Honda
brought us the Insight in 1999 and when Toyota first brought the Prius to
our shores in 2000.
Today, hybrids are becoming commonplace in America and sales
continue to grow at a steady pace. Hybrid car sales increased
53 percent from the previous year for the first five months of 2007. A
total of 143,700 hybrids were sold during the period compared to 93,945 in
Not surprisingly, Toyota's Prius dominated the hybrid sales
charts. Prius sales jumped 99.6 percent to 76,745 units -- this represented
over half of all hybrids sold in the United States. Toyota's Camry Hybrid was a
distant second at 20,540 units sold.
Of the ten hybrids listed on the sales chart, half were made
by Toyota, representing total sales of 117,154 vehicles.
Although hybrid sales are on the rise, they still represent
a relatively small portion of the entire U.S. auto market. For the first five months
of 2007, hybrids represented just 2.1 percent of all new vehicles sold.
That being said, there are a number of new hybrids on the
way which are sure to boost sales even further including the $100,000 Lexus LS 600h L, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC
Yukon Hybrids, Chrysler
Aspen and Dodge Durango Hybrids, Saturn Vue Green Line,
Saturn Aura Green Line
and the second generation Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
Toyota alone expects to further increase its lead in the
production of hybrids and has stated that all of its vehicles will
be hybrids by 2020.