Sales of hybrid cars in the United States this November were down 53% compared to the same month last year. December sales results look like they are going to follow suit. Online searches for hybrids are only a quarter of what they were in May of this year.
The problem may lie in the lower gas prices we are enjoying this winter – especially in this economic time. Since Hybrids cost between $3,000 and $5,000 more than regular car, it’s tough for lots of consumers to justify increased car payments when gas is selling at $1.60 per gallon in many U.S. cities. It’s now estimated that it will take more than eight years to recoup the extra costs associated with a hybrid. When gas was around $4 per gallon, the Hybrid seemed more savvy an investment.
If you are looking for a good reason to buy a Hybrid despite all of this, check out their favorable depreciation ratings. Also – check out reports that lower Hybrid sales may translate into higher taxes on fuel to make buying a Hybrid more attractive.
Source: The Financial Times