Sales of Hybrid S.U.V.s Lower Than Expected


The Chevy Tahoe hybrid may have won the Green Car of the Year award, and the Chicago Police is considering a switch to the vehicle for policing duties, but the response from the general public has been lukewarm at best: "G.M. has sold [only] about 1,100 of its Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon hybrids since their introduction in January," which is " well behind its goal of 12,000 sales a year, and a fraction of the more than 100,000 hybrids sold so far in the United States this year." There are several reasons behind the lackluster sales figures. For one, although the Tahoe hybrid "raises fuel economy for city driving to 20 miles a gallon from 14" compared to the non-hybrid Tahoe, it also carries with it a $4,000 cost premium. But the real nail in the coffin has been the cost of gas, which has led to a significant decrease in driving, as well as a change in the types of vehicles Americans purchase. In fact, "one in five vehicles sold now is a compact car."While sales of the Tahoe hybrid have been underwhelming, sales of S.U.V.'s in general have been down overall as well. Meanwhile, "Toyota sold 64,000 Priuses through April, a 23 percent increase over 2007. It now ranks as the ninth-best-selling car in the United States." What's more, Honda has plans to release a new hybrid vehicle, and Chevy is moving forward with its plug-in hybrid electric Volt. So the question is, with gas pricing on a seemingly endless upward trend, are Hybrid S.U.V.s going to be the hot-sellers people hope them to be? There will always be people that need/want large vehicles, but in the future will they be powered by diesel, hybrid drive trains, fuel cells, or some other fuel?

Via: ::NY Times

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