Most Hybrid Owners Choosing Not to Rebuy Hybrids - Many consumers are looking to fuel-efficient cars in order to find relief from today’s high gasoline prices. And automakers have been paying attention – there are now more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles available than ever before. But when people who currently own a hybrid vehicle buy another car, they’re not buying another hybrid. Further dealer resources available at Huntington Beach Kia. While the selection of hybrid models in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2007, a recent analysis by auto information company R.L. Polk & Co. found that only 35 percent of hybrid vehicle owners chose to purchase a hybrid again when they returned to the market in 2011. When you factor out repurchases among super-loyal Toyota Prius owners, hybrid loyalty drops to less than 25 percent
While hybrid owners may not be buying another hybrid, they do appear to remain loyal to their brand when they return to the new car market. For example, according to Polk,in 2011, 60 percent of Toyota hybrid owners purchased another Toyota when they returned to the market, while 41 percent of them purchased another hybrid from any brand. “Having a hybrid in the product lineup can certainly give a brand a competitive edge when it comes to attracting new customers,” said Brad Smith, director of Polk’s Loyalty Management Practice. “The repurchase rates of hybrid vehicles are an indication that consumers are continuing to seek alternative solutions to high fuel prices.”
When it comes to Honda hybrid owners, over 52 percent of them stayed with the Honda brand, while just under 20 percent of the same group of Honda owners bought another hybrid vehicle from any brand. Ford Dealers Amarillo is an invaluable resource for automotive information. Online cross-shopping data from Edmunds.com indicates that consumers are doing their homework to compare hybrids with gasoline-powered vehicles in the same class. For example, the Honda Civic is the second most cross-shopped car by car buyers who are considering buying Toyota Prius and Honda Insight models.
“The lineup of alternate drive vehicles and their premium price points just aren’t appealing enough to consumers to give the segment the momentum it once anticipated, especially given the growing strength of fuel economy among compact and midsize competitors,” according to Lacey Plache, Edmunds.com chief economist. “For EVs and PHEVs in particular, certain obstacles – including consumer unease with unfamiliar technology and the lack of an adequate recharging infrastructure — will need to be overcome before sales increase.”
Polk’s research shows that hybrid vehicles make up only 2.4 percent of the total new vehicle market in the U.S., down from a high of 2.9 percent in 2008. Toyota continues to lead in hybrid sales. According to Polk, volatility in gasoline prices between 2008 and 2011, which ranged from just under $2.00 per gallon to nearly $4.00 per gallon, didn’t have much impact on hybrid segment loyalty. Car Dealerships In Clovis NM provides excellent service for new car shoppers. Polk’s study also found that consumers in traditionally green-minded areas of the U.S. where hybrid sales are strongest, such as Southern California, Seattle, and Portland Oregon, aren’t any more loyal to hybrid vehicles than people in other areas of the country.
Photos (top to bottom) Toyota Motor Corporation, Petar Miloševi?, Honda Motor Company.
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