Toyota is on its way to dominating another niche in the alternative-fuel segment. The company says its Prius Plug-In Hybrid has set a new sales six-month U.S. sales record for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). At the end of August, 6,061 cars had been delivered to customers. By comparison, Chevrolet sold 2,510 Volts and Nissan had turned 2,186 Leaf electric cars in their first six months.
Incidentally, other reports on the Prius’ record may have incorrect sales figures for the Volt and Leaf. The folks at Toyota apparently forgot the Volt and Leaf went on sale in December 2010, so their first six months would have covered the period from December to May. Toyota used the figures for the first six months of 2011, January to June.
Audi reported 11,527 U.S. sales in August, bringing its year-to-date total to 88,392, good enough for sixth place in the premium segment.
On the world stage, the picture is a bit different. In August, Audi was the best-selling luxury brand in the world, beating BMW by 5,370 sales. For the first eight months of 2012, Audi trails BMW by just 2,110 sales. Mercedes-Benz is in third place.
The U.S. is Audi’s third-largest market, after China and Germany.
BMW could still remain the worldwide leader, based on current trends, but Audi has a hot new model in the 2013 A3 (shown above) that the folks in Ingolstadt believe will boost sales past those of the guys from Munich in the remaining months of the year.
Experian Automotive today announced that, contrary to all the talk of small cars and hybrids, midsize cars were the hottest vehicle segment in the first half of 2012.
The company’s findings are based on its latest vehicle registration analysis.
Experian’s numbers said that the Toyota Camry was the best selling light vehicle with the Ford F-150 as a close runner-up. Last year, the positions were reversed: the F-150 was the sales leader, with the Camry coming in second.
The analysis also showed that the F-150 was the best-seller in 19 states with Texas, not surprisingly, being the top market claiming more than 17 percent of total sales. The Camry was the leader in 13 states with California accounting for lion’s share of 13%.
“The first half of 2012 showed a significant increase (11.9 percent) in vehicle registrations compared to the previous year,” said Jeffrey Anderson, director of consulting and analytics for Experian Automotive. “Lower interest rates and dealer incentives have certainly been great motivators for consumers in need of a new vehicle to purchase one. Additionally, higher gas prices and new model redesigns could be pushing consumers to look at small to midrange cars, instead of the larger vehicle segments.”
Experian’s top ten list includes the Toyota Camry, Ford F-150, Honda Civic, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu.
Hybrids were the fastest-growing market segment; sales were up 61% compared to the first six months of 2011. growth comparing the first half of 2012 with the first half of 2011, the fastest-growing segment was hybrid cars, with a 61 percent increase. On the vehicle level, the Kia Optima saw a 92.7 percent increase in registrations in the same time frame.
Note: According to manufacturer’s reported sales, the Ford F-Series had a 22,918-unit lead over the Toyota Camry at the end of June and the Chevrolet Malibu was 4,588 sales ahead of the Ford Fusion. The top ten by sales volume for the first six months of 2011 were the Ford F-Series, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Silverado, Honda Civic, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Malibu and Ram Pickup.