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Auto blogThu, 12 Jun 2014 09:30:00 EST
Hybrids are known for their great fuel economy and low emissions, but it looks like given current market conditions, only about three percent of new car consumers are willing to pay the premium for them. A new study from IHS/Polk finds that the hybrid market share among overall US auto sales are falling, despite more models with the technology on sale than ever before.
The study examined new car registrations in March from 2009 through 2014. In that time, the auto industry grew from 24 to 47 hybrid models available to consumers, but market share for the powertrain remained almost stagnant in that time. As of 2009, hybrids held 2.4 percent of the market; it fell slightly to 2.3 percent in 2010 and grew to 3.3 percent in 2013. However, 2014 showed a drop back to 3 percent. Overall hybrid sales have been growing since 2010, but they just aren't keeping up with the total auto market.
According to IHS/Polk, this isn't what you would expect to see. Usually, each new model in the market brings along with it a boost in sales. The growth in hybrid models 2009 to 2014 should have shown a larger increase in share for the segment.
We don't need to tell you that there's something missing in the image above. What we do need to tell you is that this is not a picture of a parked car stranded on the highway. This is, rather, just one frame from video of that three-wheeled Mustang traveling down the highway at highway-appropriate speed.
We don't know where you'd have to be nor how badly you'd have to be there to go shooting down the freeway in a car with three wheels, but if the New Daily News is correct, that place is somewhere in Texas. The video's short, but you'll have plenty of time to shake your head at it by just scrolling down.
According to Consumer Reports, the automotive brands that stand out in the minds of car buyers are, in order: Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevrolet. This news comes after the magazine polled its readers, asking them to take into account vehicle quality, safety, performance, value, fuel economy, design/style, and technology/innovation - which are the factors that car shoppers are most influenced by.
It's important to note that this award is only about perception. In other words, it's perceived quality, not actual quality. "Often, perception can be a trailing indicator, reflecting years of good or bad performance in a category, and it can also be influenced by headlines in the media," said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports deputy automotive editor.
The brand that made the biggest jump in perception amongst Consumer Reports readers is Tesla, which posted an impressive 47-point gain to finish in fifth place. Subaru is also notable for finishing in the top 10, despite being one of the smaller manufacturers doing business in the US. Scroll down below for all the details from Consumer Reports, if you're so inclined.