Hybrid Hype RIP
"Hybrids are technologically of doubtful benefit, and expensive, but necessary from a political and public relations point of view. The reduction in fuel consumption does not pay for the technological content and cost of the vehicle." GM Car Czar Bob Lutz, July 19, 2006. Fast forward to today… "While the overall U.S. vehicle market is down, hybrids are a bright spot in the automotive industry with this category projected to easily exceed 300,000 vehicles this year." This from R.L. Polk's Lonnie Miller. Compared to the first seven months of 2006, hybrid sales are up more than 49 percent. "Hybrids are being adopted by vehicle buyers in all regions at an increasing rate for many factors which include fuel prices, differentiating themselves from other consumers and environmental activism," Miller announced in a PRNewswire press release. Overall, the Toyota Prius captured over 50 percent of hybrid sales, followed by the Camry hybrid at 15 percent. Looks like the technology Lutz claimed best suited the "what-would-Jesus-drive crowd" is here to stay. “Hybrids have not hit plateau,” Miller affirmed.