Turns Out Consumers Aren't Really Buying Hybrids for Fuel Economy
Higher gas prices and hybrids only seem to make sense. But apparently there’s no correlation, according to a new study. The buying website iSeeCars.com has found that people don’t flock to hybrids when fuel prices rise (as they’re bound to do one of these days). Remember that South Park episode about hybrid owners being smug (fill in the blank)? They may actually be onto something. RELATED: See Photos of the Ultimate Hybrid, The Porsche 918 Spyder Analysis by the website “found a weak relationship between hybrid car sales and gas prices.” That suggests hybrid car buyers don’t choose their rides based just on the price of gas. Phong Ly, CEO of iSeeCars.com, said, “Our data shows that car shoppers are choosing larger vehicles that still suit their needs in terms of passenger capacity and cargo capability, and they’re perhaps compromising only slightly in these areas or even simply choosing a more fuel-efficient powertrain within a model’s lineup.” Americans, for the most part, don’t want hybrids. They want vehicles that get better fuel economy. It’s probably because they associate hybrid, in most cases, with higher prices. At one point, it would take you 9 years to make up the savings in gas prices between a standard Toyota Highlander and a Highlander hybrid. With lower gas prices, that number is closer to 10 years now. RELATED: Watch a Toyota Prius Do a Burnout, For Real
So, what do Americans like to buy when gas prices drop? Trucks dammit— specifically big trucks and SUVs.
When gas prices go down a buck at the pumps, Chevy Silverado 3500HD sales go up 4 percent. That’s followed by the Chevrolet Suburban, which jumps 3.9 percent. Just in case you thought no one was buying Lincolns, Navigator sales go up 3 percent and the Cadillac Escalade ESV rises 2.9 percent.
Image Credit: South Park
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