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Most Hybrid Owners Don't Go For A Second One


William Maley
Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
April 9, 2012

A new study published by R.L. Polk said only a third of hybrid owners bought another in 2011.

The study showed that only 35% of hybrid owners bought another. Take out the most popular hybrid, the Toyota Prius and the number falls to 22%.

Brad Smith, director of Polk's loyalty management practice told Automotive News the biggest problem for hybrid vehicles is the advancements made with conventional gas engines.

"The premium price points for hybrids are just too high when so many conventional small and mid-size cars have improved fuel economy," Smith said.

However, hybrid vehicles are making an impact for automakers. Smith said hybrid vehicles seem to attract new buyers and help retain them.

That is especially true for Toyota, a brand that has pioneered hybrids. In 2011, Polk found that 60% of Prius owners back in the market bought a Toyota. The study also showed 41% of Prius owners in the market bought another Prius or a hybrid wearing a Toyota badge.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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23 Comments

Very Interesting. The only real winner in the hybrid wars is Toyota. And even their victory is somewhat pyrrhic in the sense that a fair minority of people want a second hybrid after the first one.
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I would tend to agree that with advances in engine efficiency, that this will hold more people off from buying a hybrid, but as they do get the price down, I suspect we will see all vehicles tend to move towards a version of hybrid power.

This is based on the amount of torque and off the line movement gained from electric engines. I truly believe the next 10 years will show us some amazing advances.
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A matter of real world fuel economy vs the added cost, perhaps? Makes one wonder how fuel economy should be measured and announced, namely if the cycles used int he testing are representative of the average driver's driving habits...
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Yea bring up a valid point as I know my driving habits do not reflect the supposedly true epa of my vehicle. I average 13MPG on my Trailblazer AWD SS and it is rated much higher, but I never get that milage in real world driving.
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WHAT!? I'm SHOCKED!!! :P

To me, this shows proof that hybrids and electrification are a fad that is not ready for prime time.

It is NOT that people are too shy to try them... they've tried them and they DON'T LIKE THEM.

It cannot be the affordability factor, because they've already shelled out the money once for one of these... they've just decided they're not gonna be fooled twice. :smilewide:
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What I'm confused about is why the advances in gasoline engine efficiency aren't trickling over to hybrids? Why are there no hybrids ( that I can think of) that have direct injection? Why are there no small displacement hybrids with turbos?
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Anecdotal evidence, of course, but most of the hybrid owners I personally know are still on their first.. I do know a couple 2 Prius couples, and one guy that is on his 3rd (he's had one of each generation, getting a new one every 5 years)...I know another guy that bought an '05 Prius now has a '10 and a '12 Prius V for the wife's family hauler (replaced a GMC Jimmy).
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Better yet, why is the hybrid tech not working over to the compact car class?
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true... only the very early adopters would be ready for a second one yet.

Better yet, why is the hybrid tech not working over to the compact car class?

....
it is.... Insight, Prius C
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true... only the very early adopters would be ready for a second one yet.


Better yet, why is the hybrid tech not working over to the compact car class?

....
it is.... Insight, Prius C



Still a Pi though....what about the Yaris?
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Still a Pi though....what about the Yaris?

Yaris isn't a hybrid. The Prius C is close in size, though.
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Still a Pi though....what about the Yaris?

Yaris isn't a hybrid. The Prius C is close in size, though.


It's on the same platform....but- they could throw an even lighter battery on the Yaris...maybe just simply recharged after braking..something to help the city milage...
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Pruis is a Toyota sub-brand now.
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Pruis is a Toyota sub-brand now.


I wonder if a CUV or coupe will be the next variation... though a larger Camry sized Prius is rumored also.
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I've a couple questions.

Are these people trading in their current hybrids for gas-powered vehicles?

Or... are they people that are buying another vehicle to go add to their garage? While still retaining their hybrid?

In any case, hybrids were always a panacea. But electrification is not. ICE's had bumps in the road, too.
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I think pure hybrids like the Prius will continue to do well, but hybrid versions of regular models will continue to do not so good...people buying hybrids seem to prefer pure hybrids.
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I think pure hybrids like the Prius will continue to do well, but hybrid versions of regular models will continue to do not so good...people buying hybrids seem to prefer pure hybrids.


There is a reason that is true: LOOK AT ME! I care about the environment! It is that smug feeling of said owner that sickens me far more than the hybrid itself.
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WHAT!? I'm SHOCKED!!! :P

To me, this shows proof that hybrids and electrification are a fad that is not ready for prime time.

It is NOT that people are too shy to try them... they've tried them and they DON'T LIKE THEM.

It cannot be the affordability factor, because they've already shelled out the money once for one of these... they've just decided they're not gonna be fooled twice. :smilewide:


So when Toyota decides to stop investing in the ugly prius due to lack of demand for the product, they will get their own large negative movie titled:

"DEATH of the Hybrid, How Toyota killed what should have saved the world!"

Some how I do not think we will ever see they vilified the way GM has been. So much Double standard BS from the Politicians and idiot americans. The biggest villian has been Consumer reports which has totally lost their way in unbiased judgement of who is good and who is bad.
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Prius has the highest loyalty rate of any midsize car at ~40%.

Most other hybrids are either too new to have next-generation replacement models (e.g., Fusion Hybrid), or they have been discontinued because they never caught on to begin with (e.g., AURA Hybrid).
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Hmmm... so in your opinion, people only trade when a new design comes out? Not necessarily true.
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I think pure hybrids like the Prius will continue to do well, but hybrid versions of regular models will continue to do not so good...people buying hybrids seem to prefer pure hybrids.

Maybe its the turd of a trunk hybrid converted sedans offer.
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I think that most companies if they focused the Hybrid on fancy ultra cool luxury versions first, they would get the price of the technology down faster. I truly believe that with Caddy getting their own totally Rock On Cool Version of the Volt, it will help GM get this technology into far more auto's. This will then help them exceed the new corp standards.

Does anyone else think that they Hybrid should have been focused on the luxury divisions first to recoop the R&D costs over going with a Chevy version that required a big GOV tax break?
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I think that most companies if they focused the Hybrid on fancy ultra cool luxury versions first, they would get the price of the technology down faster. I truly believe that with Caddy getting their own totally Rock On Cool Version of the Volt, it will help GM get this technology into far more auto's. This will then help them exceed the new corp standards.

Does anyone else think that they Hybrid should have been focused on the luxury divisions first to recoop the R&D costs over going with a Chevy version that required a big GOV tax break?



Normally, that is what happens. The problem is is that Toyota subverted that process by selling the original Prius at a loss, while that car was being subsidized effectively by Lexus and trucks back when the Prius came out in 2000. Now car buyers expect hybrids to be relatively affordable since the Prius has seldom breached $35,000.
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