The hybrid vehicle market is seeing new gains in sales numbers as the public becomes familiar with the technology and viability of this new option. Although some models have experienced a slow start in sales, others are a growing demand and increasing popularity. Vehicle sales as a whole saw a considerable slowdown during the years of the recession. As the economy continues its rebound, hybrid car manufacturers are preparing to rev up production to meet the demand.
Eyes on the Economy
Much of the increase in hybrid car sales reflects catching up on lost time. The economic downturn caused as a 50 percent drop in new car sales in some states during the worst of the Great Recession. Now, buyers are catching up on lost time, replacing vehicles they kept a few additional years while waiting for economic conditions to improve. Easier access to credit has also facilitated new car sales. Having gone through the worst of the gas price hikes, these buyers are looking to hybrid vehicles to cushion their budgets against the ups and downs of the oil industry.
But economic concerns are not the only factors triggering the increase in hybrid sales. Accumulating evidence about climate change and carbon emissions has buyers looking for a way to stay on the road, yet stop the overload of carbon in the atmosphere. In areas of the country where environmental concern is part of the culture, such as in California, hybrid car sales went up steadily for the past 15 quarters, according to CBS news. As the economy continues to improve, hybrid vehicle manufacturers expect to step up production to keep up with the growing demand.
Looking Forward, Not Back
Another factor that is increasing interest in hybrid vehicles is the step-up in vehicle technologies that are attracting new interest among car buyers. These technologies offer a number of new conveniences and comfort that tech-savvy consumers desire. Models like the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Honda Accord Hybrid and getting rave reviews. However, the steeper price for hybrid vehicles appears to be putting a damper on sales in the larger marketplace. However, as the gains in the economy make their way to a bigger segment of the car-buying publics, more consumers will be willing to make the investment in a vehicle that will save money over the long run. Car manufacturers are engaged in preparations to accommodate that day when it arrives.
Taking Advantage of Incentives
Buyers of plug-in hybrid vehicles are eligible for a number of incentive programs, both federally and from individual states. Federally, tax credits ranging from $2,500 to $7.500 are available, depending on the size of the battery. In addition, a 10 percent discount on the cost of converting a car to a plug-in hybrid is also available. Each individual state may offer additional incentives for plug-in or electric vehicles.