As it seems, the majority of hybrid car owners in the States don’t go for seconds, or at least that’s what a new study released today by auto research firm Polk reveals.
According to the report, while the number of hybrid models in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2007, only 35 percent or a little over a third of hybrid vehicle owners choose to purchase a hybrid again when returning to market in 2011.
To make matters worse, Polk says that if you exclude the high volume audience of Toyota Prius owners from the equation, hybrid loyalty drops to under 25 percent!
And sales aren’t getting any better either, in fact, hybrid vehicles represent just 2.4 percent of the overall new vehicle market in the U.S., down from a high of 2.9 percent in 2008.
“The lineup of alternate drive vehicles and their premium price points just aren’t appealing enough to consumers to give the segment the momentum it once anticipated, especially given the growing strength of fuel economy among compact and midsize competitors,” told Polk, Lacey Plache, Edmunds chief economist.
“For EVs and PHEVs in particular, certain obstacles — including consumer unease with unfamiliar technology and the lack of an adequate recharging infrastructure — will need to be overcome before sales increase”.
On a positive note for some carmakers, Polk’s research found that hybrid owners appear to maintain brand loyalty when returning to the new car market. According to the study, 60 percent of Toyota hybrid owners returned to the market to purchase another Toyota, while more than 52 percent of Honda hybrid drivers remained loyal to the brand.