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Hybrid cars now chase private buyers

Posted on: April 27, 2013 by Platinum Direct

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Despite what you believe about the high-priced Toyota Prius cars with the high price and dubious economic returns, the fact is they have done very nicely selling to green-minded government fleets. But that has now changed according to Toyota with the number of private sales finally stacking up to good numbers. For those who research recent car sales statistics, there is one figure that raises eyebrows, the number of hybrid cars selling to private buyers is growing. A strong trend has emerged.

Sales of hybrid cars have languished ever since Toyota launched the petrol-electric Prius, and Honda the Insight, in Australia in 2001, despite things advancing to the point where a hybrid Camry model is now built in Australia. However, so far this year private buyers have bought almost as many hybrid cars, with sales charging almost 70 percent higher than for the same time last year.

Coincidentally at the same time, interest from hybrid cars’ more traditional customers – businesses and governments – appears to be waning.

So the big question is: Has the public perception of hybrid cars in the eyes of home-based buyers finally turned the corner?

Toyota spokesman Mike Breen insists it has. He puts most of the new interest in the fuel sippers down to education: “More and more the sales team is finding it is the familiarisation with the technology with the customer. Also the sales people are becoming more familiar with the technology, so they’re finding it a lot more comfortable now to speak with the customer with authority and understanding.”

He said customers were becoming more educated about hybrid technology than ever before: “Things are coming together to bring about a better relationship between the car and the buyer and also we have the Prius bringing people into the market at a level where, in the past, we’d not seen them before.”

And as Honda has just released the new Jazz Hybrid at a bargain $23,000 the sector is very much a case of Watch This Space.

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