Electric-driven vehicles outpaced pickups in sales gain in the US

Article by Anita Panait, on July 8, 2013

Sales of electric-driven cars and trucks in the United States outpaced sales of pickups in the first half of 2013. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-only vehicles surged at least 23 percent in the US to more than 287,000 units, growing faster than full-size pickups that gained 22 percent during the period. Alan Baum, principal of Baum & Associates remarked to Bloomberg that since the number of entries in the segment “continues to grow,” buyers don't have to make a compromise to get what they want.

He noted that Ford is becoming a serious player in the market for electric-driven vehicles. More and more carmakers are starting to offer vehicles that consume less fuel and do not release harmful emissions, mainly due to increasing pressure from environmental rules in the US, Europe and Japan. The growing number of electric-driven vehicles is putting more pressure on the Toyota Prius – the best-selling vehicle of its kind in the world – as other carmaker try to replicate its mass-market success.

Ford’s move to offer hybrid and plug-in versions of its Fusion sedan and C-Max wagon allowed it to increase its EV sales over five times to 46,197 units in the first half of 2013. Toyota Motor Corp. still dominates the EV segment, growing 4.4 percent in the same period to 176,506 units. On the other hands, deliveries of full-sized pickups topped 928,000 in the first half of 2013.

They remain the main source of earning for the Detroit 3 -- Ford, General Motors and Chrysler Group – as they provide higher margins. John Casesa, senior managing director at Guggenheim Partners LLC, told Bloomberg Radio that carmakers typically earns between $8,000 and $10,000 for every pickup sold, compared to just $3,000 per mid-size car. Despite the Prius suffering to a 5-percent drop in sales in the first half of 2013 to 120,214, Bill Fay, Toyota's group vice president for U.S. sales remarked that they still expect to sell up to 250,000 this year. [source: Bloomberg]

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