To those who believe that the hybrid is gaining ground quickly, you may need to rethink that since May 2011 sales indicate that when put together, the Dodge Challenger, Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang outsold all hybrids sold in the U.S.
As gas prices are nearing the $4 level, many predict that the sales of muscle cars would fall. But efforts by GM, Ford and Chrysler have resulted to these models being the most fuel efficient vehicles of their kind. The muscle car that led sales in May 2011 was the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro with 9,451 total units sold. It benefited from the arrival of the droptop models.
It gained more than 5% over May 2010. Although more than 10,000 Chevrolet Camaros were sold in April, the GM muscle car had a slight drop last month. The Ford Mustang had 6,607 units sold, earning it a second place in muscle car segment sales.
This stands for a 36% decrease. Meanwhile, the Dodge Challenger took the No. 3 spot with 3,418 units sold last May. As a whole, the segment fell slightly in May 2011 but with total sales of 19,476 units, the Challenger, Mustang and Camaro outperformed the entire hybrid segment, which only had sales of 17,852 units in May.
The other primary factor that boosted the sales of the Challenger, Camaro and Mustang to be higher than the entire hybrid segment (which includes models like the Toyota Prius and Ford Fusion Hybrid) was the lingering effect of the March 11 disaster in Japan.
The largest impact had been to the Japanese hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius and Honda CRZ. Their production facilities were damaged by the earthquake and the tsunami. In addition, a hybrid battery plant in Japan was badly damaged.
This reduction in battery output had adversely affected the non-Japanese hybrid models such as the Ford Fusion and Ford Escape. The disaster put a halt to Japan’s vehicle and hybrid battery production. Making matters worse was that the shipping ports in Japan were congested with damaged products. This held up the deliveries to the US market, resulting to a shortage of hybrids in dealerships.