Green Update: Are Hybrids and Small Cars Selling?

Ford C-Max Energi

Ford C-Max Energi

You wouldn’t know it from all the hoopla on the blogs, but car sales, per the Wall Street Journal, generally were mixed for July. GM and Ford small cars “showed some modest gains.” Given what the stock market did in the last few days, those gains may well evaporate for August.

Regarding small-car sales figures, it’s hard to know who to believe. Fortune tells us:

Through July, the small-car segment rose to 17.4 percent of all car sales, accounting for nearly 1.4 million cars built in the U.S. Midsize, large and luxury cars gained as well, though less so proportionately. In other words, small cars, accounting for a third of all car sales, were the only category to gain share.

Automotive News reported 1,059,730 light vehicles sold (not 1.4 million) and stressed the disruptions and uncertainty in the economy. Autoweek says U.S. light vehicle sales were up 13 percent (through June), though demand has been weakening.

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Are Hybrids Already a Dying Breed?

The best reason to own a hybrid

Our man jgoods wrote a scathing piece on minivans last week. While I’m no fan of the people-movers either, I certainly see their benefit, especially considering that for the past three days I’ve been touring the country as part of a caravan consisting of one Dodge Caravan, one Chrysler Town & Country and my family’s SUV.

The ease of loading passengers and gear into the vans is almost enough for me to secretly wish I had one too, but then an epic blizzard in Wyoming brought me back to reality, and my AWD SUV was suddenly the best family car I’ve ever owned.

So while I won’t own a van, I hold nothing against them. My problem is with hybrids, vehicles I believe aren’t worth the gas that goes in ’em. And it seems I’m far from alone on this…

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