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May Pony Car Sales Outshine Hybrids, But What Does It Mean?


 

With gas near the $4 per gallon mark, you’d think that sales of pony cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger would be at record lows. After all, their V-8 engines aren’t known for fuel economy, and even their V-6 models fall short of matching the fuel economy of hybrid or compact cars. Are dealers willing to entertain any reasonable offer on pony car inventory? 

No, says USA Today, who reports that American snapped up more Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers in the month of May than they did hybrids. Muscle cars accounted for 19,476 unit sales in May, while hybrids accounted for just 17,852 unit sales last month.

Is the jury in? Are Americans forgoing the benefits of better fuel economy and reduced emissions in favor of horsepower and the ability to turn expensive rear tires into smoke?

Not exactly, since what the USA Today article glosses over is the impact of the March disasters in Japan. Toyota’s Prius has historically been the best-selling hybrid in America, and Toyota sold 12,477 Prius models in April. That’s down 4.3 percent from April of 2010, but still on par with Toyota’s total passenger car sales, which were down 6.5 percent for the month.

Fast forward to May, when Toyota sold just 6,924 Prius models, as compared to 14,248 in May of 2010. That’s a decrease of 47 percent, attributable directly to supply shortages stemming from the Japan earthquake and tsunami. If we assume May sales would have matched April sales at 4.3 percent lower than previous year, Toyota would have sold 13,635 Prius units in May. Hybrid sales would then have been 31,487 units, positively dwarfing pony car sales.

While it's technically accurate to say that pony cars outsold hybrids last month, that certainly isn't an indication of a trend away from fuel-efficient cars. When the Prius is back in the inventory pipeline, expect it to return to normal unit sales, driving hybrid sales numbers higher.

That’s the problem with numbers and statistics; unless they’re in context, they can be used to spin the data any way you want.

[USA Today]

 
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Comments (16)
  1. GM and Ford never learn anything !! It is always Big Oil that benefits the most from gas guzzling sales... GM and Ford will soon be forced to offer deep cash discounts to push them out the doors once gasoline hit $5 or $6... Big Oil has no risk whatsoever.. No wonder Ford and GM stock is always in the gas tank!!!
    matches , anybody??
     
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  2. I would offer deep discounts to buyers of new econoboxes like Cruze and Focus to maximize volume so to free up oil supplies for muscle car buffs to drive gas guzzlers without igniting the oil prices at all.. Why must I pay $15,000 to drive a cramped car to save gas for muscle car buffs to squander away??? Charge them more for gas guzzlers and give the money to us who believe in energy conservation... No wonder GM and Ford stock is going nowhere!! Those die hard muscle head car buffs will pay any price for those muscle cars so charge them $100,000 apiece while we can get new Cruze and Focus for below $8000 apiece.. We are huring financialy.. Those muscle head Nascar buffs have fat wallets thanks to inheritiances from rich dead dads!!
     
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  3. Too bad they couldn't put hybrid assist in the Mustang. That thing would be quick as heck off the line--a real torque monster-- and very efficient in the city.
     
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  4. you writers here would nver dreamt of owning Ford an d Gm stock as you would prefer Exxon or Chevron stock.I know htat.. you got no friggin shame yourselves.. look at economy it is souring !! you are great writers alrighty
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  5. you writers here would nver dreamt of owning Ford an d Gm stock as you would prefer Exxon or Chevron stock.I know htat.. you got no friggin shame yourselves.. look at economy it is souring !! you are great writers alrighty
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  6. Look at today's news Ford's Mullally announced that Ford will explode 50% in production in 5 years.. know what?/ wall street just burps... wall street is well content to have oil stocks not car stocks never!!! no way! GM and Ford can ask Big Oil to help them sell gas guzzlers after all Big Oil is the one who benefits chiefly from gasoline sales, right?/ Who is thinking here?? me not you!!
     
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  7. Yo youare embrassed , i know !
     
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  8. Wow Gumby, take a chill pill. Oil production is a time honored tradition. Mining Nickel for hybrid bateries is a new thing. Know where it comes from? Do a little research and get back to us. Talk about exploitation and profit over human life.
    And all the oil burned to get a hybrid to market would make your Prius an environmental hypocrit for years past its usefulness.
    Kudos to Ford and GM for pioneering oil burning engines that are efficient and cheap. AND, no slaves had to mine the nickel to go into the 5.0 Coyote engine powering the 24 mpg 412 hp Mustang GT.
     
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  9. Wow Gumby, take a chill pill. Oil production is a time honored tradition. Mining Nickel for hybrid bateries is a new thing. Know where it comes from? Do a little research and get back to us. Talk about exploitation and profit over human life.
    And all the oil burned to get a hybrid to market would make your Prius an environmental hypocrit for years past its usefulness.
    Kudos to Ford and GM for pioneering oil burning engines that are efficient and cheap. AND, no slaves had to mine the nickel to go into the 5.0 Coyote engine powering the 24 mpg 412 hp Mustang GT.
     
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  10. I own one of these cars, an SRT Challenger. It just has 470hp will light the tires any time, great curb appeal, wonderful ride, and--- oh wait, I get 19 to 20 mpg and I don't drive it like a Prius. Eat your heart out and my dust. My money and my choice, not the pick of some egghead. It's a Hemi.
     
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  11. I am happy we have the freedom of choice to buy what you want in this country, muscle cars, trucks, hybrids, ect! The US Government makes more profit on oil than the Oil Companies do so I see no issue with so called big oil.
     
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  12. There are many who fit the profile of "enviornmentally sensative" who wish to drive vehicles which also fit that profile. Too bad there are some among them,with influence,who have created the myths of global warming,imminent gasoline shortages and persue social engineering through mandated emission laws who are shocked when most people don't want their "green vehicles". From busing school children,to scatter site low income housing,to affirmative action,social engineering schemes are historically more damaging than effective and run against democratic free choice. When they fail,we get this astonishment reaction,accompanied by arrogant admonishment of the masses who are depicted as idiots. Americans have answered with their purchases.
     
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  13. gumby you can drive a scooter to save the planet from the global warming climate change scam, Americans want to drive performance cars, SUV's and pickups. Liberal nutjobs will not tell us what to drive!!!!!!!!
     
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  14. Lexus, Acura and Nissan make muscle cars, too. And some people are getting 55 mpg out of their Chevy Cruze Ecos (which isn't even a hybrid). And the Cruze is almost a midsized car as opposed to the tiny Nissan Versa that gets only 34 mpg. The Camaro and Mustang 6s are rated at 29-30 mpg hwy.
     
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  15. Gumby? Why do you pick on Ford/GM? They both offer sub compacts and hybrids just as your heroes do (I assume Toyota). Toyota also offers full size trucks. Times change and you should find out and stop trying to spread misinformation.
    By the way go look at the LaCrosse with eassist standard. It is standard on the vehicle.
     
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  16. Hey Gumby, Jealous ? I worked 3 jobs and sacrificed everything for 5 years to perchase my peice of Americana , A 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T in B5 Blue no lese did I mention it's got A HEMI. And i don't regret it for a minute ,with no parental assisstance. I would rather ride a bycycle than drive a hybrid.So as my wife and I pass you on a warm summer day I will be sure to , give you a speacil wave , enjoying every minute!!Stay green pony-boy.
     
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