Most Hybrid Owners Don't Buy Another Hybrid, Polk Study Says
By Jesse Snyder, Automotive News
Almost two-thirds of U.S. hybrid buyers returning to the market in 2011 chose something besides another hybrid.
Excluding owners of the best-selling Toyota Prius, the repurchase rate among other hybrid buyers dropped to 22 percent, according to a Polk study released today.
According to the study, the loyalty rate for hybrids since the beginning of 2008 has ranged between 26.4 percent in the second quarter of 2010 and 41.8 percent in the second quarter of 2009. The rate for the fourth quarter of 2011 was 40.1 percent while the total for 2011 was 35.0 percent
But there is some good news for manufacturers who have invested heavily into developing hybrid technology, said Brad Smith, director of Polk's loyalty management practice.
Hybrids seem to attract new buyers to brands, and they may also help brands retain customers, he said.
"It's a great conquesting tool for brands," Smith said in a phone interview, calling hybrid technology "a competitive edge when it comes to attracting new customers."
That is especially true for Toyota, a hybrid pioneer that has expanded its Prius hybrid line to three body styles and just added a plug-in version.
Polk said in 2011, 60 percent of Prius owners back in the market bought a Toyota brand vehicle. The study also found that 41 percent of the Prius owners back in the market either bought another Prius or a hybrid from another automaker.
For Honda hybrid owners, 52 percent stayed with the Honda brand, but less than one in five bought another hybrid from any brand.
Competition with conventionals
Smith said the biggest challenge for hybrid makers is that less expensive conventional fuel-efficiency technologies are also advancing rapidly, reducing the fuel-efficiency advantage of more expensive hybrids.
That may be why hybrids accounted for just 2.4 percent of total U.S. auto sales last year, down from 2.9 percent in a peak of 2.9 percent in 2008.
"The premium price points for hybrids are just too high when so many conventional small and mid-size cars have improved fuel economy," Smith said.
This was the first time Polk has conducted a study of hybrid buyers returning to the market.
Content provided by Autoweek.
Hybrids don't pay for themselves; nor are they "green." The Toyota Prius is the most un-green car to manufacture on the planet because of all the fossil fuels required to ship parts, manufacture parts, and assemble parts. Look it up, tree-huggers - you're not doing the "precious planet" any favors by buying a Prius - instead, you smug hypocrites are just wasting taxpayers' dollars for all your cash-back incentives from the government. "Green" is a business scheme to make money; it is not a reality.
I've done the math for fun on a Tahoe Hybrid:
Disregard any government money and rebates and assume you drive 15K/year and the costs of a Tahoe and a Tahoe Hybrid are $38K and $51K, respectively. The regular Tahoe gets 21mpg, and the Tahoe Hybrid gets a whopping 23mpg. With gas at $3.60/gallon, it would take 58 years - years, not months - to break even after buying a Tahoe Hybrid. Is it worth it? I'm going to go with a "no."
Diesels don't pay for themselves unless you're driving hundreds of miles a day. Let's face it, the only way to save money with a diesel is to drive the hell out of it and keep it for 200,000 miles or more. But guess what.... the rest of the vehicle has fallen apart around the engine long before you get 200,000 miles out of it, so... yeah, diesel (trucks) are a waste of money for the everyday driver.
If the average diesel pays for itself between 100k and 150k miles, that is VERY YOUNG.
IRN, you're kidding yourself into believing something that isn't true. Is it just to reaffirm or rejustify your poor purchase decision? Trying to avoid buyer's remorse? Like hybrids, diesels don't pay for themselves in 100K-150K. More like 300K+ miles, or 20 years of driving for the average person. The math comes out the same every time we go through this exercise. Shall we run the numbers for the millionth time to be sure? Even when we run the numbers with the cost of a gallon of diesel and gasoline being the same the diesel is still an overall money loser. Here where the price advantage for gasoline is still 40 cents a gallon, the picture for diesels only gets worse.
I'll also point out that I am the only person using real life numbers as several other commenter's such as Beltway have admitted that they have NOT driven the vehicles we are discussing.IRN, as I stated before, the only way to make a fair and objective comparison is to use fuel mileage numbers derived from using a consistent testing method under identical conditions, thus using the EPA combined numbers is valid and reasonable. Using your "real world" numbers is nothing but hypothetical, speculative, and unreliable. In other words, BS.
Thanks, but I'll stick to using published, verifiable numbers to make a fair and objective apples-to-apples comparison. If we play by your rules, then I can tell you that my V8-powered AWD Jeep is capable of well over 100 MPG. It has a real-time fuel consumption readout in the onboard computer that tells me so. Based on that, my Jeep costs a fraction of what your little diesel costs to run. Want to use my numbers to compare with yours? Or do you think that maybe my driving habits and other variables might make the 100+ MPG comparison unfair? That's the same reason we can't use your personal numbers to compare against MPG numbers achieved under totally different conditions. It's not a scientifically sound approach.
Have any of you taken the time to price used diesel powered vehicles? Trust me, they will ALWAYS be worth MORE than their gas powered brothers. In fact I believe that they actually depreciate at a lower rate so you would probably make money on them.Unfortunately Had it in CA, the Kelley Blue Book numbers don't support your argument. I priced out a 2006 Jetta with 90,000 miles (6 years@15K per year) and the used price for the gasoline version is $9,809 and the diesel version is worth $14,178. That would imply the the diesel actually lost some of its original $6,000 additional value that you'd pay for when new. It actually depreciated $2,000 faster. Just sayin'.
Personally, I have no preference one way or the other when it comes to gas versus diesel. My only goal is to point out the significant financial drawbacks to buying a diesel at today's premiums. If the prices of diesel vehicles come down, then the gap starts to close and they might make sense. Until then, the VW Jetta diesel has to be driven 525,000 miles to breakeven with its gasoline counterpart based on the 40 cent price delta of fuel that still exists here today. Plain and simple. The math doesn't lie. Do you? The facts are, that even with gas and diesel both costing the same $4/gal., it will still take over 16 years and over 240,000 miles for the Jetta diesel to breakeven with its gasoline version. Hardly an acceptable payback.
Using the VW Jetta as an example, at an average 15,000 miles a year, with a 40 cent delta between a gallon of unleaded regular and diesel, the Jetta TDI only saves you $173.00 a year in fuel over its gas counterpart. The price delta between the two models is $6,130.00. Divide $173.00 into that and the breakeven point is over 35 years out in the future, or when the odometer hits 525,000+ miles. How many people do you know that keep their cars that long? I can't think of one.
The only way diesels don't pay for themselves is if you sell them before the 100k mile mark.
IRN, didn't we just do the math on this recently? Using the example of the VW Jetta, just for the diesel version to breakeven with the gas version you'd have to drive it 525,000 miles before you'd even start to save money with the diesel.
By the way, diesel is still $.40/gallon more here than unleaded regular as of this morning.
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