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.
I keep reading about how diesel will save us money, but I still fail to see ACTUAL NUMBERS (complete price breakdown) from the people claiming the savings.
Why is that?
And why don't these diesel people take into account (again) that regardless of what's under the hood, the vehicle STILL falls apart and needs expensive repairs - and possibly becomes unrepairable?
You obviously failed Math Class!
Not to mention that the $6130 price difference listed is between the TDI and a BARE BONES gas Jetta.
To get an apples to apples comparison one needs to compare the TDI to the Jetta SE w/convenience to get them optioned equally. At that point the price difference is only $2700!
And the combined estimates came directly from the 2012 EPA manual for the Jettas with automatic transmissions, which is what MOST people buy.
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.
I guess you also have to ask yourself when enough is enough with repairs. What is your own free time worth to you? Is working on your 15-year-old car that's worth nothing but its weight in rust worth your time?
I'm not sure why you keep assuming that a diesel will be ancient by the time it pays for itself. If the average diesel pays for itself between 100k and 150k miles, that is VERY YOUNG. For me that is less then 5 years. Even if you don't drive as much as I do each year, a 10 year old car with 150k miles (15k a year) is still very young and not the least bit unusual for the average driver.
Like I have said from the beginning of the conversation, if you aren't keeping your automobiles that long (mileage, not years), then you obviously aren't interesting in saving money. Therefore, the conversation is completely pointless.
However, I warn you that when I provided the numbers earlier, the cost of diesel was a lot more expensive then it is now. If we used today's numbers (zero price difference between gasoline and diesel) my argument is only stronger.
Your argument is valid, and may be accurate for some everyday drivers who keep their vehicles for awhile, take care of their vehicles, and do their own routine maintenance. But *most* cars, regardless of fault or driver, fall apart. Maybe you've been lucky with reliability, but others (many others that I know) have had enormous and costly problems with diesel engines that did nothing but negate the fuel savings. And after awhile, routine repairs due to rust, corrosion, misuse, etc. FAR exceed the fuel savings.
I guess you also have to ask yourself when enough is enough with repairs. What is your own free time worth to you? Is working on your 15-year-old car that's worth nothing but its weight in rust worth your time? As I subtly stated before, a diesel truck for the everyday driver who drives 15K a year doesn't really save any money. If you buy a Jetta, drive it daily, keep it awhile, and don't get a lemon, then yes, it'll eventually pay for itself.
Also, there are plenty of other gas engines out there now that get VERY close - if not the same - fuel mileage as diesel engines for less money...
All in all, though, diesel isn't the end-all answer to our so-called "fuel crisis" - since we export hundreds of barrels of oil each day - and hybrids DEFINITELY are not the answer.
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