Last week the new Prius went on sale in Japan (it’s coming to the US in early 2016). Toyota is proud that the new Prius is 20% more fuel efficient than the old.
But the automaker just lowered their worldwide sales forecast by 25,000 units, or about 7%.
Okay, they also raised the price, and maybe that explains the drop in forecast. Or maybe they’re facing tougher competitors.
But for most car makers the reality is that low fuel prices have let some of the air out of the hybrid and electric sales balloon. And that’s bad for you.
Whether or not you’re in the market for a hybrid, or an electric, or even a hydrogen vehicle, you want these vehicles to succeed and sell well. Why? Because the price of oil always goes back up – the only unknown is “when.” And if hybrids and electrics sell well, their prices will come down, and more auto makers will offer a wider selection of vehicles.
When gas prices go up and you really want a high-efficiency vehicle, you’ll want lots of reasonably priced choices.
If you’re buying a car now, a suddenly lower sales forecast can mean good deals. But as production gets cut to match, it’s a bad deal for buyers long term.
So root for hybrids, electrics, and efficiency!