“Trump States” Lag Behind in ‘Green’ Car Sales
Suggesting an Economic Message for Green Cars Isn’t Resonating
[An Auto Insider Special Report]
by Peter Levy
Green cars — hybrids and electrics — are landing with a thud in areas of the country that, according to the narrative of the last presidential election, suffer the most economically, demonstrating that car buyers there just aren’t convinced that the potential fuel savings those vehicles offer outweigh perceived drawbacks.
That’s a conclusion from a new analysis of sales of all 22 car brands (other than Tesla) that sold green cars in the U.S. between October 2016 and March 2017.
Peter Levy, president and founder of Carjojo.
Sales of Green Cars Lag Behind In Trump States
The Midwestern region* that helped usher President Trump into the White House — 75% of its electoral college votes went to Trump — had the lowest per capita** sales of green cars in Q4 2016: 1.04 sold for every 10,000 residents. It fell even lower in Q1 2017, to just 1.03 for every 10,000. The national average was 1.93 sold for every 10,000 in Q4 2016, and 2 for every 10,000 in Q1 2017.
Meanwhile, Southern states, which delivered 95% of their electoral college votes to Trump, come in second to the Midwest in the lowest per capita green-car sales — 1.22 sold for every 10,000 residents in Q4 2016, slipping to 1.14 for every 10,000 in Q1 2017.
Car manufacturers face significant obstacles...
Green Car Sales In The Hillary Clinton States A Bit More Rosy
The picture — while far from perfect — is rosier for green car sales in the Western states that voted for Hillary Clinton. Those gave just 23% of their electoral college votes to Trump and had the largest per capita rate of green car sales in Q4 2016 — 4.26 for every 10,000 residents. That figure actually inched up in Q1 2017 to 4.6.
‘Green’ message just doesn’t resonate...
And the Northeast, the most anti-Trump region with just 19% of its electoral college votes awarded to Trump, saw the second-highest rate of green car sales in the quarters studied, although it trailed the West significantly. In Q1 2016, buyers purchased 1.34 green cars for every 10,000 residents, and that number strengthened in Q1 2017 to 1.44.
Despite the marketing hype, we know U.S. consumers just aren’t that into green cars...
The Toyota Prius Reigns Supreme
One area of agreement nationally: the Toyota Prius reigns supreme, as the number one most sold green car in every region by far. It makes up between 37% (in the West) and 49% (in the Northeast) of all green car sales in Q4 and Q1.
Prius is now synonymous with a ‘green’ car...
Sales of Green Cars Per Capita
|Region||Population||Q4 sales||Q4 2016 green car sales per 10,000 residents||Q1 sales||Q1 2017 green car sales per 10,000 residents||Percent electors for Trump|
Sales of Green Cars by Region
|Make||Q4 and Q1 sales||Percent|
|Toyota Camry & Avalon||1486||10.54%|
|Make||Total Q4 and Q1||Percent|
|Toyota Camry & Avalon||3347||4.92%|
|Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid||57||0.08%|
|Make||Q4 and Q1||Percent|
|Toyota Camry & Avalon||1560||8.91%|
|Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid||34||0.19%|
|Make||Q4 and Q1 total sales||Percent|
|Toyota Camry and Avalon||1810||6.69%|
|Lincoln MKZ Hybrid||0||0.00%|
*Regions defined as follows in this study.
West: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Hawaii.
Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
East: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware.
South: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia
**To calculate per capita sales, this study used 2016 state population estimates as listed here.
***The percent of electors for Trump was calculated by totaling the electors in each region’s states that voted for Trump, and dividing it by the total number of electors casting votes in that region’s states.
- Trump states had the lowest per capita** sales of green cars in Q4 2016: 1.04 sold for every 10,000 residents
- Green car sales fell even lower in Q1 2017 in Trump states, to just 1.03 for every 10,000
- Southern states come in second to the Midwest in the lowest per capita green-car sales — 1.22 sold for every 10,000 residents in Q4 2016
- Green car sales in Southern Trump states slipped to 1.14 for every 10,000 in Q1 2017
- Clinton states had the largest per capita rate of green car sales in Q4 2016 — 4.26 for every 10,000 residents.
- Green Car sales in Clinton states inched up in Q1 2017 to 4.6
- Buyers in the Northeast, the most anti-Trump region, purchased 1.34 green cars for every 10,000 residents
- Sales of green cars strengthened in Q1 2017 to 1.44 in the Northeast
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