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  1. #1

    Default OK leads nation in percentage hybrid sales increase

    Of course we probably started low, as it's a percentage increase, but I'm glad to see Oklahomans buying hybrids.

    Consumers dish out the dough for hybrids

    By Ja’Rena Lunsford
    Business Writer
    The increase in hybrid car sales is proving some Oklahoma drivers don't mind spending more now if it will save them later. According to a Michigan-based auto marketing company, new hybrid sales are up 49 percent compared with the same time last year, with Oklahoma leading the nation in sales percent increase. Dealers claim the move toward hybrid vehicles is fueled by concerns about protecting the environment and rising gasoline prices. The Sooner State had a 143 percent increase in hybrid sales from January-July compared with 2006, R.L. Polk & Co. revealed Monday. The company said hybrid car sales could reach 300,000 vehicles this year.

    Figures on how many hybrids have been sold in Oklahoma this year were not available. But Oklahoma's lead is no surprise to many dealers who have been watching the greener vehicles roll off their lots faster than ever. "In the past few months, we've definitely seen an enormous amount of interest in hybrids,” said Kevin Volk, general manager of Bob Moore Saturn. Volk said hybrid sales have almost tripled since the beginning of the year. The demand for hybrids has come at a time of limbo for the dealership: no more 2007 hybrids in stock and still a few months before the arrival of the 2008s. "That's put us between a rock and a hard place when it comes to fulfilling our customers' needs,” Volk said.

    The supply and demand for hybrids at Bob Moore Saturn has changed since late last year when the dealership was trying to trade the cars for other vehicles, Volk said. "We were trying to get them off our lot because there was no interest in them,” he said. Those days have changed, and many said it's all because of one color: Green.

    "I don't think there is any question that going green is gaining popularity on a weekly basis,” Mike Fowler said. Fowler, chief executive officer of Fowler Toyota in Norman, said the public's desire to be more environmentally aware has helped increase hybrid sales. The Toyota Camry hybrid and the Highlander are two of the most popular cars selling now, Fowler said.

    Volk agreed that environmental conversation coupled with high gas prices have driven consumers to purchase hybrids. "It's like over night someone turned a switch and we didn't have access to (hybrid cars),” he said.

    The price of hybrids — which can cost as much as $8,000 more than a conventional car — may hold off some buyers right now, but Fowler said he doesn't expect that to happen for much longer. "The hybrids are a little bit more money,” Fowler said. "As they gain in popularity, I don't think the price will go down, but instead, it will stabilize and not increase like the price of other cars.”

  2. #2

    Default Re: OK leads nation in percentage hybrid sales increase

    wow, thats surprising and good. with most peoples long commutes im sure it helps in saving gas/money with there family. i personally would rather have diesel options(in cars) than hybrids, cheaper, last longer, and proven reliablity.

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