What do Rodney Dangerfield and hybrid cars have in common?

 In CEO's Corner
Rodney Dangerfield No Respect

Hybrid Cars & Rodney Dangerfield

For those of us of a certain vintage, Rodney Dangerfield is synonymous with one particular phrase – “I don’t get no respect“.

And today when I was reading that Prius took the #1 spot for New Vehicles Sales in California in 2012 and is the World’s 3rd Best-Selling Car Line I couldn’t help feel like hybrids just don’t get no respect.

When I talk about the EV industry, I usually start with the reality that hybrids are between 2-4% of sales and plug-in vehicles are less than a tenth of that. That’s the reality we live in, and I think it’s important that we realize we’re a small but growing part of the market.

Now that I see these numbers maybe I should reconsider my narrative. 247,230 Prius sales in three months is serious business. Those aren’t tree-huger numbers, they’re Jane-public numbers. Hybrids are no longer relegated to those that buy based on the green score of the vehicle. They are for those that want a vehicle that’s smooth to drive, quiet, and keeps your gas money in your pocket. And, p.s. it’s a hybrid.

This excites me. Hybrids are becoming a smart decision for more and more people. Through FleetCarma and MyCarma we’re trying to help people know if a hybrid’s a good decision for them based on how they drive. And with a bit of luck; hopefully we’ll be able to help get the 3% number to 6%. And then 9%. And then 20%.

Anyway, for those that still think hybrids are an anomaly that will go away, I have a challenge for you. Go to negotiate a deal for the standard sedan of your choice. Then try to negotiate a deal on a Prius C. I’ll bet my lunch you’ll hear you will get little or no price break on the hybrid, because “there’s too much demand”.

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And that makes me smile. Price theory appears to be giving hybrids some … well …respect.

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