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”.

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

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