US sales 2016 Alternative Power segment

Sales of Alternative Power cars across all segments fell by 11.2 percent in 2016, making this the third year in a year of decline in a row. This means that, with 264,287 sales in 2016, the meta-segment is some 25 percent smaller than it was at its peak in 2013, though it is still more than twice as big as it was a decade ago. That said, prospects for cars with alternative power still look pretty bleak because cheap gas keeps luring people away from EVs, hybrids and more fuel-efficient cars in general into larger crossovers, SUVs and pick-up trucks. Not even the new Toyota Prius liftbackChevrolet Volt or Tesla Model X seem to be able to stop that.

Highlights for 2016:

Chevy Volt

  • Sales of the three-vehicle Toyota Prius family dropped 26 percent in 2016 despite the arrival of the new Toyota Prius liftback; what’s more, while the collapse in sales of the Prius C and Prius V looks bad (sales down almost have compared to 2015), it’s that fact that the new liftback lost sales compared to its predecessor that should have Toyota worried – have they alienated the model’s conservative consumer base with the controversial styling?
  • The second-placed Tesla Model S keeps going from strength to strength, and in 2016 saw its sales go up by 29 percent thanks to a mild facelift that brought it closer style-wise to the Model X, whose arrival does not seem to have hurt its prospects one bit
  • However, coming up fast to the Model S is the new Chevrolet Volt, having outsold the Californian car in Q2, when Tesla was having problems with the supply of the facelifted car, and outright in
  • Ford C-Max lost fourth spot to the Volt in 2016 as its sales fell 9 percent, and is likely to fall to sixth spot in 2017 as the new Tesla Model X easily outsold it in the second half of the year
  • From among the other new cars that came to market in 2016 the Toyota Mirai did best with a little over 1,000 sales, though it was outsold in Q4 by the fully-electric Chevrolet Bolt
  • All the other models lost considerable volume in 2016, from the 24 percent drop in sales experienced by the Honda CR-Z, to the 67 percent drop in sales of the Mercedes-Benz B-class

Note: Clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off

About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he’d moved to the US. In college he promised himself he’s buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman…
You can find all his articles Here.

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