Now that the industry’s September sales numbers are mostly sorted out, the results show surprisingly strong demand for electric vehicles and diesel-powered entries, sales of which were up 40.6 percent and 13.3 percent, according to the HybridCars.com Dashboard (the source for all numbers here). Those with a nose for numbers may recall that the industry as a whole lost ground last month; with two fewer selling days in September 2013 as compared to September 2012, overall industry volume was down about 3.9 percent on a year-over-year basis. And while hybrid sales did drift lower in September, it was by about 3.6 percent, a slightly better rate than for the U.S. auto marketplace as a whole.
Also, when it comes to those EVs, it’s quite possible that the numbers are even better than they first look. That’s because Tesla doesn’t report its sales results the way other automakers do, so it’s hard to get a handle on its monthly performance. Thus, HybridCars.com estimates about 1,100 Tesla Model S sales were recorded in the U.S. in September, with the car scoring about 4,400 sales for the third quarter. However, an analyst at the investment site Seeking Alpha recently crunched some numbers and believes the company sold north of 6,300 units during that time.
We’ll find out for sure when Tesla releases its third-quarter financial results next month, but thatchange would have a big impact on the EV sales leaderboard. After all, even while amping up sales by almost 41 percent last month, the EV segment delivered just 8,127 units in total, with the top 10 finishers as follows:
- Nissan LEAF—1,953 sales, up 98.5 percent
- Chevy Volt—1,766 sales, down 38.1 percent
- Toyota Prius Plug-in—1,152 sales, down 38.1 percent
- Tesla Model S—approx. 1,100 sales, up 816.7 percent
- Ford C-Max Energi—758 sales in its first September on the market
- Ford Fusion Energi—750 sales in its first September
- Toyota RAV4 EV—167 sales, up 173.8 percent
- Smart Electric Drive—137 sales in its first September
- Ford Focus Electric—110 sales, up 86.4 percent
- Chevy Spark EV—78 sales in its first September