Zero percent on Ford Escape Hybrid
Don’t expect hybrid sales to slow down then, however, and in fact it looks as though sales will keep increasing. Compared to last year, hybrid sales are up 44 percent, but did dip 5.7 percent in January. Surprisingly, the January slow down was largely due to a 7.5 percent decline in Prius sales, which has an astonishing 50 percent of the US hybrid market. All in all, hybrids account for 1.26 percent of the US light-duty vehicle market.
With a Hemi under the hood, DaimlerChrysler doesn’t really need to worry about horsepower. And, apparently, they’re feeling pretty good about raising prices, too, hiking stickers by $80 to $100 across all Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands. The move will enable Chrysler to continue offering incentives, while GM is cutting sticker prices and rebates. In February, Chrysler discounted its cars and trucks by an average of $3,881.
SUV crash tests
Safety scores like that may make SUVs popular again, and in fact that may already be happening, as GM is putting production of its new Chevrolet Tahoe on overdrive, moving up delivery by several weeks. That includes other SUVs built on the same platform, such as the GMC Yukon. According to a GM spokesperson, strong sales have forced the automakers to move production up two to four weeks ahead of schedule.
While GM seems to be on a winning streak with the Tahoe, Ford just can’t catch a break…even with much improved crash test scores for the Explorer and the Explorer Sport Trac. Last week, 19 conservative groups reinstated a boycott of Ford Motor Co. cars and trucks because the automaker backed away from a pledge to stop advertising in publications aimed at gays and lesbians. Led by the Mississippi-based American Family Association, the boycott stems from the groups' belief that Ford has not "remained neutral in the cultural battles."
Photos courtesy of the automakers