Valley Hybrid Sales Increase

June 9, 2008 9:11:37 PM PDT
This Toyota Prius, just off the truck, is the only one on the lot at Bingham Toyota in Clovis. But it won't be here for long with demand for hybrids skyrocketing right along with gas prices. In some cases, dealers in Southern California are getting more than the sticker price. Bingham General Sales Manager Larry Lash said: "We can't get them. We're unable to get them from Toyota. If we could get them from Toyota our sales would probably increase as much as 50-percent." There are also long waiting lists for the Prius and other hybrids like the Camry and Honda Civic that get at least 40 miles to a gallon.

The Ford Escape Hybrid is another top seller. In April, the sale of all hybrids jumped 58-percent compared to a year ago. At Honda North, with high demand but very little supply, this photo is as close as you'll get to the Civic hybrid. Honda North Internet Manager Philip Krumpe said: "Right now I don't have anything on the ground. I have a few that are inbound most of which are sold, and I have a list of Civic hybrids that are scheduled to be built in the next couple months that you can put a deposit on." But hybrids aren't the only hot sellers.

Customers like Jane McKeever are trading in their gas guzzling SUV's for smaller more fuel efficient cars. Mckeever said: "I'm glad to get rid of it, woah it's like a weight." As gas prices accelerated past four dollars a gallon Honda North saw record sales in May, selling 70 Civics in a matter of weeks. McKeever said: "It's costing me so much money it's ridiculous I'm trying to get something so I can go back and forth and not worry about spending so much money."


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