hybrid

Only 35% of hybrid owners bought another hybrid when returning to the market in 2011.

Only about a third of hybrid owners buy another hybrid, according to a new study.

Industry researcher R.L. Polk & Co. says hybrid nameplates have more than doubled since 2007, but just 35% of hybrid owners bought another hybrid when returning to the market in 2011. If you factor out the high-loyalty Toyota Prius, hybrid loyalty drops to 25%. But a higher percentage of hybrid owners — 60% for Toyota, 52% for Honda — stayed within the brand when shopping for their next car.

Hybrids represent just 2.4% of the new-car market, down from 2.9% in 2008 when gas hit an all-time high of $4.11 per gallon. But Polk finds overall hybrid loyalty changed little as gas prices fluctuated between $2 and $4 from 2008 to 2011.

Interestingly, traditional eco-friendly markets like Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland, Ore., stayed near the national average for hybrid loyalty, while unlikely places such as West Palm Beach, Fla., and Phoenix had the highest loyalty rates.

Photo credit: ABC News Radio

Via USA Today

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