According to a recent Polk study, two-thirds of hybrid buyers in America don’t buy another one. The research also shows that save the ever-popular Toyota Prius, the repurchase rate among hybrid drivers has dropped by almost 22 percent. This is kinda weird, because with the fuel prices constantly going up, you’d imagine hybrids popularity should have grown bigger. But that’s just not the case.
Even in Toyota’s case, Polk study shows that in 2011, 60 percent of Toyota hybrid owners returned to the market to purchase another Toyota, and 41 percent of them chose a different hybrid. In the case of Honda hybrids, says Polk, while 52 percent stayed with the brand, only 20 percent went out and bought another hybrid.
So while hybrids attract new customers to the brand, they don’t seem to be able to make them stay.
The problem must be in the real-world usability of the hybrid vehicles. When you read the specs of the car from the brochure, it sounds jolly exciting. 60 mpg, EV mode, low CO2… these are the things they promise you. And indeed most of them deliver roughly what they claim. But you do have to make sacrifices.
First of all, if you are into driving, with a hybrid you are always on an Eco-minded drive because if you drive flat-out you’ll be getting much less mpg out of it, so what ‘s the point of driving a hybrid in the first place. The other problem is, most of the time you do have to drive flat-out because almost all hybrids are so damn slow and dimwitted, you’d be late for everything if you try to drive carefully!
So no surprise then Hybrid buyers are not loyal. They experience it, and they get disappointed, and they give up on saving the planet.
Need more facts and figures? Here’s Polk’s report.