Way back in 1997, the Toyota Prius was released over in Japan, becoming the face of the entire hybrid car movement. Almost immediately, a wave of “going green” fanatics surged to the forefront of society. This was the greatest thing to ever happen to the automobile, they yelled and clamored.
Truck lovers scoffed at the idea. Bigger was always better, they retorted. An itty bitty hybrid couldn’t even hold a fart, right? It was a war of the roads.
Over the next 17 years, though, the hybrid vehicle moved mainstream as gas prices skyrocketed. Truck lovers secretly cursed the car as they doled out big bucks at the gas pump.
Pretty soon, things got even bleaker for truck fanatics when vehicles like the Prius steadily raised up the sale charts and garnered critical acclaim. The Toyota Prius II even won the 2004 Car of the Year Awards from Motor Trend Magazine and the North American Auto Show. Through it all, American truck lovers rolled their eyes as they tried to control their gagging.
But guess what? We may now be hearing the death rattle of the short lived hybrid movement.
Toyota Division General Manager Bill Fay says, “It’s a financial situation. The hybrid price premium is not offset by the gas savings, and consumers are making a rational decision. The more gas prices stay static, the more consumers adjust and move back toward what they are more comfortable with.”
“Although gas prices are not as high as they’ve been in the past, they are not low. In this higher-yet-stable gas environment, truck sales are up, which is evidence that consumers have shown increasing desensitization to higher prices.”
The bottom line: many car companies used scare tactics early on in the hybrid movement, coercing customers into buying a hybrid even though they really didn’t want one. Now, people are saying screw it. I don’t care what the gas prices are; I’m driving a mother f*&%$#% truck.
AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan says, “People have realigned their budgets to four-dollar gas and they are making it work. We’re not seeing so much, ‘rah-rah, Mother Earth.’ The Prius V has not come close to meeting sales expectations and the regular Prius is aging. Consumers are moving on.”
Also, adding to the dissolution of the hybrid vehicle is the full-on, blown out electric vehicle. These vehicles are now completely free of the need of gasoline and are operating at unreal performance standards. Oh, and only adding insult to injury, these new electric vehicles actually look awesome, too.
All of these factors have helped to make the old hybrids look like a bad late night joke.
Over the last few months, the people have spoken, too. And, it’s not in a rah-rah way, either. People are just no longer buying hybrids. They are buying trucks and waiting for the electric vehicle movement to pick up steam.
So you truck lovers out there…throw in your dip, crank up your f-350 and wave bye, bye to those ugly hybrids for good.