Two-Thirds Of Hybrid Buyers Don't Buy Another OneS

Most hybrid buyers — almost two-thirds — don't end up buying another hybrid, according to a recent study R.L. Polk. Yet more evidence that hybrids are more about marketing hype than hyper-miling for the masses.

The study says that the loyalty rate for hybrids since 2008 — people who went on to purchase a new car after purchasing a hybrid who have gone on to buy another hybrid — has ranged between 26.4% in the second quarter of 2010 and 41.8% in the second quarter of 2009. The rate for the fourth quarter of 2011 was 40.1% while the total for 2011 was 35.0%.

And if you pull out owners of the Toyota Prius the repurchase rate plummets even further — to 22%.

While the Polk study does say that hybrids not only attract new buyers to a brand, it also may help to retain those customers, according to Polk personnel interviewed by Automotive News.

While that may be true, it doesn't appear that they want a hybrid. Which may be why the dual-drivetrain vehicles still account for less than 3% of all U.S. auto sales last year — 2.4% last year, down from a peak of 2.9% in 2008.

So, it would seem like hybrids are still more about mass marketing that mass miles per gallon.