Higher gasoline prices and uncertainty about the future all add up to a good showing for the hybrids of almost every type. [xfloat=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/07_Honda_Fit_Sport1.jpg[/xfloat]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Feb. 2, 2008 With the new 08 EPA fuel economy test schedule results available for the entire light duty US vehicle fleet, the Honda Fit, SMART Fortwo and Mini now meet the new CleanMPG minimum mpg criteria of 29 mpg combined. The AH has seen its demise and will no longer be reported. The 2008 Honda Fit – With 90.1 cu. ft. of interior volume, a reasonably efficient 1.5-liter engine, a full complement of standard safety equipment including ABS, EBD, TPMS, front, side and side-curtain airbags and standard features including A/C, PW, PL and PM, who wouldn’t consider one for their very own. With an MSRP under $14,000, the 2008 Honda Fit is a feature laydened and fuel efficient sub-compact that others have apparently discovered given its astounding 120% sales increase over the year ago sales period! The fuel efficient Hybrids and non-hybrids are continuing to increase overall market share with the Big 6 Hybrids showing an overall 26.4% increase thanks mostly to the Prius-II and TCH. The Big 4 fuel efficient non-hybrids had an overall sales increase of 3.7% although Corolla sales have fallen off a cliff. With gasoline prices at $3.00 and climbing in many areas of the country, expect more of the same through the rest of 2008. The Toyota Prius posted January sales of 11,379, an increase of 37.1% over January of 2007. Will we see 200,000 total sales this year The Toyota Camry Hybrid achieved sales of 3,750 units, up 33.9% vs. the January 2007 sales period. The FEH/MMH twin’s sales of 1,474 vehicles was up 19.1% vs. the same period a year ago. The HiHy sold 2,143 units, up 18.4% for the January 2008 vs. January 2007 comparison period. The HiHy’s sister, the Lexus RX 400h hybrid reported sales of 1,211 units for the month, down 2.7% vs. the year ago sales period. The Honda Civic Hybrid saw total sales of 1,745 sold, down 2.1% compared to the January 2007 sales period. For the fuel efficient non-hybrid automobiles, the Corolla lost its sales lead with 20,736 units sold for the month of January, a decrease of 18.7% vs. the year-ago period. For the first time in many years, the new sales leader in the compact segment is the Honda Civic. Total sales of 20,993 show an increase of 14.2% over the same January sales period a year ago. This could be a very interesting year if Civic sales can maintain the razor thin sales edge over the just released 2009 Corolla. The Toyota Yaris subcompact posted January sales of 7,666 units, a pleasant increase of 30.6% vs. the same period a year ago. MINI Cooper sales are being reported in our monthly update for the first time. For January, Mini sales were up 20% to 2,460 cars compared to 2,050 cars sold during the same period a year ago. The non-hybrid standout not in terms of total sales but the increase over the year ago sales period for January was the Honda Fit. Total January sales of 4,480 vehicles show a phenomenal increase of 120.0% over January of 2007. January 2008 Hybrid sales summary Column1Column2Column3Column4Column5Column6Column7Month to DateYear to Date Make and ModelJan. 2008Jan. 2007DSR* % ChangeJan. 2008Jan. 2007DSR* % ChangeToyota Prius11,3798,299+37.1%11,3798,299+37.1% Toyota Camry Hybrid3,7502,801+33.9%3,7502,801+33.9% Toyota Highlander Hybrid2,1431,810+18.4%2,1431,810+18.4% Honda Civic Hybrid1,7451,783-2.1%1,7451,783-2.1% Ford Escape Hybrid/Mercury Mariner Hybrid1,4741,238+19.1%1,4741,238+19.1% Lexus RX400h1,2111,245-2.7%1,2111,245-2.7% January 2008 fuel efficient Non-hybrid sales summary Column1Column2Column3Column4Column5Column6Column7Month to DateYear to Date Make and ModelJan. 2008Jan. 2007DSR* % ChangeJan. 2008Jan. 2007DSR* % ChangeHonda Civic20,99318,378+14.2%20,99318,378+14.2% Toyota Corolla20,73625,519-18.7%20,73625,519-18.7% Toyota Yaris7,6665,870+30.6%7,6665,870+30.6% Honda Fit4,4802,036+120.04,4802,036+120.0% Mini Cooper2,4602,050+20%2,4602,050+20% Smart FortwoTBDTBDTBDTBDTBDTBD DSR*: Daily Selling Rate - There were 25 selling days for the Jan. 2008 and 2007 sales months. In Canada, Toyota Hybrid and fuel efficient non-hybrid automobile sales were highlighted by the Yaris selling 1,783 units, up 23.9% versus the same month in 2007. The Prius saw an increase of 175% year-over-year with 302 units sold. Amazingly, the Toyota Camry Hybrid outsold the Prius at 328 vs. 302 units and was up 13.9% compared to the January 2007 sales period. The HiHy saw 115 models sold, up 64% compared to January 2007. All four of the Canadian Toyota models above set new all time January sales records. For the rest of the industry, truck sales were down 6.1%, while car sales were off 2.3%. Of note, the recently redesigned Accord is having trouble gaining sales traction with a reported sales decline of 6.8% from the year ago period. Purchasing an 08 Accord for invoice is as easy as dialing the phone which is highly unusual for Honda’s biggest seller in the first year of an all-new redesign?