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Will hybrid sales follow gas prices down?

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The price of oil has fallen. So has the price at the pump. Does that mean interest in fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles is also falling? Janet Babin has the answer.


JANET BABIN: Cars like the Toyota Prius became popular while gas prices were rising. So it might seem logical to conclude that demand for hybrid cars would fall if gas prices drop.

But Anthony Pratt with JD Power Automotive Forecasting says that logic is flawed.

He says product availability, more than anything else, will drive hybrid growth over the next five years.

ANTHONY PRATT: "Vehicle manufacturers have committed to producing these hybrid electric vehicles, so regardless of short term swings in gasoline prices, they'll produce these hybrid electric vehicles."

Last year hybrid sales represented just over 1 percent of the vehicle market. This year that number will likely be up to about 1.6 percent.

In New York, I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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