(BOTTOMLINE.MSNBC.MSN) — Hybrid sales have been surging as fuel prices take their latest run towards record levels. But the news might not be nearly as good as it would seem if a new study by R.L. Polk is any indication.
Despite previous sales surges tied to past petroleum price hikes the U.S. hybrid vehicle market hasn’t been able to maintain its momentum and the Polk study apparently explains why. After living with the high-mileage technology, nearly two of three hybrid owners wind up returning to a more conventional vehicle when it’s time to trade in.
“Having a hybrid in the product lineup can certainly give a brand a competitive edge when it comes to attracting new customers,” noted Brad Smith, director of Polk’s Loyalty Management Practice. “The repurchase rates of hybrid vehicles are an indication that consumers are continuing to seek alternative solutions to high fuel prices.”