Will GM Become the Hybrid King?

Will GM Become the Hybrid King?
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Some observers think so. In fact, some industry analysts say that GM will be selling as many as 300,000 hybrids a year in the near future, according to CNN.

But that’s not the story right now. Right now, though GM has more hybrid models than any manufacturer other than Toyota, the total of General Motors hybrid sales during the first three months of 2008 was . . .

843.

That’s a remarkable contrast to the hype GM has given its hybrid models, concentrated in the manufacturer’s SUV and light truck lines, in the last year or so. Of the 843, a figure compiled by industry journal Automotive News, 655 were full-size SUVs.

Nonetheless, some industry analysts believe that GM will produce as many as 50,000 hybrids this year.

(more after the jump)

Sources within GM says the sales figures to date are misleading, for two reasons. First, the ramp-up to production of the large hybrids has only just concluded. So, these models have only trickled into dealer showrooms to this point. But, that trickle is set to become a deluge.

Second, sales of smaller GM hybrids were hampered by battery longevity problems, and models previously produced had to be recalled to replace those batteries. This stalled, as well, introduction and sales of the smaller GM hybrids. That problem’s been solved, says GM. So, there should be a much larger flow of small GM hybrids, such as the Saturn Vue Green Line.

But some are skeptical, including the editor at Edmunds.com: "They’re getting talking points out there so they have something to say when they get asked tough questions. They’d better get something out there because there already people who will see through this."

What do you think?
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