GM boss says hybrids push up prices

* GM will lose money on hybrids * Push prices up of non-hybrid cars * Toyota: economies of scale bring prices down...

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What Car? Staff
15 February 2010

GM boss says hybrids push up prices

GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz believes that the high costs involved in building hybrid vehicles is pushing up the price of non-hybrid cars.

'GM will lose money on hybrids,' he said. 'We will continue to build them - and the cost will be spread across other cars.'

Lutz also said he thinks hybrid cars will never make up more than 10% of the US market. In the UK, hybrids make up 0.8% of car sales, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

GM will start to sell its first extended-range electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, next year.

What other manufacturers say?
Toyota the biggest maker of hybrids disagrees with GM's stance on such cars.

A spokesman said: 'We will strive to make a million hybrids a year and as we achieve economies of scale, hybrid prices will come down.

'Hybrid vehicles are more complex, so there is a premium over non-hybrid vehicles, but we believe the overall cost of ownership, with the lower running costs, outweigh the initial purchase costs over non-hybrid cars.'