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Published: Tuesday, 4/10/2012

Buyer loyalty to hybrids 35%, auto study finds


LOS ANGELES — Only 35 percent of hybrid vehicle owners chose to purchase a hybrid again when they were vehicle-shopping in 2011, according to auto information company R.L. Polk & Co. And when superloyal buyers of Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius are factored out, the repurchase rate drops below 25 percent.

One reason is that about 17,000 people bought electric cars last year, and other statistics show that many of those were trading in hybrid vehicles.

Hybrids represent just 2.4 percent of the overall U.S. new-vehicle market, down from a high of 2.9 percent in 2008, according to Polk.

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