Contrarian Investment: Research Hybrids Now

Taking advantage of low demand for hybrid vehicles

Gain Hybrid InsightWith the American auto industry’s future shaky at best, an official recession in effect since December 2007 and gas prices at five-year lows, few Americans are considering buying new cars, let alone more expensive hybrid cars. Often, buyers pay a premium for hybrid technology and when gas prices are as high as they were this past summer, that cost could be recaptured quickly. Now that gas prices are hovering at a national average around $1.70, that premium is becoming harder to justify.

This Wall Street Journal blog asks the question: should the Big Three turn their focus and resources toward a greener future or should they rely on old-standbys, such as large pick up trucks? It’s an interesting question and there is certainly no easy answer. If I remember correctly, the best selling vehicle in America this year was the Ford F-150, with the Silverado not far behind. Maybe the “best of both world’s” 2009 Chevy Silverado hybrid will make some waves next year.

No matter what your opinion, there is no denying that the demand for hybrids has plummeted during the past few months. And when the demand is low, you can bet that prices are sure to drop. While now might not be the best time for our readers to run out and purchase a hybrid car, it could be the perfect time to start doing your research.

Everyone is talking about the American car manufacturers lately, so many may have forgotten that both Toyota and Honda are updating their hybrid offerings for the next model year. With a revamped Toyota Prius coming on the market and the return of the Honda Insight (updated, of course), this winter is an excellent time to study up on what kind of hybrid car you will want when the time is right.

After much speculation, the 2010 Toyota Prius will debut at the North American Auto Show in Detroit next month. Rumors of exciting new features and an even more efficient hybrid power train leave hybrid fans excited to see what Toyota has come up with next.

Also a year from now, Honda Motors will debut the 2010 Honda Insight, with quite a few updates and changes to the original version to be more competitive with the Prius, the car that quickly overtook Honda’s “original” hybrid in the U.S.

So, if you were ready to buy a hybrid a few months ago (when fill ups were nearing triple digits) and are now having second thoughts – do your research. Waiting for these two new models or getting a great deal on less expensive used hybrids today, that choice is yours.

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