AACHEN, Germany — Audi says the success of hybrid vehicles hinges on faster US sales growth, even though high prices at the pump mean they’re enjoying rising demand. Audi Q7 hybrid project manager Marius Lehna told automotive engineers attending the Aachen Colloquium industry congress: ‘The future market development has only limited predictability so any decision on hybrid models is tainted with uncertainties.’ He said about 70 percent of the approximately 283 000 hybrid vehicles sold annually go to buyers in the United States, compared with 21 percent in Japan and only eight percent in western Europe ‘The future market development has only limited predictability’ . But the hybrid share of the US market – by far the world’s largest auto with 16 to 17-million annual sales – remains negligible at 1.2-percent of new registerations. He warned: ‘If the market in the USA does not grow significantly faster than it has until now, one should assume that the volumes per model will remain low. ‘This would mean that it could become increasingly difficult to manufacture and sell hybrids in commercially sensible volumes.’ One of the core problems facing hybrids is the complexity of integrating two […]

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