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Little Loyalty Exists Among Hybrid Car Owners, Research Finds

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hybrid vehicle owners really love their cars -- or do they?

Consumer Reports says that according to auto industry data provider and research company R.L. Polk, just over one in three hybrid owners -- 35 percent -- decide to buy another hybrid when it comes time to purchase a new vehicle.  The numbers are based on those owning hybrids from 2008 through 2001. 

Meanwhile, if Toyota Prius owners are taken out of the equation, the rate of hybrid drivers returning to an automobile with at least two distinct power sources drops to 25 percent.

While this doesn’t sound too promising for proponents of hybrid cars, those who stick with them are very loyal to the brand they drive.

For instance, six in 10 people who own hybrids made by Toyota will purchase another Toyota while just over half of Honda hybrid owners will buy a Honda the next time around.

Past Consumer Reports surveys have shown that drivers’ ownership habits are increasingly predicated by the cost of gasoline.  Last November, 83 percent said they’d be willing to pay more for a car with better fuel efficiency and from that group, 56 percent said they’d consider a hybrid, although what they say to poll takers often differs from what actually happens when they go car shopping.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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