by Nino Marchetti:  The growth of hybrids as a market segment for consumers and their driving choices continues to be coming up roses it seems like,  according to recent information from worldwide leader Toyota and runner up Ford.  Both are reporting encouraging sales and production data compiled on their offerings through the end of last month.

Toyota, for its part, said domestic US sales of its hybrids increased 16.7 percent and that the Prius family, which consists of the regular Prius, Prius c, Prius v and Prius Plug-in Hybrid, recorded the best ever month in a year with numbers showing a near 10 percent bump. For May of 2013, the combined models sold 23,522 units domestically, up from 21,477 for the same period last year. To date for this year, nearly 100,000 of the hybrids have sold, which is slightly down from 2012.

Ford hybrids

Overall, Toyota reported May 2013 sales results of 207,952 units, an increase of 2.5 percent over May 2012.

Ford, meanwhile, looks as if it is continuing to nip away at Toyota’s hybrid market share. The Detroit automaker’s more diverse line up, which includes the Ford C-MAX Hybrid, Ford C-MAX Energi, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Fusion Energi, as well as the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, is doing quite well for itself, helping the company now be second only to the Prius maker in the number of hybrid vehicles sold in the United States.

Beating its previous full-year hybrid sales record of 35,496 vehicles in 2010 with projected sales of 37,000 through May –  an increase of more than 375 percent over the same period last year – Ford noted its percentage of this vehicle type on the roads has gone from from 3 percent last year to an all-time-high 15.5 percent through April 2013.

“We’re working tirelessly to get as many hybrids to the market as we can right now to meet this unprecedented customer demand for our electrified vehicles,” said Erich Merkle, Ford U.S. sales analyst, in a statement. “The success we are experiencing with hybrids is energizing the whole company.”