2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

For the first time in what feels like ages, a small handful of automakers were actually able to post positive sales numbers as they reported July sales this week. On the currently-available green car side of the books, strong demand for the new Prius and the Cash For Clunkers program helped push hybrid sales upwards.

Overall, hybrid sales were up 35 percent in July compared to a year ago (non-hybrid vehicle sales fell 13 percent compared to July 2008, according to numbers crunched by Green Car Advisor). Prius sales jumped to 19,193 units sold in July 2009, the best month for the iconic car since April 2008. The Lexus RX450h, the Ford Escape hybrid, the Nissan Altima hybrid, the Ford Fusion hybrid and the Toyota Camry hybrid all saw double-digit sale increases compared to June 2009. The Honda Insight, as we've heard already, didn't have as big a success story: the new Insight sold just 2,295 units in July (up 10.4 percent for the month) while sales of the Civic hybrid sunk 38.8 percent compared to June.

So, is this upward trend a fluke thanks to the extra $4,500 from CARS or are people ready to get back into the showroom and buy hybrid vehicles again?

[Source: Autoblog, Green Car Advisor]