Sunday, April 20, 2008

Buyers Look for More Fuel Efficient Cars

The steep climb in gas prices is causing more new car buyers to look at fuel efficient cars including hybrids.

Average gas prices in the United States jumped from $2.97 to $3.27 in March 2008, and probably will go higher for the peak summer driving months. Gas prices always go up between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

So, it should be no surprise that the attitudes of new car shoppers are shifting.

And, it should be no surprise that sales of small, fuel efficient cars such as the Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Chevrolet Cobalt and Smart ForTwo (pictured) are up, up, up, at a time when sales of gas guzzlers are down, down down.

According to a recent Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research study, only 25 percent of new car buyers still have no intentions in changing their behaviors. According to my math, that means 75 percent of us are looking hard at the sticker shock at the gas pump.

Kelley Blue Book found that it is cost per gallon, rather than the environmental cost of vehicles that are not fuel efficient, which is driving buyers to consider smaller cars, hybrids and other fuel efficient alternative technologies.

That's too bad. Saving the green environment should rank right up there with saving the green dollars in your wallet.

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