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Monday, March 24, 2008
Mileage at top of car buying list

Survey shows consumers also want tougher regulations on fuel economy.

Scott Burgess / The Detroit News

With the price of a fill-up hovering at record highs, gas mileage has become the number one consideration for American consumers in choosing a new vehicle, even topping which automaker produces the car or truck.
That finding is the result of a AAA survey, which studied consumers' attitudes toward fuel prices. The survey, released this week, also suggests that car shoppers continue to want tougher government regulations on fuel efficiency.
Sixty-one percent of those interviewed said lawmakers should require better fuel efficiency for new cars, trucks and SUVs; 56 percent said the government should increase funding for alternative fuel research.




http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080324/AUTO01/803240337



Up here, We pay close to 5 $ gallon and fuel economy became more important to buyers when gas got higher than 0,80 $. Is this just a trend or fuel economy will remain a priority in the US too ?
 

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Wonder why most of those same folks don't choose more fuel efficient vehicles verses trucks/SUV's........:rolleyes:
 

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Wonder why most of those same folks don't choose more fuel efficient vehicles verses trucks/SUV's........:rolleyes:

Why do people want more power in just about any vehicle they buy? They may buy an SUV (trailblazer, Rav4, Vue) or a mid sized Sedan (Malibu, Accord, G6) but instead of saying they want a "SS" or a "GXP" version, or wanting a bigger engine...why don't they just buy a sports car?

The reason people DON'T just buy a more fuel efficient vehicle than a truck/SUV is that they may need a truck or SUV..or just want something that is safer and/or has more room. So they want that vehicle for those reasons...but of any improvement that could be made...they want better fuel economy.

That is the case with me right now. We just bought a Saturn Vue...but the number one thing I would like is if it had better fuel economy. So why didn't I buy a sub-compact with much better fuel economy? 1. I need a little more space for work. I carry around some small tools and a lot of totes of reports and paperwork, and sometimes other items for work. 2. We also use it as a family vehicle...my finacee lived in NY city and didn't drive there much at all, now she is just getting used to driving. She is much more comfortable in something that 'isn't too high, isn't too low' to the ground, giving her a more 'comfortable' view of the road. She also hurt her back a little while back, and while it isn't a major problem now, she finds it easier to get in and out of a crossover/suv type vehicle than a lower to the ground car. 3. Finally, once again with her not having driven much, I feel MUCH better with her driving around in a 4,000lb 5 star safety rated vehicle than I would with her in a sub 3,000 lb compact. I just would like that 4,000lb vehicle to get better mileage. I'm not demanding it, just saying that is what I would like....just the same as many other buyers (and a lot of people who post on this board) say that just about any car that comes out needs more power. A while back there was even a thread about the Aveo needing an "SS" or "sport" version with more power! THAT is why a lot of people just don't get different cars.
 

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Why do people want more power in just about any vehicle they buy? They may buy an SUV (trailblazer, Rav4, Vue) or a mid sized Sedan (Malibu, Accord, G6) but instead of saying they want a "SS" or a "GXP" version, or wanting a bigger engine...why don't they just buy a sports car?

The reason people DON'T just buy a more fuel efficient vehicle than a truck/SUV is that they may need a truck or SUV..or just want something that is safer and/or has more room. So they want that vehicle for those reasons...but of any improvement that could be made...they want better fuel economy.

That is the case with me right now. We just bought a Saturn Vue...but the number one thing I would like is if it had better fuel economy. So why didn't I buy a sub-compact with much better fuel economy? 1. I need a little more space for work. I carry around some small tools and a lot of totes of reports and paperwork, and sometimes other items for work. 2. We also use it as a family vehicle...my finacee lived in NY city and didn't drive there much at all, now she is just getting used to driving. She is much more comfortable in something that 'isn't too high, isn't too low' to the ground, giving her a more 'comfortable' view of the road. She also hurt her back a little while back, and while it isn't a major problem now, she finds it easier to get in and out of a crossover/suv type vehicle than a lower to the ground car. 3. Finally, once again with her not having driven much, I feel MUCH better with her driving around in a 4,000lb 5 star safety rated vehicle than I would with her in a sub 3,000 lb compact. I just would like that 4,000lb vehicle to get better mileage. I'm not demanding it, just saying that is what I would like....just the same as many other buyers (and a lot of people who post on this board) say that just about any car that comes out needs more power. A while back there was even a thread about the Aveo needing an "SS" or "sport" version with more power! THAT is why a lot of people just don't get different cars.
You make very valid points. It's unfortunate that you stand almost alone with your opinion of wanting (not demanding) higher gas mileage. Many people on that survey (61%) stated that they wanted the Government to impose stricter fuel efficiency standards; basically demanding better fuel efficiency. All the while they are thinking their next car purchase will cost right in line with inflation (essentially, the same). So now that gas prices are catching up to our inflation rates, the cost of new cars will soar, and consequently, used car prices will go up also. Then everything else will follow. So in the great aspects of inflation and economy it will end up being o.k then huh?

But, what about the fuel independence thing? Well, everyone would assume all is fixed and the world will be righted again right? Wrong! We will just drive more and buy more gas and prices will rocket up even higher and faster (history repeats its self), and well, that doesn't help the economy then huh?

What will truly help is purely alternative fuels like E100 (not E85), Bio Diesel, all electric with batteries, Hydrogen, and more nuclear power plants to charge these cars up with. Not just one of the reasons, but ALL of them combined. Hydrogen and electric car batteries can be charged at home, so, I see these as being the most popular. But, E100 and Bio Diesel will make it to the market first (with the help of E/B 10-85, of course) and can replace fossil fuels much faster than the latter. Nuclear power plants should have never been fazed out; if anything the use of them should have been multiplied. But, that is just my lonely own opinion.
 

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If people are worried about spending money on gas, why are they buying new cars?

Let's say you "upgrade" from a 20mpg clunker to a 30mpg $20k compact:
That extra 10mpg saves you 200gal/yr @ 12k mi/yr or roughly $640/yr @ $3.20/gal. That means your break-even point is 31 years in the future.

The smart money is on keeping your 20mpg clunker and waiting for a Volt or buying a cheap used 30mpg compact.
 

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If people are worried about spending money on gas, why are they buying new cars?

Let's say you "upgrade" from a 20mpg clunker to a 30mpg $20k compact:
That extra 10mpg saves you 200gal/yr @ 12k mi/yr or roughly $640/yr @ $3.20/gal. That means your break-even point is 31 years in the future.

The smart money is on keeping your 20mpg clunker and waiting for a Volt or buying a cheap used 30mpg compact.
Except that routine maintenance and repairs may cost you more than the depreciation and financing you pay for a new compact. After about 5 years and 50,000 miles...maintenance/repair costs rise rapidly compared to a new car. Also,for people worried about money, sometimes it is better that they get a new car (providing it is a $20,000 or so compact) than keep the old clunker, because they would rather pay a 'certain' steady fee (payment) than to take the chance of a $1000+ (or numerous ones) payments for non warranty repairs. In that case, your break even point can be within a couple years...or much, much sooner if a major repair is needed (and having older cars myself and having freinds that still have them, those items happen a lot to 'clunkers').

Finally, the Volt looks like it may not be a good idea either for your scenario...the last I read, it now looks like it may be in the $40,000 range. project where your break even costs would be with a car with that price tag.
 

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If people are worried about spending money on gas, why are they buying new cars?

Let's say you "upgrade" from a 20mpg clunker to a 30mpg $20k compact:
That extra 10mpg saves you 200gal/yr @ 12k mi/yr or roughly $640/yr @ $3.20/gal. That means your break-even point is 31 years in the future.

The smart money is on keeping your 20mpg clunker and waiting for a Volt or buying a cheap used 30mpg compact.
Because humans are stupid? ;) No, seriously. I don't get the whole new car every year crap. What's the point? Who are they trying to impress? If people were worried about the cost of gas, you'd think they'd want to pay off their current car faster so as to free up that $300-$450 per month for fuel costs...but no, they just go trade it in, carry over some of their previous costs and then raise their payment on that new 30mpg compact to $400 or more...then they bitch about the cost of gas again. Warren Buffet lives here in Omaha, richest man in the Country (or something like that), guess what he drives? A Chevy Impala. Stupid? Nay, smart. He realizes there are more important things to spend his money on, and he doesn't need to impress anyone with his 2009 Blingmobile Extraflashy.
 

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With the price of a fill-up hovering at record highs, gas mileage has become the number one consideration for American consumers in choosing a new vehicle, even topping which automaker produces the car or truck.
The closing part of that statement should have read that automakers will have to address this concern and will do so all without a single drop of ink wasted on legislation by those in the know (ahem) in Washington.

...That finding is the result of a AAA survey, which studied consumers' attitudes toward fuel prices. The survey, released this week, also suggests that car shoppers continue to want tougher government regulations on fuel efficiency.
Oops, I gave Americans too much credit. And they missed the point, too. Because they cannot monitor their own behavior, they're seeking government to monitor it for them. Truly pathetic, actually.

As mjd1001 rightly points out, there are actually people who require large vehicles. I'm trying to picture the farmers next to whom I live trying to shuttle their fodder and many other things in trailers towed by a Prius. I'm not quite seeing how that's going to pan out. Not well, I imagine.
 

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If people are worried about spending money on gas, why are they buying new cars?

Let's say you "upgrade" from a 20mpg clunker to a 30mpg $20k compact:
That extra 10mpg saves you 200gal/yr @ 12k mi/yr or roughly $640/yr @ $3.20/gal. That means your break-even point is 31 years in the future.

The smart money is on keeping your 20mpg clunker and waiting for a Volt or buying a cheap used 30mpg compact.

Its a valid point, except people are going to buy a new car regardless of the money they may save in gas mileage. I've always been frustrate that magazines also are quick to point out how long it take for a Hybrid to pay for itself, when we all spend a lot of money on options that just cost us money. Why is OK to spend 1,000 on a sunroof with no financial benefit and not OK to spend $ 3,000 on a hybrid system that will pay for itself over time, and create less pollution while helping to contributing less to our dependence of foreign oil?

The sad part is fuel efficiency has been a real consideration since the 70's (in varying degrees) and the domestic manufactures still seem surprised by this.
The real problem is GM, Ford and Chrysler have always lacked the desire to put the same effort into small vehicles and the more profitable ones.
 

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Wonder why most of those same folks don't choose more fuel efficient vehicles verses trucks/SUV's........:rolleyes:
This baffles me. Why would they want to give up their choice in vehicles?

I wouldn't mind more fuel efficiency in my vehicles...but not with the trade-off of more power.
 

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Also,for people worried about money, sometimes it is better that they get a new car (providing it is a $20,000 or so compact) than keep the old clunker, because they would rather pay a 'certain' steady fee (payment) than to take the chance of a $1000+ (or numerous ones) payments for non warranty repairs.
Yes. Also, people hate paying for gas. I bought my Caprice on the cheap and it has cost me virtually nothing in repairs. But everytime I fill the 23 gallon tank (at 13mpg, that's a fairly frequent occurrence ) I think I should buy a smaller car. And I feel that way knowing I'll have to spend thousands to get the smaller car. But at least I wouldn't feel like I'm wasting money everytime I drive it, and I won't dread the gas station.

As a side note, my brother rented a Prius a few weeks ago and he drove it from the Upper West Side, down to Chinatown, and then he drove about an hour up to Northern NJ. He drove it around there for a little while and then came back into Manhattan. His gas bill was $7. The gas station attendant looked confused when the pump stopped so soon. He laughed out loud.
 

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off topic but the reason car companies made SUV's was because they were more profitable and popular with the consumer. Don't blame the car companies there a business and produced what the consumer wanted at that time.
 

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Now imagine if gm had 40mpg cobalt. how much more it would sell then tahoe. Thank you RIck and lutz for another bad decision.
 

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off topic but the reason car companies made SUV's was because they were more profitable and popular with the consumer. Don't blame the car companies there a business and produced what the consumer wanted at that time.
More profitable. Yes but not in a long run. Look where gm ford and chyrsler are now. Look where toyota, honda and nissan are with their fuel efficient cars. They never focused on suvs. Detroit 3 were stupid and they just looked at profits for few years. While honda, toyota and nissan planed for high gas priceses and that way they insured their profits for the future. so i do blame detroit 3.
 

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Its a valid point, except people are going to buy a new car regardless of the money they may save in gas mileage. I've always been frustrate that magazines also are quick to point out how long it take for a Hybrid to pay for itself, when we all spend a lot of money on options that just cost us money. Why is OK to spend 1,000 on a sunroof with no financial benefit and not OK to spend $ 3,000 on a hybrid system that will pay for itself over time, and create less pollution while helping to contributing less to our dependence of foreign oil?

The sad part is fuel efficiency has been a real consideration since the 70's (in varying degrees) and the domestic manufactures still seem surprised by this.
The real problem is GM, Ford and Chrysler have always lacked the desire to put the same effort into small vehicles and the more profitable ones.
The chicago Tribune had a column recently in the Trannie Section about how hard it is to get a USED 4 cylinder car with automatic in the midwest.
 

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We just had the local autoshow a week back and I sat in countless cars from pretty much every manufacturer avail in Canada. The common denominator of all the cars? Tiny. They look nice and roomy from outside but you hop in and you have 1/2" to 1" between the tops of your legs and the steering wheel(tilted all the way up). The bottom of the dash rubs your knees unless you slide the seat so far back you can no longer reach the steering wheel, and you rub elbows with the person beside you.

You're being forced to make a choice; an uncomfortable, small gas miser or a large, more than enough room, gas guzzling behemoth.

There really isn't a lot of choice between the two, at least not in the range that's affordable to the average Joe. There's a reason people keep picking SUV/PU's once you get used to the room it's hard to downsize.
 

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If consumers would allow less horsepower in cars then fuel efficientcy would increase. Currently mileage in cars is increasing slightly but could increase much more if less horspower was used.
 

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This baffles me. Why would they want to give up their choice in vehicles?

I wouldn't mind more fuel efficiency in my vehicles...but not with the trade-off of more power.
You can have power and efficiency. Its called turbo and light weight materials, Diesel. Just automakers were lazy and decided to sell us very old technology. How about if you replace 2.4l engine in malibu with 1.6L turbo DI. It will have same power as 2.4 maybe even more and you will probably get about 37 mpg. That is what consumers are asking for and auto makers are not providing them. That is why Govr. steped in with their rules. Put 1.6l turbo with DI and BAS + system with DSG gear box and reduce weight by 10% in malibu and i promise you malibu will get 40mpg plus. and if you mass produce all of these engines and bas+ price will drop so you will not end up paying alot more for malibu. IT can be done, just automakers refused to do it. They would rather give us some old technology then spend some money to update it.
 

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More profitable. Yes but not in a long run. Look where gm ford and chyrsler are now. Look where toyota, honda and nissan are with their fuel efficient cars. They never focused on suvs. Detroit 3 were stupid and they just looked at profits for few years. While honda, toyota and nissan planed for high gas priceses and that way they insured their profits for the future. so i do blame detroit 3.
Yes Honda had a very good long term outlook. I'm sure with in the next year truck factories will slow down or be consolidated together.
 

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Yes Honda had a very good long term outlook. I'm sure with in the next year truck factories will slow down or be consolidated together.
How many trucks and suvs does honda sell?
How many Truks and suvs does GM sell?

what % of total sales are trucks and suvs at honda and GM?

Tell me who thinks 20 years in advance and who thinks only 5 years in advance? i will answer this one. Its company that always turns out profit year after year.

By the way do not try to play currency game. Honda makes 80% of its cars in America with 80% of parts from America and that includes small cars too.
 
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