[Oeva-list] Car Buyers Won't Change Habits Until Gas Hits $6.51 A Gallon
Theoldcars at aol.com
Theoldcars at aol.com
Thu Apr 5 21:23:05 PDT 2012
Gas prices would have to get pretty high to really affect people's habits
More than one third of car shoppers say that _gas prices_
(http://autos.aol.com/cheap-gas-prices/) will have to top $6.51 before they would consider
buying a more _fuel efficient vehicle_
(http://autos.aol.com/gallery?photo=10/) , according to a recent survey obtained by _AOL Autos_
The Autotrader.com survey reveals that many Americans have grown numb to
the constant drumbeat of higher gas prices, says Rick Wainschel, AutoTrader
vice president, automotive insights.
"People are coming to grips with higher prices of gas," Wainschel said.
"They are concerned with fuel prices, but they expect gas prices to remain
While most consumers say a _new vehicle's_ (http://autos.aol.com/new-cars/)
fuel efficiency is important, saving money and helping the environment
was not the top reason for _buying a new vehicle_
(http://autos.aol.com/new-cars/) , the survey showed.
Furthermore, the price of fuel would have to rise considerably before many
would seriously consider a vehicle that got better fuel economy.
According to the survey:
-19 percent said they would need gas prices to be $4 and $4.50 for them to
change their buying habits
-7 percent said it would have to be $4.51 and $5
-18 percent said it would have to be between $5 and $5.50
-11 percent said it would have be $5.51 and $6
-10 percent said it would have to be $6 and $6.50
-35 percent said it would have to be over $6.51
"The mindset is shifting," Wainschel said.
Other industry experts said other factors could come into play when it
comes to pain at the pump, such as when consumers see their single tank
filling top $100.
What would gas have to cost for you to consider buying a more fuel
"People are getting accustomed to high gas prices and are adjusting the
way they spend their money," said Eric Lyman, vice president at ALG, which is
part of TrueCar.com. In 2008, when gas prices spiked to over $4 a gallon,
which spurred big sales in _fuel efficient cars_
"That was a shock to the system, and it directly impacted consumer
behavior," Lyman said.
This time, however, the prices have slowly grown higher and higher.
GasBuddy.com predicts that the national average for a gallon of gas could climb
to as high as $4.35 by the end of April. According the Gasbuddy.com's
website, the national average is $3.92 per gallon.
And while consumers may have grown apathetic toward higher gas prices,
some say the rising price of gas is helping carmakers sell even more vehicles.
Aaron Bragman of IHS Automotive used the example of a person who owns a
five year old _Buick Park Avenue_
(http://autos.aol.com/cars-Buick-Park+Avenue-2005/overview/) that gets 26 mpg _trading it in_
(http://autos.aol.com/trade-in-value/) for a 2012 _LaCrosse_
(http://autos.aol.com/cars-Buick-LaCrosse-2012/overview/) with eAssist that gets 36 mpg.
"That's a 40 percent increase and something people will notice immediately
in their pocketbook," he said.
Additionally, Bragman points out that the average age of a vehicle on the
road is older than ever before and those less efficient vehicles are likely
to be swapped out for more efficient models, no matter what type of
vehicle the consumer chooses.
"There are a lot of reasons the _new car_ (http://autos.aol.com/new-cars/)
market is doing so well right now," Bragman said.
Credit has loosened up, _trade in values_
(http://autos.aol.com/trade-in-value/) are high and the _used car prices_ (http://autos.aol.com/used/kbb/)
are extremely high. All of that is likely to push more people into a new
Wainshel is equally as optimistic.
"Things are improving and consumer confidence in the future is one of the
reasons we're seeing such strong sales," he said.
But don't expect the floodgates to open for highly efficient small cars.
That segment will grow, but it won't be only because of high gas prices. Not
until those prices get really high.
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