The WardsAuto Fuel Economy Index compares the cost of gasoline opposite the average fuel-economy (miles per gallon—mpg) of new vehicles sold each month. The new vehicle fuel economy peaked in March at 24.1mpg. It fell to 23.6 mpg in June, the last data point available. This drop corresponds to the drop in gasoline prices over the past three months. The chart shown below shows a strong correlation of fuel price and t the fuel economy the car buyers are settling for.
Wards cautions to not assume that the car buyer’s are fickle but it is hard not to draw that conclusion. Wards cites fleet purchases of Toyota vehicles in March as Toyota was trying to catch up on the losses they encountered in 2011 when the tsunami shutdown a lot of Japanese industry.
Wards notes that the vehicles fuel economy by region looked this way in June: Overall, Asian auto makers combined for a 26 mpg (9.0 L/100 km) rating, followed by the European brands’ 22.8 mpg (10.3 L/100 km) and the Detroit Three’s 21.2 mpg (11.1 L/100 km).
The Detroit Big Three do move a lot of pickup trucks so that may explain the differences in fuel economy.
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