Do Consumers Really Care About Fuel-Efficiency?

images-21.jpgIt’s obvious that car manufacturers have dragged their feet on developing fuel-efficient vehicles.  But it isn’t conspiracy theories that have slowed them down.  Americans have talked about fuel-efficiency for years, but when it came time to purchase an automobile, people didn’t really care about mpg.  They bought the vehicle that they really wanted, complete with an auto warranty and a roadside assistance program to protect them.

Recently, J.D. Power and Associates did a study with 100,000 car shoppers asking drivers to rank what their buying priorities are.  Any idea where fuel economy ended up on the list?  It was eighth place.  Reliability came in 1st, and even image and performance were cited as being more important than fuel economy.  This survey was at a time when gas prices are nearing $4 per gallon, and the war in Iraq is a daily reminder of how much we need energy independence.

Money is what talks, and car manufacturers listen.  If it were between a fuel-efficient hatchback and the giant SUV with a V8 and advanced technology, we know which way the money will go.  After all, auto manufacturers are capitalists and are happy to oblige.  Especially when you consider that they earn at least $5,000 in profit for a luxury sedan or SUV, and the small car results in a loss.

Posted on Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 at 7:12 pm In Roadside Assistance Program  

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