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New Car Prices Hit All-Time Record

Torrid pace not likely to slow much anytime soon.

by on Apr.10, 2012

Strong demand for the Elantra has helped drive up the price of the typical Hyundai product this year.

Remember “sticker shock”?  After several years of heavily discounting their products in a desperate bid to keep assembly lines rolling, automakers are finding themselves back in the driver’s seat once again – pushing prices to record levels.

And it’s “not a blip,” warns one senior analyst, who expects the trend to continue for several years. The good news for shoppers is that trade-ins are also yielding better prices – and while that new car, truck or crossover may command more money than ever before it’s also likely to include significantly more features and markedly better fuel economy than the vehicle it replaces.

The average new vehicle sold in the U.S. in March cost $30,748, according to data tracking service TrueCar.com.  That was up from $28,771 a year earlier and marks an all-time record.

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“It’s not a blip. It’s a trend we’ve been seeing for months,” said Jesse Toprak, TrueCar’s chief automotive analyst.  That’s despite the fact, he says, that “This might seem counter-intuitive at a time you might expect to see people buying cheaper cars because fuel costs are rising so fast.”

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Is $4.50 a Gallon the New Gas Price “Wall”?

Nearly 9 in 10 would buy more fuel efficient car “immediately.”

by on Feb.20, 2012

A new study finds most buyers ready to switch to hybrids if fuel prices hit $4.50 - maybe.

Industry observers keep wondering what it would take to produce a wholesale shift in the American automotive marketplace.  Despite near-record prices last Spring and the brief push to $4 a gallon several years earlier, U.S. motorists have largely continued buying the products they’ve always bought.

But a new survey suggests the market could hit a “wall” at $4.50 a gallon, nearly nine of every 10 “new-vehicle intenders” telling CNW Marketing they would purchase a more fuel-efficient model “immediately” were prices to reach that level.  And the vast majority of those buyers said they would specifically be in the market for a hybrid.

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“Toss in the possibility of $5 per gallon gasoline,” said CNW Marketing director Art Spinella, and the study would suggest the hybrid – and presumably electric – vehicle markets should explode.”

Or will they?

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Study Finds Diesel, Gas Have Leg Up On Hybrids

“Dust to Dust” study looks at overall energy costs.

by on Aug.24, 2010

Ford Focus: could it be more energy-efficient than the Toyota Prius?

It’s become conventional wisdom that hybrids have a significant energy advantage over commonplace gasoline and diesel-powered automobiles.  But according to a new study, conventional wisdom is once against wrong.

In a face-off that takes into account everything from production to the eventual disposal of a vehicle – along with the fuel used while that vehicle is on the road – gasoline and diesel trump hybrids, declares the latest in an ongoing series of “Dust to Dust” studies by the West Coast research firm, CNW Marketing.

But pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, may trump all other automotive technologies, according to CNW’s chief, Art Spinella.

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“When it comes to the total energy cost to society of individual models of vehicles, diesel and gasoline powered vehicles are less expensive from “Dust to Dust” than the current comparable hybrid offerings,” says Spinella, adding that, “In a face-off between diesel and gasoline, diesel-powered models are similarly less energy intensive.”

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