As the press days fade from memory and actual buyers are allowed onto the show floor at Cobo Hall for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the latest data show that people could care less about the green machines that were universally hyped by automakers earlier this week.
The highest consumer interest — based on web research that is now at the heart of the buying process — shows that vehicles from Chevrolet, Lexus, Nissan and Honda are popular, but none of the most popular models that people are looking at is remotely close to being the most fuel efficient in its maker’s lineup.
The Chevrolet Camaro (19 mpg), a muscle car favorite — please note Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi – led as being the most researched vehicle on NADAguides.com during the opening weeks of this new decade as the Detroit show got underway. NADA, for reference, is the largest publisher of vehicle pricing and information for new and used cars.
Camaro, at 61,000 sold in 2009, is now running nose-to-nose against Ford’s Mustang, which sold more than 66,000 pony cars for the number one spot in this, well, less than fuel-efficient segment. Chevy would have sold more but they couldn’t make them.
The other most researched cars were the Lexus ES350 (19 mpg), Nissan Altima (18 mpg), Honda Accord (19 mpg) and the Lexus RX 350 (17 mpg).
This supports our hypothesis I humbly submit that although small cars, electric vehicles and hybrids are needed for the marketing of cars and for obtaining taxpayer bailouts from politicians, consumers – the people who make up the real market and pay the taxes — remain more interested in performance, luxury and reliability, than they are in allegedly environmentally friendly vehicles.