As consumers of the automobile industry grew angry through most of 2008 struggling to survive with rising gas prices, the demand for change has been heard loud and clear by the government and the automobile industry.
Money talks! Consumers did not go shopping for cars, primarily SUV’s, trucks and other gas guzzlers, during the summer. Car and truck sales have dropped anywhere between 25% – 40% depending on the area and car dealership type. Therefore, major automobile manufacturers will strive to move lightning speed with new innovations in technology to produce the most fuel efficient cars the world, especially the U.S., has ever experience. They have to do this or else the company will discontinue — do or die mentality.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Authority in November will release the new proposal that automakers achieve 35 CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) by 2020. The government is now acting with strict requirements that the manufacturer’s must follow or else… The current standards for trucks is 23 and cars is 27.5 as new automobiles in 2008/2009 models. Whereas in 2004, it was 17 for trucks and 24 for cars.
Better yet, not only in 2020 manufacturers have to meet the 35 CAFE standards, but there are strict guidelines to be progressively better as each year gets closer to 2020. There is a mandate the manufacturers have to produce cars that are 4.5% increase in fuel economy as each year passes, between the years 2011 to 2015. That is 4.5% better than the previous year and on and on.
If the automakers meet this mandate properly, this will relate to 3 times the rate of new technology introduction than any time in history. Another way of comparing to the rate, the U.S. automakers would need to be 2 times what Japan and Europe have done in new technology producing more fuel efficient cars.
Consumers perception of importance in determining the reason to buy a car is rating fuel economy higher than any time before in the U.S. By no means is fuel economy at the #1 reason of importance, but it is climbing higher to #7, according to surveys conducted by J.D. Power and Associates’ 2008 Initial Quality Study. Since you are curious what the top 6 reasons that influence U.S. consumers automobile buying decisions:
1. Reliability / durability.
3. Quality of workmanship.
4. External styling.
5. Dealer experience,
And 7. Fuel economy!
It seems silly that Americans still think looks of a car and comfort is still more important than wasting gas and spending more money.
I am sure that when gas prices climb back up to the prices from the summer 2008 and sustain those prices, the American buyers will feel fuel economy will be the most important reason in choosing the vehicle to drive. Money talks (or lack of it)!