Consumers are reacting rapidly to rising gas prices, switching gears away from gas guzzlers and instead purchasing small, fuel efficient cars. According to the latest statistics released by Baum and Associates, sales of hybrid and diesel models saw the biggest jump, climbing at three times the industry average in the month of March.
Compared to a year ago, hybrid and clean diesel sales are up 46 percent, compared to the 17 percent industry average. Small cars, like the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit, also saw big gains, with March sales up 30 percent (nearly double the industry average).
As a result of this growth the ‘very small car segment’, combined with hybrids and diesels now make up 7 percent of the total vehicle market, or roughly the size of the shrinking true SUV market.
Increased demand for small cars, diesels and hybrids has also resulted in increased residual values. The Prius stands as a particular example, with the best residual value of any car after three years.