Top 10 Automotive News Stories of 2011

Top 10 Automotive News Stories of 2011

9. 40 MPG is the New Standard

Whether you concerned about the environment or just about the money in your wallet, fuel economy is a major factor in buying a new car. 2011 saw the emergence of a new standard, with 40 mpg (highway) being the number automakers have to hit or exceed in their non-hybrid models to be considered a fuel economy leader.

Numerous car makers took on the challenge for 2012, and found ways to deliver at least one 40 mpg model – if not several. Included in the 40 mpg club are cars like the Ford Focus and Fiesta, though only with a pricey SFE package. Chevy also continues to sell its Cruze Eco with as much as 42-mpg with the manual transmission. Hyundai has been leading the charge, however, with cars like the Elantra, Veloster and Accent all hitting the 40 mpg mark without any special package or added price. This has allowed Hyundai to boast that it sells the most 40 mpg models of any automaker, releasing data in October that put its 40 mpg sales total at 177,000 units, far ahead of even its closest competitor, Toyota, at 104,000 units.

The flip side of this phenomenon is that automakers who don’t hit 40 mpg are being chastised by the automotive media, and then paying for it in sales. Take the new 2012 Honda Civic for example. The difference between its 39 mpg rating and the Elantra’s 40 mpg number in the real world might be negligent, but being able to say “best-in-class” and “40 mpg” certainly are not.

  • Chris Van Auken

    First off, if GM (giant mess, God’s mistake, take your pick) is looking at the volt to rescue them, they are in worse trouble than we thought. The sales of the volt are dismal, and is selling them to government agencies mostly. And we know how efficiant governments are. It is not Pinto wrong. It is worse. Pinto’s could leak fuel which was a hazard no doubt. These things catch fire long after an accident. Talk about a time bomb. GM still owes the government most of the money they took. It is still owned by the federal government as far as I am concerned.

  • Steve

    I know why don’t you just slate General Motors. Talk about taking the easy way out.
    GM are a world wide automaker, the Volt needs to be a success. Did you report on why the Volt supposedly catches fire? Did you ask someone at GM for an interview to put the questions to them?
    Why did you not try to put any positive input in your article at all?
    You would need to be a proper journalist to do that I would imagine.
    You owe it to your home auto industry to do your job to your best ability, i would bet it pays your wages. It is easy to take a swipe at GM, no one is going to call round to you home and smack you in the face are they? I would like to!
    why not speak to someone at GM?

  • Jannis

    Get with it. The Volt is only being offered in 7 U.S. cteiis the 1st year. A 50% production increase for 2012 by adding the rest of the nation is not much of an expectation. Nice spin job GM.

  • brimoind

    Typical Jannis, you see a story  and pick out one thing to comment on and that is to show your negativity to General Motoprs nothing else! Great job, keep it up you will all be buying chineese cars soon enough, except that your economy will be in such a mess that most Americans will not be able to afford a car!
    Get with it and support the USA fool.
    By the way i am not American, i do not know anyone personally who is American and i have never been to America. I do know that there are an awful; lot of Americans who seem to support anything other than what they make locally though, a reason?
    It’s still your call, you are the superpower, for the moment anyway!