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According to a report from Ward’s Auto, an inherent shortage of small and medium sized cars (mostly due to supply issues relating to Japanese automakers), have resulted in an overall drop in fuel economy ratings when it comes to passenger cars and light trucks.
Those vehicles sold between July and September this year, averaged 22.2 miles per gallon, down from 25.2 mpg the previous quarter. The findings marked the second consecutive drop in the Ward’s Auto Fuel Economy Index rating.
Although small car inventory was down significantly, especially at Toyota (64 percent) and Honda (67 percent), Japanese automakers weren’t the only ones suffering from reduced stocks during the third quarter. In fact both Hyundai and even Ford had to deal with shortages of 74 and 41 percent respectively.
In total, passenger car sales stood at 229,250 units in total for the third quarter,down by 38.5 percent versus a year ago. This also meant that market share of passenger cars stood at some 46.3 percent of total light vehicle sales, the smallest percentage since 2005.
In terms of manufacturer market share in the passenger car segment, the leader during the third quarter was Volkswagen, which boasted a slice of some 25.6 percent according to Wards, while Toyota finished runner up with 25.1 percent. Nissan and Kia rounded out the top four.
General Motors led the domestic pack, with a 20.7 percent share, followed closely by Ford (20.1). Yet despite the second straight fall in overall fuel economy ratings, on balance, the 2011 model year was an improvement on 2010, the average fuel economy rating of 22.4 miles per gallon up by 1 percent versus the year prior.
[Source: Ward's Auto]