AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Despite gas prices declining as 2013 came to a close, 2014 has started out with the highest price on record for the start of the year.
For three straight weeks, the average gas price in North America has been dropping and it is expected to continue in months to come.
Ever wondered just how big of a difference owning a hybrid makes on your wallet?
Gulf Oil CEO, Joe Petrowski, expects oil prices to drop by half by year’s end, but that doesn’t mean gasoline prices will be cut in half.
How much is “too much” to pay for a gallon of gas? A new survey by AAA hopes to give an updated answer.
Thanks to recently passed legislation, New Jersey residents will now be able to take part in an incentive program through Stop & Shop supermarkets that can cut the cost of gas by as much as $2.20 per gallon.
The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute has been tracking the average overall fuel economy of vehicles sold in the U.S. since October 2007, and while the general curve has been towards more fuel efficient vehicles being sold, the opposite happened this past June.
With gas prices falling for this first time in months, consumers are obviously feeling more comfortable buying a less fuel efficient vehicle. The average in June was 23.6 mpg, down 0.1 mpg from May and down 0.5 mpg from the peak in March. Not a substantial amount, but enough to show that fuel economy is a large factor when it comes to buying a new car.
Even the amount of travel Americans are doing is increasing, going up by 0.9 percent in the first four months of 2012 compared to the first four months of 2011.
Drivers in South Carolina are being treated to gas prices below $3 a gallon, something that might even creep into other parts of the country.
According to the University of Michigan, the average fuel economy of all the cars sold in April was 23.9 mpg, a 0.2 decrease from March.
The study indicates that American car buyers are still conflicted in the showrooms. While many fuel efficient small vehicles celebrated good sales last month, vehicles such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Titan were in high demand as well, showing that Americans still have the need for big cars, and will sacrifice fuel economy to get them.
The sales also reflect the slight reduction in gas prices we saw at the end of April, as the price of gas dictates what people buy. This comes as a surprise as analysts are still predicting gas prices to soar in the coming months, causing consumers to turn to fuel efficient alternatives.
Since the study began in October of 2007, our vehicles have become roughly 14 percent more fuel efficient, but they still have a long way to go if gas prices keep on creeping up.
Shelby has been synonymous with the Mustang nameplate since its 2007 re-establishment as Ford‘s halo car producer, but that might be changing soon.
It seems the low-volume performance tuner currently best known for the Shelby GT500 is exploring the possibility of tuning other Ford vehicles to maximize performance., according to AutoBlog.
We already know that a contract to continue producing the GT500 through 2020 is in place, but an interview with Shelby president John Luft hints at more than one product in the future.
According to a recent government study, the average American family now spends more a year on transportation than food. While higher gas prices are a significant factor, the study also says a big part of the problem lies with traffic congestion (which wastes a whopping $1.9 billion per year).
Furthermore, a lack of adequate public transportation in many areas and a crumbling infrastructure of roads, bridges and tunnels is making the situation worse.
Given that many municipalities have seen their budgets cut in recent years and with the cost of new construction projects and public transportation initiatives, plus a current lack of enthusiasm among voters for supporting them (raising taxes to fund such projects is essentially the only choice), it is unlikely we’ll see any improvements to the situation soon.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that analysts are reporting that gas prices will hit an all-time high this summer with a potential of hitting an average of $3.90 per gallon, reports are now coming in that East Coast gas prices may spike due to refineries closing.
“There are going to be logistical problems getting product into New York,” said Ben Brockwell, an analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. “The people I talk to are expecting shortages from August through the rest of the year.”
Oil barons chuckle and while most of us cringe at gas making the $4 gallon mark. Studies and announcements are abound that climbing fuel prices are herding people like sheep into buying compact cars. So where do gas-suckers like the Shelby GT500 fit in?
Right where they did every other year, at least according to Shelby American president John Luft who confirmed in an interview with Mustangs Daily that the Snake-bearing ‘Stang will remain in the coming Mustang generation.
10. Lincoln Navigator Ultimate $109.76
Gas prices might not have hit the budget-busting $5/gallon yet, but drivers are already feeling the pinch. Consumer Reports has exposed a list of the top 10 most expensive vehicles to fill up. All prices are based on the average fuel price in the United States.
First on our top 10 is the Lincoln Navigator Ultimate. The massive V8 in this thing gets a combined 15mpg according to fueleconomy.gov. That gives it a range of around 504 miles on a tank. Filling up this SUV costs almost $110, which surprisingly is far from the costliest fill up on this list.
At least that’s the news according to statistics released by the two American automakers. Chrysler said it sold 34 percent more vehicles this March, versus the same period last year, delivering some 161,381 cars and trucks, versus 121,730 in March 2011.
Jeep and Ram truck demand was particularly strong, with gains of 35 and 22 percent respectively. Ford said it had seen sales grow by some five percent with sales reaching 222,884 units last month versus 212,295 in March 2011.
Despite declines in Buick and Cadillac sales, General Motors said it had seen overall demand grow by 12 percent in March to 231,052 units, largely fuelled by sales of small cars. Don Johnson, GM’s vice president of US sales remarked that,”the economic recovery and a deep bench of fuel-efficient cars and crossovers have been driving our sales for more than a year, but the combined impact has never been stronger than it was in March.” The General said it sold a record 100,000 vehicles last month that get at least 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
A number of analysts believe the growth in auto sales last month can be partly attributed to this year’s unseasonably mild winter, which had consumers flocking to dealers earlier than the traditional spring selling season; other factors include a plethora of new models hitting the streets as well as lower unemployment statistics and easier access to credit for many.
Many industry observers are keeping a close eye on gas prices to see if they have an effect on auto sales this year; as currently they’re around the $4.00 gallon mark, traditionally seen as the tipping point which consumers change their car buying and driving habits.
Nonetheless, the outlook remains generally optimistic. “Barring any future shock related to geopolitical issues in the gulf region and further upward pressure on the price of oil, we believe sales will continue on a solid pace for the balance of the year, said John Humphrey” J.D. Power and Associates senior vice president of global operations.
Over the last few months, we’ve seen prices at the pumps steadily rise, to the point that the national average is now some $3.90 per gallon.
Some parts of the US, namely the District of Columbia and 10 states, including the likes of California, Illinois, Michigan, New York and Hawaii, are already above the $4.00 per gallon mark (Hawaii is currently the highest at $4.55).
Back in 2008, gas prices rose dramatically, blamed largely on growing demand from tiger economies in Asia (namely China and India), plus a futures market gone wild. Back then, $4.00 per gallon proved the tipping point at which motorists changed their purchasing and driving habits, many trading in large trucks and SUVs for smaller vehicles and simply driving less.
This time however, some analysts say that rising gas prices; blamed on tensions in the Middle East earlier this year (notably conflict in Libya and possible confrontations with Iran), along with a recovering global economy which has seen increased demand for crude, might have already peaked. A recent Lundberg survey noted that oil prices have remained relatively stable in March.
“If crude oil prices do not spike again, then gasoline prices will be peaking very soon. They may already be doing so,” remarked survey publisher Trilby Lundberg.
With around a fifth of US oil refining capacity still idled and the Obama administration appearing to be dragging its feet on boosting oil supplies (the Keystone pipeline saga being one hot topic), there are still fears that the price at the pumps could rise even higher, stalling fragile US economic growth.
That said, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, most Americans are spending less on fuel today than they did a generation ago, with 3.7 percent of national spending going to gasoline, as opposed to around 5 percent in the early 1980s.
As a result, despite still being a thorn in the side for most of us, at present, higher gas prices, aren’t generally hurting as much as they used to.
Funny little Italian cars are finally coming into vogue, or so it seems after Fiat reported its best month of U.S. sales to date in February.
“I’m holding my breath, but to beat February would be a big, big win for us,” Fiat brand head Timothy Kuniskis told the Detroit Free Press.
With 3,227 units sold last month, it seems the company is on an upward trend. Still, it’s not terribly surprising because sub-compacts and compacts are out-pacing every other market segment for growth. Thanks in no small part to rising gas prices, the two sections are attracting new buyers to trade in larger vehicles in anticipation of fuel climbing beyond $4 per gallon in the near future.
While it’s undeniable that economic factors are playing a big part in boosting Fiat and other small car manufacturers, the company’s marketing strategy also deserves recognition.
Edgy ads like the Fist 500 Abarth Superbowl commerical and those that followed it are helping to bring the otherwise obscure name in front of consumers.
That obscurity is the direct result of Fiat’s 28-year hiatus from the American market. When the brand relaunched last March it had little marketing support and could have been written off as an unfortunate experiment by Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Nevertheless, it seems like the company might have actually times its release wisely, leaving it in a position to sell sub-compact cars with Italian styling cues in a market where most of the competition sells sans-pizzazz.
Managing to replicate its February sales would be a big victory for the company, which is seeing growing interest in the hot-rod Abarth thanks to the aforementioned commercial and others like the recently-aired “House Arrest” spot featuring notorious badboy Charlie Sheen and a slew of sexy women.
Thankfully, it won’t take long to see how the company fares, at least in the short term. If current market trends are any indication of consumer preference there may be more Fiats in sight than you otherwise might have expected.
GALLERY: Fiat 500 Abarth
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
Gas prices always hit a spike in the summer, and this year is shaping up to be a doozy with prices likely to pass $4.00 per gallon by Memorial Day.
With fuel costs jumping to such dramatic heights, it might feel like a logical decision to jump ship on your current car for something less thirsty. Smart as that seems, an article published in Forbes proves otherwise.
The truth is, a car that gets a few mpg better than what you’re driving now would amount to a few dollars in savings but nothing substantial to most people.
“Assuming the average consumer drives 12,000 miles per year in a vehicle that gets 20 mpg, an increase of $1.00 per gallon, from $3.60 to $4.60 per gallon as an example, would only result in an approximate increase of $11.50 per week in fuel expenses,” Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book told Forbes.
Moving from a full-size SUV to a something significantly smaller is the only instance where trading cars in favor of fuel economy yields noticeable savings, but it’s important to consider that most people driving larger cars do it for a reason. It will be tough moving the whole family around in a Fiat 500 when you become accustomed to your Chevrolet Suburban.
The move is still difficult to justify if you’re one of the people who bought an SUV just to have one. High-milage hybrid cars come at a premium because of the new technology they rely on. Even if you get lucky and trade that Ford Explorer in for a decent rate, you’re still probably going to pay a lot — both at signing and in installments.
Even if it means buying a couple new handkerchiefs to dab away the tears as you fuel up, it’s probably not cost-effective to make the car trade unless you’re in the market anyway.
It’s another tough season for gas prices. How are you coping with the rising prices? According to a survey by CouponCabin.com one third of Americans have to give up some personal amenities in order to keep their cars on the road.
The survey conducted over two days in March, was answered by 2,254 Americans, and revealed that many Americans will have to make personal lifestyle changes in order to accommodate the higher gas prices.
Seventy per cent of respondents said they would dine out less, making it the most common luxury to get cut from American’s spending habits.
The next casualty of high gas prices is entertainment spending. Sixty Four per cent of Americans stated they would stop spending money on movies, concerts and other entertainment related activities.
Thirty Seven per cent asked in the survey responded that they are looking to save money to pay for gas by postponing their seasonal clothes shopping.
Its interesting to see how much one would cut from their budget in order to pay for gas. Some mentioned that they would cancel their Internet service (5%) or TV service (15%)
Not only are consumers planning to modify their budget to cope with the rising gas prices, but three-in-four are also changing their driving habits. Sixty one per cent answered the survey stating they’d drive less, and others mentioned using more carpools, public transit, or buying a hybrid or more fuel efficient vehicle.
In order to alleviate the pains of gas prices, CouponCabin.com is launching a gas giveaway, with a grand prize of $1,500 worth of gas awarded to the winner. That certainly could help, even if you’re not hurting from the gas prices yet.
Gas prices affect a lot of decisions in the automotive industry. Earlier reports had car buyers paying more attention to fuel economy, and the car industry looking for more fuel efficient solutions for vehicles. However, new reports are surfacing that show how higher gas prices could affect the driving habits of different age groups.
BIGinsights’ annual American Pulse survey found that the majority of participants felt that gas prices could hit $5/Gallon by memorial day. Many used the word “Ridiculous” or “Outrageous” to describe the idea of gas getting to the $5/gallon price point.
Between the different age groups surveyed, at least 73.3% said they regularly drove a car. Of those surveyed, very many of them stated that they would consider an alternate form of transportation when gas prices reached $5/gallon.
Generation Y led all other age groups in planning to adapt to the high fuel prices. Many from the young generation stated that they would take to carpooling, bicycling, walking, or public transportation.
In fact the report found that Gen Y is 13% more likely than the average population to drive less as pump prices rise.
Additionally about 30.6% of Americans pay more for gas per month, than their car payments.
The most interesting areas of the report show the contrasts between different age groups. While the younger Generation Y seems ready to adopt alternate methods of transportation, Generation X is the least likely to jump ship and change their ways, opting to keep on driving and pay the price.
Lastly, in an effort to save prices at the pump, drivers are buying groceries in bulk in order to reduce trips. Only 13.8% of those asked said they do not buy in bulk at all.
Over 4,000 Americans were surveyed, and the topics didn’t just cover driving habits. Many felt like the rising gas prices were interfering with vacation plans, and travel budgets.
When probed as to what was thought to be the most effective method to bring gas prices down; the age groups all agreed that the government should open up oil reserves for drilling. The younger generations were also heavy proponents of driving hybrids and more fuel efficient vehicles.
[Source: American Pulse]
Gas prices traditionally jump in the summer, but this year, global politics could send the price at the pumps to record highs.
According to several industry analysts, a possible conflict between Israel and Iran could send crude oil prices to above $200 per barrel, which will be reflected in a significant hike at the pumps. Gas prices, in turn, can affect auto manufacturers, as well as the buying habits of consumers.
What is causing the increases in gas prices?
GasBuddy.com tracks fuel prices across North America. It’s an efficient way to see trends in gas prices and how things have changed over time. We spoke to Greg Laskoski of GasBuddy.com to discuss what is sending gas prices up, and what this can mean to you as a consumer.
According to Laskoski, gas prices usually go up around this time but, “this year it’s like [prices are] on steroids. There is a lot of volatility on the price of crude oil, and paired with the uncertainty in the middle east, these prices are rising.”
As a general rule: For every $10 the crude oil price goes up, consumers pay 25 cents more at the pump. To put things into context, current prices of around $4 a gallon come with crude oil prices at about $100 per barrel. If that were to double to $200 a barrel, gas prices could go up to about $6.50 a gallon.
Reports are coming in that the United States is paying upwards of $400 per gallon of fuel delivered to troops on the ground, that’s a whooping 100 times more than we pay.
Of course that’s not the cost of fuel by itself. The high rate of gas price there includes the cost of having it delivered to the US ground military operations in Afghanistan, which is by parachute. That’s right, huge Air Force cargo planes drop dozens of pallets on the ground in a remote drop zone containing food, water and of course fuel. Almost seems like a scene right out of Lost huh?
And it appears that it won’t be getting any cheaper for the military as more and more air drops will be occurring now that ground-based supply convoys are becoming more dangerous to setup.
Check out the Wall Street Journal report video after the break.