Buyers Shift to Small Cars Amid Skyrocketing Fuel Prices

Fuel prices are on the rise and car shoppers are reacting fast. With recent unrest in oil-producing nations causing one of the largest two-week spikes in oil prices in history, consumers are already adapting their buying habits according to a survey and report by Automotive News.

In February small car sales totaled 15 percent of the market – the largest percentage for the segment ever. Meanwhile, pickup trucks fell 13 percent during the month, with SUVs dropping 9 percent.

In a poll of dealers, 57 percent said shoppers wanted to get out of a gas guzzler, while 56 percent said more buyers were actually choosing to buy more fuel efficient cars. (AN does, however, admit its poll is less than scientific).

Supporting that poll is one from Kelly Blue Book, which shows 81 percent of consumers citing the price at the pump as an influence on their choice of a new car – up from 70 percent in January.

Dealers surveyed are not changing what vehicles they order though, with a better mix of models on their lots than when oil last spike in 2008. This extends not only to the Japanese automakers, but also to the domestic ones, with companies like GM and Ford having learned some lessons, introducing more fuel efficient models in the past few years.

[Source: Automotive News]