Car buyers choose fuel-efficiency

December 23, 2014 by Jordan Takeyama

If you’ve driven a vehicle in the past few months, then you’ve most likely had to stop by your local gas station. And, if you’ve filled up the tank while you were there, then you’ve probably experienced the sensation of the corners of your mouth forming a smile as the price for a tank of gas of has been lower than usual for quite some time.

With that said, has the consistent drop in gas prices done more than just make us smile? Has it enticed consumers to go back to the gas-guzzling, high-powered vehicles of the past?

According to a recent Experian Automotive analysis, the answer is no. Despite the drop in gas prices, fuel-efficiency remains top of mind for most consumers. So much in fact, that more than 55 percent of all new vehicle sales through the third quarter of 2014 had four-cylinder engines. The next closest engine type was the six-cylinder, which made up nearly 30 percent of all new sales. What’s intriguing is that this gap has continued to widen since 2008.

To download the full report: http://ex.pn/1x0r5q5

Furthermore, vehicles with four-cylinder engines made up 35 percent of all vehicles on the road, compared with six-cylinder engines, which made up 39.2 percent. While the more powerful engine has a larger share of vehicles on the road, the gap between the two has steadily decrease since 2009, when six-cylinder engines made up 41.4 percent, and four-cylinder engines made up only 29.9 percent.

Other findings from the report include:
• The total number of vehicles on the road grew by 5.8 million from a year ago, mainly due to an increase in new vehicle sales and low scrappage rates
• More than 26 percent of all light duty vehicles on the road are model year 2010 or newer
• The average age of vehicles on the road (15-year rolling age) is 7.4, down from 7.5 in the third quarter of 2013
• The Southern region saw the highest volume of new and used vehicle sales in the third quarter of 2014, followed by the Midwest, West and Northeast
• Entry-level CUVs (cross-over utility vehicles) remained the top vehicle segment among new registrations through Q3 2014, while full-sized pickup trucks reclaimed the second spot after trailing small-economy cars through the first half of the year
• Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota were the top three brands for new vehicles sales in the third quarter of 2014
• Ford (20.7 percent), International (17.1 percent) and Freightliner (15.8 percent) have the highest share of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles on the road