GfK Custom Research Study Finds US consumers Favoring Compacts

GfK Rising Fuel Demand Chart

In brief: A new study by GfK Custom Research looking at North American automotive sales, finds that high fuel prices are causing consumers to think about more cost-effective fuel-efficiency.

The word

GfK Findings

Compact cars are becoming the fastest-growing sector in automotive sales amongst U.S. consumers, the study finds, while subcompacts and larger vehicles are losing share.

In fact, while the demand for compact gasoline-fueled cars is high, demand for other efficient options like hybrids, plug-ins, and so forth is not going up to match.

In May 2011, compact cars accounts for 18.1% of the 6-month light vehicle demand compared to only 3.6% for subcompacts. Alternative energy vehicles as a whole represent 9.4% of the light vehicle demand.

The study looked at four years worth of sales and gas prices and found that this is no different from a previous gasoline price surge in 2008, when compacts saw a huge market share growth for a few months.

The lack of interest, by comparison, in alt-fuel vehicles is likely due to their price premium.

And so ...

The last gas price surge in 2008 lead to a five-year low in prices at the beginning of 2009, but not a drop in compact sales as predicted.

Photo credits: GfK

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