In a report October 10, big auto analyst firm TrueCar spotlighted changes in vehicle fuel economy for sales made in September of this year. What TrueCar researchers found was a dramatic increase in miles per gallon, which continues a longer-term trend over the summer that shows customers are opting for smaller more fuel-efficient engines in the cars and trucks that they buy at dealerships across the country. Even with fuel prices returning to near three dollars a gallon, it seems that the good sense of having a vehicle that runs longer on a tank of gas is starting to appeal to a greater portion of the American public.
Underneath these bigger numbers, though, TrueCar’s report tells a tale of big auto makers battling it out to offer the kinds of fuel economy that customers want. Specific records of year-to-year changes in fuel economy by manufacturer show Hyundai and Nissan duking it out for top place, with American maker Ford not far behind.
In terms of total changes to fuel economy from September 2010 to September 2011, TrueCar’s numbers show Korean auto maker Hyundai coming in first with 1%, followed by Nissan with .9%, and Ford with .8%. When it comes to fuel economy for car segments, Hyundai and Ford dominated with 1.5%, but were actually edged out by General Motors with 1.6%. The reason General Motors didn’t come out ahead in the overall assessment shows through in TrueCar’s evaluation of average fuel economy for trucks: here, there was a lot of disparity. Ford led with 1.1% increase in mpg. Nissan wasn’t far behind with an even 1%. But General Motors, according to TrueCar numbers, actually found the average fuel economy of its trucks slightly reduced by a tenth of a percent. As for Hyundai, its .4% fuel economy increase in the truck market wasn’t enough to rival Nissan, or Ford. These numbers sync with news of Ford’s all-out efforts to produce competitive fuel economy with EcoBoost engine block design, contributing to top fuel economy in many larger vehicle markets.
Not all car buyers are going to want to read through these in-depth reports to parse all of the details of what various auto makers are bringing to the table. However, when it’s time to go look for a new or used car or truck, a lot of these details can be useful and provide you with more ammunition for negotiating a good final price on a car or truck. Before going to the lot, briefly check out some of the newest information on models and brands to come out one step ahead when it’s time to talk knowledgeably about these vehicles during negotiations.