High Gas Prices Can Destroy Relationships

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
high gas prices can destroy relationships

More than half of new car shoppers have recently changed their minds about the car they want to buy, says a new study by Kelley Blue Book. Researches find customers thinking about cars they normally would not have considered. What is changing their minds en masse: Rising gas prices.

Says Jack R. Nerad, executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book:

“The rollercoaster of gas prices has taken its toll on new-car shoppers.The reality of today’s economy means that many shoppers are factoring in fuel efficiency and gas prices toward the top of things they consider when choosing their next new car.”

Not only have 66 percent of new-car shoppers changed their minds on what they might buy. A full 76 percent of new-car shoppers said they expect gas prices to get higher in the next 30 days.

Oddly enough, what tops shoppers’ lists as the most important feature is a good warranty. The second most important feature for new-car shoppers is fuel efficiency, followed by power windows/door locks.

Marketers follow these developments closely. When external reasons prompt people to reconsider their choice of car, old brand loyalties often also fall by the wayside and can cause sudden shifts in market share.

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5 of 41 comments
  • Kendahl Kendahl on Apr 19, 2012

    The bass-ackwards way we measure fuel consumption makes it hard to compare vehicles. It is non-linear. You have to invert the ratings before subtracting. Europeans measure consumption the right way -- volume/distance. All you have to do for a comparison is subtract. Since the Europeans use the metric system, they measure consumption in liters per hundred kilometers. We could use gallons per thousand miles. 20 mpg is 50 gallons per thousand miles. 30 mpg is 33 gal/k-mile. 40 mpg is 25 gal/k-mile. 50 mpg is 20 gal/k-mile. Once you express fuel consumption in terms of volume/distance, it becomes easy to recognize than going from a good, if not exceptional, mpg (e.g. Accord or Camry) to a very high mpg (e.g. Prius) doesn't save very much.

    • Redav Redav on Apr 20, 2012

      No, it makes absolutely no difference. If you can't divide by mpg, you aren't qualified to do the math anyway. And since window stickers publish estimated fuel cost anyway, you can just use that. It's kind of pointless to change how a whole system is set up just so some math-deficient consumer can subtract a couple numbers once every few years.

  • AJ AJ on Apr 19, 2012

    Maybe more people instead of bitching about gas prices should spend as much time attempting to better themselves and their family. Prices will always go up no matter what it is. It's the fool that does nothing but sit around and watch prices rise without taking action. Personally, I can more easily pay to fill a gas tank now then when I was 20. It's amazing what taking responsibility does for a person.

  • Moparman426W Moparman426W on Apr 20, 2012

    I read in a news article yesterday that in May gas prices will be the same as they were in May of last year. Prices have already been creeping down in this area over the past week or so. Yesterday gas was $3.64 at a couple of places.

  • Redav Redav on Apr 20, 2012

    People change their minds about what cars they want?! And they're concerned about gas prices?! Wow! That's, like, the best scoop, EVER! No, seriously--where does it say that it's gas prices that are causing them to change their minds? It's not in quote. I recently changed my mind about buying a Ford Focus because of problems with its features (mostly the MFT). With the rapid pace of tech deployment, ever-increasing information available, and sneaky advertising, wouldn't anyone expect more people to become infatuated with a car only to change their mind later (completely independent of gas prices)?