Fuel Prices Leave Efficient, Greener Offerings On The Lot

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Falling fuel prices are helping to drive sales of SUVs and trucks as of late, but at the expense of more efficient, greener offerings.

Automotive News reports dealers flush with fuel efficient and alternative fuel models are dropping truck-month style incentives on the hood to help move them off the lot. KBB.com notes that the Toyota Prius and Ford C-Max alone have seen increased incentives, with the latter jumping from $2,650 last September, to $4,900 this past September.

Meanwhile, strengthening fuel efficiency targets may lead to automakers producing vehicles that, according to Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Eric Ibarra, “consumers don’t want to buy” should gasoline and diesel prices remain low. Per forecasts by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the decrease in fuel costs will remain in play for at least another year, thanks to the oil boom in places like Alberta and North Dakota.

That said, dealerships aren’t too worried yet, believing consumers are ever-vigilant toward price spikes. Until then, SUVs and pickups will dominate the highways for another day.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Oct 22, 2014

    Reading these comments to the excellent articles at ttac is one of the highlights of my day, and the comments of this topic are no different. Some of these comments are truly comical! Like EVs, PEVs and Hybrids will ever amount to anything other than an insignificantly small percentage of the total vehicles on the road in the US. The problem for the EV-centric is that there is way too much oil available on the planet! Maybe in 200+ years this MAY change, but none of us is going to be alive in 200+ years. Quit trying to effect a mass behavioral-change and getting people to buy EVs. It ain't gonna work! If people want EVs, they'll buy them. The vast majority does not. BTW, the price of oil will go up again. Bet on it. And I'll bet that the F150 will set sales records again this year, regardless of the price of gasoline.

  • Jimbob457 Jimbob457 on Oct 23, 2014

    Curious to see how clever engineers working in different industries (e.g. vehicle mfg, power plant design, oil and gas production, et.al.) don't seem to realize they are all working (in their different ways) to solve essentially the same basic problem. This problem has so many dimensions and is so complicated (even the future technical possibilities are quite uncertain) that there is no simple eureka solution like a gas tax, etc. There is a huge amount of uncertainty on so many fronts. Because of 'fracking', oil and natural gas are fairly certain to remain cheaper than most people would have dreamed a few years ago, but how much cheaper? Tesla may actually teach Detroit something about the car business, or not. Because of the Japanese earthquake, nuclear power looks a lot riskier than before. What about global warming? What about V. Putin? What about continuation of the 30 year old Chinese economic boom? All anyone can do is plow ahead and hope for the best. There is no guarantee that one technology or another will prevail, although some are surely better bets than others.

  • 95_SC 95_SC on Oct 23, 2014

    I thought the purpose of the gas tax was to fund infrastructure. I'd be willing to discuss raising it for that purpose. Raising it to shape my purchasing choices...not so much.

    • See 1 previous
    • 95_SC 95_SC on Oct 23, 2014

      @bk_moto Call me crazy, but it has always incentivized me to go get a better job which is why I no longer teach High School. Cars are an expensive thing to be in to but I have the bug so I wasn't going to spend my life commuting in a ratty Saturn SW1.

  • Bk_moto Bk_moto on Oct 23, 2014

    These types of articles always strike me as a little odd. I mean, are there really people out there buying cars who are saying, "Hey Bertha! Gas prices have been going down for a couple months. That means they're gonna keep going down forever! Let's buy that Expedition instead of that Prius!" ?

    • 95_SC 95_SC on Oct 23, 2014

      I think those folks buy used Cobalts and Avengers from Steve Lang's joint.