By on May 5, 2016

Average fuel economy April 2016

On the heels of America’s auto industry growing by over 3% in April 2016, a report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute says the average fuel economy of those vehicles dipped slightly from the month of March.

Given the rise in sales of SUV and trucks, this should surprise no one except amoebas living under a rock.

Average light-duty vehicle fuel economy for vehicles purchased in April was 25.2 miles per gallon, down from 25.3 mpg in March. This is still better than the 25.0 mpg recorded in December, but down from the 25.8 mpg recorded in August 2014, right before the oil price crash.

With days of $4/gallon gasoline in the rear view mirror, sales of SUVs in America were up 5.1 percent from April 2015 to 110,520. Pickup trucks more than doubled that measure, rising 12 percent to 232,647 from this time last year. As of yesterday, the average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline in America was $2.22, down about 40 cents from one year ago, according to data compiled by AAA.

Despite certain sweater-in-chief CEOs ditching small cars to focus on burly trucks, the sales-weighted unadjusted CAFE performance has skyrocketed since 2007. This is in no small part to the proliferation of smaller displacement engines and manufacturers sending their vehicles to Weight Watchers.

For now, though, consumers are flocking in droves to dealer lots in search of trucks and SUVs, putting a small dent in the nation’s fuel economy and seemingly forgetting that $4 gasoline is not a fictional construct. Perhaps George Santayana was onto something after all.

[Source: Automotive News] [Image: University of Michigan]

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128 Comments on “Connect the Dots: Americans Buy More Trucks, Fuel Economy Suffers...”


  • avatar

    10mpg on a good day.

    Highest I’ve seen was 16 on the highway.

    I don’t even bother looking anymore.

    10 SMILES PER GALLON

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I never cared about fuel economy to begin with.

      People who have to worry about fuel economy can’t afford to drive. They should walk, use a bicycle and/or public transportation.

      Like most Americans, I’m addicted to gasoline. Don’t care what it costs, will pay whatever it costs to get it, will spend my money on gasoline until my money is gone.

      It beats walking.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Within reason, I mostly agree with you, HDC. I have arranged my life such that the fuel economy of my cars really doesn’t matter, because I don’t HAVE to drive very much at all.

        But, that said, I do prefer better fuel economy to worse fuel economy on principle. Despite my owning a 12-15mpg old Range Rover (that I don’t drive very far). I would never use something like that to commute. My other cars will do 30mpg highway without trying hard. I don’t drive enough in the “city” to care.

        I especially DO NOT want to hear a bunch of whining from the truck and SUV owners WHEN gas is back over $4/gal. When, not if.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          The idea that only the poor care about fuel economy is false. In fact, the poor are typically stuck in older, less fuel efficient vehicles.

          Plenty of people choose more fuel efficient vehicles, regardless of their wealth or income.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          krhodes1, it’s a trade-off, so it boils down to what the driver/buyer wants in return from the vehicle.

          If an individual wants an econobox, they should be able to buy one.

          OTOH, if an individual chooses something more opulent, they should also be willing to pay for it.

          You mentioned your Range Rover, and that is a highly respectable vehicle.

          People who see you driving up in that vehicle can’t help but be envious of you because of the highly-successful image it projects.

          Were you to drive up in an econobox like a Hyundai Accent, maybe people would not come to that same conclusion.

          • 0 avatar
            Ubermensch

            And maybe their opinion doesn’t mean jack squat? And maybe someone who cares about people who form their opinion based on what someone drives has their own issues?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            People like to be admired. It isn’t evidence of mental illness.

            I drive an eleven year old A6, which is worth maybe $6K. A six year old Hyundai Accent is probably worth the same amount, and would be less hassle. But I prefer the Audi. Sue me.

          • 0 avatar

            In a sea of vehicles that look the same: how does one organism stand out?

            How does one organism show individuality?

            Uniqueness?

            Variations among cars is as important as variations among organisms.

            The vast majority of us can’t get over a 20 inch wall, but an H1 can.

            The vast majority of us can’t get through water…a hopped up truck or Cadillac on 30″ rims can. (It seems stupid BEFORE a situation comes along that it can survive – while others couldn’t.

            The car market is the perfect example of DARWINISM.

            Automotive DARWINISM.

            Some cars are sheep.

            Some cars are like Wolves with a jet pack.

            The best designs will evolve.

            The worst designs will sink the companies and no more will be made.

            Driving a “specific vehicle” is the same as imposing your beliefs and values onto others on the road. This is taken up a notch when bumper stickers with political slogans are added on.

            Some designs even have owners with unfair advantages over others: guns, pushbars, BREMBO brakes, Superchargers, winter tires…

            When you look closely you realize that Darwinism is everything.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            How many of us cross 20 inch walls or fjord deep ponds on the way to work? I get it capability sells. But I’d rather focus on improving my own capabilities, not my cars’.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            HAHAHA – my Range Rover is a winter beater with crappy paint (darned TX sun for 12 years) that is 15 years old. But it works, is great to drive for a truck, and can tow the 6500lb boat.

            The BMWs, well, I buy them in spite of the image they project, not because of it.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            krhodes1, what is funnier than your beat up RR is the guy I had not seen since the middle 90s still driving his 1989 Lincoln Towncar.

            Saw him at Wal-Mart. After a while of chit-chat he asked whatever happened to our Towncar. I told him I sold it and remarked that he was still driving his ’89.

            He told me it was better to drive his old Towncar than for me to drive around in my 1989 Camry.

            Point was, even the old Towncar spelled “largesse” and “opulence.” My ’89 Camry spelled “destitute” and “cheapskate.”

            To me the Camry was worth $100. It’s a lot easier to park than wrestling the Sequoia or Tundra in parking lots. And the Camry is great for short-hop grocery-getting.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        I think I get it!
        The more natural resources one uses up to achieve a certain materialistic goal, the better. Resource usage is directly related to satisfaction. Less efficiency = happiness.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          And whoever dies with the most expensive toys, dies.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            He who dies with the most expensive toys probably had more fun along the way. While I like having a nice chunk of change in the bank too, it is not nearly as much fun as my M235i is.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @highdesertcat – I care about fuel economy to a degree. I have travelled into some pretty remote areas because knowing how much extra fuel I’m going to have to pack matters. Cost to many also matters. The company my brother works for buys 100 pickups at a time. They pay attention to mpg and fuel costs. There is a reason why transport trucks all have sloped snouts.
        It isn’t a primary purchase metric for me but I do look at it. Anyone budgeting personal finances also looks at it. I can afford to run our vehicles even at 2011 oil prices but if it meant depriving my kids of something to fuel my F150 it would be gone in a heartbeat.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Americans don’t want small cars, doesn’t take a study to figure that out. It’s just unfortunate that for having so many great options for trucks, we have so few SUVs left on the market, and even worse they’re all moving upscale where the consumers that need them are unable to obtain new.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Meh. Other than HD trucks, everything gets “okay” fuel economy these days. Going from 2.00 to 4.00 just isn’t that ominous when you’re getting 18-20 mpg.

    If you want to start scaring us, you need to start using $6/gal.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Nothing a proper gas tax wouldn’t solve. I’d propose an extra $1/gallon at the Federal level, with an accompanying and equivalent income tax break for the working poor to address the potentially regressive impact of a gas tax.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      The working poor pay little to no income tax and tend to drive less fuel efficient vehicles so unless you are proposing something akin to the earned income credit which takes money from those of us who pay taxes and gives it to those who don’t this will accomplish nothing. The purpose of the income tax is to fund the government…the gas tax to fund roads, not force people to behave in a manor that people like you approve of.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Amen!

        In CA, gas costs ~$1 more per gallon than in most of America, and CA still sells huge quantities of gasoline. Cost has not deterred anyone from buying gas.

        When I go to CA, I carry an extra 20 gals of gas in from AZ where gas is dirt cheap.

        • 0 avatar
          Whatnext

          I thought you just said only poor people cared about stuff like that?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I was born in CA but I do not want to spend money in CA if I can help it. And Quartszite is where I always tank up befgore entering CA, so I fill up the four 5 gallon jugs after I fill up the tank on our vehicle.

            There have been times I had to buy gas in CA during a trip, especially when towing a huge utility trailer with my truck. But I do my best to limit my spending in CA.

            And when I was in CA earlier last week to pick up my wife in San Diego, I noticed the cops on I-10 working the East-bound side of I-10, mining the highway citing out-of-staters.

            Nobody was speeding because Eastbound traffic was dense. Lots of 18-wheelers clogging both lanes. Never got over 65. Yet all those out–of-state license plates pulled over by cop.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Whatnext – HDC is full of contradictions.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Your idea that “income taxes fund government and gas taxes fund roads” is not founded in the US Constitution. Nothing limits Congress from increasing gas taxes and using those funds for things unrelated to roads. As it is, gas taxes are used to fund some mass transit.

        But your thought that we should help the working poor with earned income credits sounds great to me.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I have no problem with gas taxes funding mass transit. The more people on mass transit the fewer in my way on the road…

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          We already do. Pop out a couple of kids and you can get a “tax refund” approaching 10 grand when you paid nothing. What is an appropriate amount in your mind? That isn’t taxation, it is redistribution. If that is what you are for, fine then, own it and get like-minded folks elected but you and I both know that when the income tax amendment was passed “helping the poor” was not the intent.

          I can listen to the arguements for raising the minimum wage and will say there is merit in them aand I would love to see wages start going up at all levels in the US, but straight up taking the fruits of my labor and giving it to someone else? Not so much.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I make no bones about favoring wealth redistribution. I absolutely believe that our country should value feeding, housing and healing all of its citizens above watching the wealthy buy their 8th vacation homes.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Then get people elected who feel as you do. Good luck getting a a majority in office that support raising the gas and income tax. It is pie in the sky and a waste of effort. Both sides can do things to help job and wage growth however. What you propose has at no point in our history been the way of our nation though and I hope it never is.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “I absolutely believe that our country should value feeding, housing and healing all of its citizens”

            I absolutely believe in the Golden Rule:

            You Won’t Get Rich So You Best Get Snipped.

            and the Silver Rule:

            You Breed Em’, You Feed ‘Em.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Big Al,
            We’ve raised the gas tax and lowered income taxes plenty of times in the past, and I am sure we’ll do it again, once we have a Congress that isn’t afraid to do its job.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Big Al From ‘Murica” – I don’t blame anyone for resenting taxation that sends their hard earned cash off to those who are poor or don’t/can’t work. Unfortunately those who should be taxed more are able to shelter their income. Those Panama papers come to mind.
            Some will argue open unregulated trade is the way to go. That does not trickle down to the poor. It redistributes wealth up to the top and increases the numbers of poor.

            In many respects I agree with VoGo. If it means one less vacation home or one less Veyron sold but an extra 1,000 people fed then go for it.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            Lou_BC

            Just get rid of people, especially poor people.

            And in fact the Panama papers show illegal activity, not legal.
            Even those with cannot break the law. And those without break as many laws as everybody else.

            However, let us get down to the basics.

            What’s up with the gas tax and fear at all? I mean, first they tell us we don’t have enough and we need to conserve. Now we are told we have lots and many new ways to get it.
            However, now they say it pollutes to much and we need to stop using it.

            Well…I have an answer for everybody…let’s get rid of/slow the population growth.
            OK. So take it farther…stop these poor folk from reproducing when the cannot even afford their lives as they have it now.How is it people keep having kids and cannot pay life’s bills?

            Ya know, having kids is a decision…not happenchance.

            Why is it the rich are hated yet nobody gets on the platform and tells poor people to stop the overpopulation of the planet?

            This whole PC discussion here is crazy wrong.

            PEOPLE are the problem.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            TrailerTrash – I’m not hating on the rich but any place free markets are allowed the rich get richer and more become poor and impoverished.
            In many parts of the world large families are necessary for survival. Mortality rates are extremely high so you need many kids to ensure enough of them live to help your family survive and to look after you when you age.
            If one looks at infant mortality rates, the USA is one of worst in the world. If one breaks it down by race it is even more damning. Non-hispanic whites are 5.1/1000, blacks 11.3/1,000, native American(Indian) 8.1/1,000 and Hispanic white 5.1/1,000.
            How do you fix birth rates? That is complex. Education, health care, and elimination of racial discrimination/barriers are one place to start.

      • 0 avatar
        jim brewer

        Except Al, it would take a gas tax increase of 40-50 cents per gallon most places to make the roads self-supporting.

        I agree with vogo. Raising the gas tax 50 cents and doubling the child tax credit would be about a wash. Failing that, I’m sure the Plutos would have a suitable offsetting tax cut in mind.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      VoGo,
      I agree.

      But an indexed and gradual increase in fuel excise is needed.

      10c per gallon per year over 10 years for example.

      This will give the economy (consumers included) and the automotive industry time to transition.

      The reason I say 10 years is this is the average age of a US vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      a proper gas tax?
      wait…what?
      aren’t there “proper” gas taxes now? Or what are those gas taxes…improper?

      and really, now…the most inept bunch of money managers in the world is the US government. and you wanna give them more money? and have them take more from me as a means of punishment?

      nobody with real money even gives a damn about the cost of gas. with or without taxes. this is pointed squarely at me and others who need our vehicles.

      So…no friggin way.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        I didn’t say anything about increasing government spending, TT. All I suggested was higher gas taxes and an equal reduction in income taxes, focused on the people who need it.

        You really should read before you respond.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          raisin gas taxes will do what…be saved once taxed?
          Or as you suggest, give it away once again to those who need it.
          Just say it…you are a democrat and love to tax and manipulate with money.
          Cause we don’t have enough social programs now. What we need are more.
          I see.

          Tell ya what…leave the damn taxes alone and stop wasteful spending. Now do we really need to show the waste?

    • 0 avatar
      Robbie

      Yes, that would be how things would work if people and government were rational. Therefore, this will never happen.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Most that drive big thirsty vehicles need to do so and can’t get around it. This is just one of the many reasons the stupid notion of an increased fuel tax fails.

      Like proposing BNSF run smaller trains, just so they can make more trips.

      Or what if you’re already running a tiny car? What did you do wrong??

      For a proposed fuel tax to hit its target, it needs to focus on those needlessly burning more fossil fuels on the road than they need to. Or recreation???? Except it wouldn’t amount to much collected over all, just a giant clusterfuk.

      It’s too late for us to become Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        I dunno. I see tons of people in suits commuting in SUVs and big, thirsty cars. If we had $7 gas, a lot of those would be Priuses and Leafs, I think.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “I see tons of people in suits commuting in SUVs and big, thirsty cars. If we had $7 gas, a lot of those would be Priuses and Leafs, I think.”

          I doubt it. At a sustained inflation-adjusted $7/gal fuel price no one is going to have a job anymore to commute for because the economy will have imploded. Their property and 401k will be worthless too, so triple bonus.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            If $7 gas kills economies, then how do Western Europe, Canada and Japan survive?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Fuel isn’t $7/gal in Canada, Japan, or most of Western Europe. And even they would likely be toast at sustained $7/gal.

            If you gave the US a decade to prepare for $7 they might be okay. But, that is almost more than double the highest inflation-adjusted fuel price since before WW1. I can’t think of anyone that can take that kind of price shock.

            The price of fuel has a large impact on the automotive and real estate markets. And those have a big impact on our credit market. And the credit market is intertwined with *everything*. That isn’t even accounting for the impacts to travel/tourism and freight.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You only see what you wanna see. If you crawl up their butts far enough, you’d find there’s specific reason most you “see”, are driving a big thirsty vehicle in a business suit. Then you’d feel like a real A$$.

            The US was built up, around the promise of cheap fuel. From where we live, how we get around, get services/goods/merchandise/food.

            Your way, might as well bulldoze most of the US and build a “Europe” here, starting with Medieval castles.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @DenverMike

            Yes, you would most likely find the reason the suits are driving trucks is “because they can”. Which is the very same reason every single one of my friends who drives a truck, drives a truck. I even have one friend who you could say drives a truck because he snowmobiles and owns a 4-wheeler, but the reality is that he hauls those toys on a trailer that is WELL within the towing capacity of my old ’01 Golf TDI. It’s too hard to get those things in the bed of a truck, and two snowmobiles won’t fit anyway. He drives a truck because he can, not because he has any actual need of it.

            Which ultimately is all fine and good. But it also ignores all the externalities of it, like trucks doing more damage to other vehicles in a crash, excess fuel usage, etc.

            My kid brother is a landscaper/stonemason. For his business, he owns a 1-ton Chevy dually with a dump bed. It never turns a wheel unless it absolutely has to, most of the time he is towing a trailer with his mower and stuff on it with a Volvo wagon from site to site. Because it gets 2X the gas mileage and costs about 1/2 as much to maintain.

            And when you come right down to it, even most of the tradesmen types who drive pickups would actually be better off with a van, if they had any common sense at all. The number of jobs that an open pickup can do better than an enclosed cargo van is quite small. Pickups are actually pretty useless even for actual work.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Norway, $7.71
            Hong Kong $7.54
            Netherlands $7.18
            Italy $7.08
            UK $6.91
            Germany $6.21
            Japan $4.37
            as per statistica.com

            I’m not clear on your reasoning for building medieval castles, but it sounds cool.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            $4.37 with Japan still isn’t $7. They briefly kissed $7.60 a few years ago, but they are historically in the high $4s. Pin them at $7 and they’ll feel it.

            And you really don’t believe that there are structural, demographic, and economic differences between places like Norway or Hong Kong and the US that makes one better equipped to deal with high fuel prices than the other?

            Is there any economist anywhere that thinks the US of 2016 would survive a year of $7/gal fuel?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Might as well start at the beginning, no? Hooray for castles! Point is we’re not Europe, nothing like Europe, and never be Europe. Just get over it. They can keep their fukkin’ tax system too!

            And tell Switzerland they can keep Dave Hasselhoff.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @krhodes – It’s a small insignificant percentage of “lifestyle” pickup owners that truly, hardly ever use the bed, even if that’s most your goofy friends.

            You have to be an unimaginative soul to not realize all the new doors and opportunities pickups open up. First you have to be a diehard city boy (or girl) and can barely tolerate the outdoors or sunlight.

            Camper shells, high tops, tonneau covers, cabover campers, 5th wheels, full utility beds or drop ins, etc, add to a pickup’s versatility. Keep/ reuse those when you sell it/trade it.

            Van are great for very specific tasks or trades, but can never come close to matching the endless versatility of pickups, never mind 4wd.

            Vans are one-trick-ponies and users can’t wait to abandon them when work’s done.

            Pickups wear too many hats to list here. You know them good and well. How many can vans do? Vans have too many limitations and impossibilities.

            It’s important to mention there’s near zero *value* in newer 200K plus mile vans. Just scrap value.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Even here in Maine, an outdoorsy place if ever there was one, the number of people who actually USE their new trucks rounds to about zero. And even then, they rarely do anything a C/SUV couldn’t do just as well or better. My Grandfather was a pretty avid hunter, and he brought home deer and moose strapped to the roof or trunk of his cars regularly when he did not have a Suburban or a truck – and sometimes when he did. The people who actually USE trucks don’t buy new ones anyway. Mostly because the working class here can’t even begin to afford new ones. The suits buy new trucks.

            Here in Maine, where the weather sucks the majority of the time, the ability to put things indoors in a vehicle you can walk into is very valuable. There is a reason the Ford Transit is selling like hotcakes. You can finally buy a van that doesn’t completely suck. Something the Europeans have understood for generations.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You’re kidding right? A shoe box on wheels, for what??

            You can’t even convince your friends with your silly rhetoric. It’s not working here either. Vans for personal use? Leave them for FREE CANDY pedophiles.

            But why would anyone that’s not using the pickup bed, want it covered and block their rear visibility, never mind the lack of comfort? And no 4wd or any kind of luxury. Style? Guess how many of your friends would rather NOT ride with the Kevin, the crazy panel van-man. Please cover the sides with red shag rug.

            If your friends and I can’t ‘sell’ you on a pickup, get the van already. Enjoy the thing. God Bless America for its ‘Freedom of choice’. But obviously you’re not getting either and just curious, talking out of your butt, without having the 1st clue, and obviously didn’t think this through.

            Btw Europe has very limited choices and just making do with what’s available. Europeans are by no means smarter than anybody, try again.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I didn’t say vans for personal use. I said vans for actual working use. Which is actually exactly what has happened around here. Most of the places that owned working pickups (contractors, HVAC, etc) have all switched to vans in the past few years, starting when the Transit Connect came out.

            My friends with pickups literally never use the beds for anything. It’s a waste. And as I have pointed out before, my buddy with the pickup and the snowmobiles can’t even fit the thing in his garage – it’s 6″ too long to be able to close the door. He’d be far better off with an SUV of some kind, and that is what he plans to replace the truck with at some point.

            Europeans who need an open bed actually get better, more useful pickups than we have here – the flatbed versions of the Euro-vans. Lower load height, and typically fold down sides that actually make them useful.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @ajla – a few years back in Canada it was around $1.49 a litre or 5.63 per US gallon. It was costing me 160-180 dollars to fill my F150.
            http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/econ154b-eng.htm

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – a large number of pickups are never actually used for work. Statistically only 1/2 are used for work. They are a lifestyle choice not a necessity. Even in the Northern town I live in most 1/2 tons and most dually pickups are lifestyle choices. I’ve almost always owned a pickup. Only 2 years out of the past 32 I have not owned a pickup. It is my preference and I can rationalize every minute of it but it wasn’t a necessity.

            If one is to discuss lifestyle choices and vehicles that are not a necessity then we must include HellCats, Mustangs, Miata’s and all sports cars into that arena. Even Jeeps are lifestyle products first and foremost.

            I’m a pickup guy through and through but @ krhodes1 argument makes much more sense than yours.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I’m not saying most are “work trucks”, but most lifestyle trucks get worked to some degree or high degree. Go by The Home Depot on the weekend, and look at all the pretty, shiny pickup trucks.

            My lifestyle F-150 get worked more by friends and family, than I get a chance to. Do you think they borrow it to show off? Is the crank windows or rubber floor that gets ’em??

            I normally get a way more luxurious Lexus, Sequoia, etc, to use in trade. I hope they don’t mind the dog hairs in their fancy rides.

            Bottom line, most or almost 100% of the time, pickups trucks are driven around empty, be it commercial, fleet or otherwise. Should we assume and draw the conclusion most pickup beds never, ever get “used” because we’re not following them around 24/7, and every mile to document it for sure?

            It’s like the knuckleheads that assume a 4X4 truck has never left the pavement if it’s clean. I’d expect better from you.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            krhodes,
            You obviously have it all wrong. Anyone who owns a pickup is a real manly man who spends his time hauling, towing, camping and offroading. Anyone who owns a van is a known pedophile. Proven facts.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Then most fleet sales of pickups must be done/over in Maine. Or maybe just your neighborhood. No most trades would laugh at the notion of switching from pickups to vans. Especially when pickups serve as a family/personal truck when work’s done. Too many small operations can’t afford a one-trick-pony, parked after-hours doing nothing.

            Most that use pickups, no way, no how can they use a van.

            Fleet fullsize pickup sales are still around 40% for half tons, higher for HDs and MDs, obviously. Don’t talk crazy, vans are a PITA for a lot of jobs/trades.

            Think of things dropped in bed by cranes, skiploaders, etc, out in the field, grading elevations, oil fields, etc, like backhoe buckets, engines, generators, welders, caterpillar blades, pumps, AC units, scoops of gravel, to name a few.

            I know you don’t want to schlep alfalfa bales in your van, nor livestock, chickens, or toxic chemicals, the list is virtually endless. With some goods, it’s not even legal to haul in a van.

            I know some things are delivered in bulk by big carriers, but a lot of times you’re in a pinch and scramble to get things happening. Pickup trucks to the rescue! Did I mention, manure? Too many things go better with outside transport, with or without a camper shell. Odd shaped goods/furniture, refridgerators that can’t be laid down, use your dang imagination..

            Without a very specific regimen that vans are good for, you’d better have a vehicle that can do 99% of what the day can throw at you, or send you (off road).

            Flat bed conversions are good too sometimes, but pickup trucks make a better ‘base’ vehicle to start with. Replace the pickup bed, back on for resale/trade-in. A flatbed converted van monstrosity at trade-in time? Send it to the crusher!

            So you take a tarp with you in case it rains, for goods not fitting in the back seat, and it can’t get wet, pickup bed or flatbed. It’s not a common occurrence, but you handle it. Too many contractors work outdoors exclusively and take the day off anyway, when it snows, rains or roads/site impassible .

            I get it, you just didn’t think this through. But the silliest notion is Europe somehow knows better. They do what they can with what’s available, and that’s all there is to it.

      • 0 avatar
        jim brewer

        So, Denver, a guy who needs a thirsty vehicle is also entitled to the implicit 50 cent per gallon subsidy that goes along with it?

        Such a person also probably needs workers comp insurance for his employees too (I’m envisioning a small contractor.) Should we pay for half of that, too?

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      I’d throw in a legally ironclad provision that spends the money only on roads, not rails or whatever. I would also throw in some sort of formula to reduce the tax in times of global oil o=price spikes, even though right now that looks like a remote possibility.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        If we increase gas taxes, it will reduce demand, which will in turn pressure oil prices lower. Win win.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        Completely agree, any fuel tax increase should go directly to building and maintaining roads and bridges and should be reduced when there are large price increases in fuel. Do not allow for fuel tax increases to go into the general fund, it will be wasted. There is a great need to replace bridges and to build more interstate roads that go east and west in many states. More east west roads would bring more businesses to many states because of easier access. Most of the products we use are transported by truck

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Fuel taxes are per gallon, not a percentage of sales. But you and I know it’s a cash grab, none making it to crumbling roads/bridges, or a tiny percentage.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            The perspective I would take with road and bridge spending is one of investment. What is the return from building or repairing this piece of infrastructure? If your investment meets a responsible hurdle rate, then spend the money. Otherwise don’t.

            Once you’ve figured out the right spending level, you can think about how to pay for it.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    We don’ need no stinkin’ empeejeesus.

  • avatar
    yamahog

    People want what they want. Whether it’s the carpenter’s apprentice who wants to buy a 45k truck or the people who want to underwrite a 84 month loan with .9% interest for a carpenter’s apprentice to buy a 45k truck.

    Let’s just hope that Saudi Arabia doesn’t want $5/gallon gas.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It appears that some eco-terrorists want to limit accessibility to the rich Canadian oil-fields by setting “wild fires” in strategic locations.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @highdesertcat – please post your proof. I have yet to see any reports of foul play with the Fort McMurray fire. Oh and if it was “ecoterrorism” it would make sense to light the fire next to the tar sands or next to the camps and machine yards of the oil companies working on the tar sands.

        Most forest fires are caused by human negligence as opposed to human maleficence. In BC as of April 1st 2016 there were 203 reported wildfires of which 4 were of “natural” origin.

        This isn’t because of Ecoterrorists but because of global warming. We have had little snow and an early warm spring. There is a period of time before things green up. This makes fires more probable.

        An idiot in a drodozer with an emissions delete would be just as likely as your comment.

        Maybe they were gay Muslim Mexican Terrorists. That would hit all of your favourite social groups.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      That prospect would make the frackers happy and open all of those wells they capped keeping gas from hitting 5 bucks a gallon. The fracking genie is out of the bottle so even if gas is too cheap to make it profitable right now it does serve to keep a cap on fuel prices.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        People who care about the environment aren’t going to set wildfires. Maybe it’s frackers posing as eco-terrorists who might set fires to raise the price of oil.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          Earth Liberation Front?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            The ELF set fires to all those Hummers in CA, and those huge condo-complexes being built in the LA area.

            To this date, no one has been caught.

            It’s unlikely that an ELF-like informal organization has set the “wild fires” in the shale lands of Canada because they would be destroying the very forests and nature they are trying to protect.

            More likely it was a group or groups who became disadvantaged by the sudden influx of wealth into the area.

            In any case, the damage is done.

            Fire inspectors from the US and Australia are flying in to assist the Canadian officials with their investigation.

            A wildfire due to a lightning strike, or whatever, has only one starting point, not several like those set by eco-terrorists in the past.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Confusing the ELF with environmentalists is like thinking the KKK speaks for the Republican party.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            touche’ VoGo. I guess I have to give you that. They were the first thing that came to mind when “Environmental Terrorism” was mentioned though and they are associated with that if not actual environmentalism. As for Republicans and the Klan, wasn’t the last guy serving at the national level linked to the Klan Robert Byrd (D-WV)? But yes, I will give you that they are closer to the way far looney right than the left noways.

        • 0 avatar
          Jagboi

          None of the oil around Ft Mc Murray is fracked, it’s not that kind of formation.

      • 0 avatar
        yamahog

        There are extraordinary situations that might trigger $5/gallon gas. Imagine Iran / Saudi Arabia start scrapping mano e mano and all the sea traffic in the middle east comes to a halt. And Saudi Arabia’s royal family / Saudi Amarco unloads the $750 billion in dollar denominated assets they hold and suddenly the dollar is worthless.

        Yeah, frackers (god bless them) give us some interesting price ceilings but shit happens. Heck, sometimes an oil refinery magically needs to get some unscheduled repairs and the price of gas goes up 75 cents / gallon overnight.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      yamahog,
      What you state is true. But, regulations and other controls do impact what and how “things” are done. People will tend to work within a system/model in an attempt to “maximise” (in a subjective way) what they deem is best for them.

      For example the Chicken Tax impacts pickups and light commercials. If their was no Chicken Tax their would be a larger variation of pickups available in the US, possibly making US pickup cheaper.

      So, then you would have more pickups on the road.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – If and when all the sh!tty built, unsafe and gross polluting pickups of the world are dumped on the US, consumers will keep on buying fullsize pickups just the same or more, paying just the same or more.

        So whatcha babbling about? What impacts truck buyer’s choices most, is what buyers buy the most and pay the most for. Follow the money.

        For global pickup OEMs to join the US market, there has to be money to follow, after federalizing their pickups, same as all import car OEMs federalize their US import cars.

        The world is full of sh!tty built, dangerous and gross polluting cars that aren’t sold in the US. So what gives?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    When in the Hell did trucks become so large?

    Yesterday a new Colorado crew cab long bed Z-71 parked next to my 2011 Chevy Avalanche. I looked it up and the “midsizer” is 4″ longer than the Avalanche, which 10 years ago was in the unholy trinity of the Hummer H2 and Escalade ESV to represent all that was wrong with fuel economy in America.

    When did a “midsize” truck become bigger than the rolling personification of planet destruction?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      I parked my 2015 next to a 97ish F150 the other day and they were roughly the same size. There are more of the larger (crew cab) models nowadays but they really arent any bigger than comparitive models from early years. Midsizers are another animal. All we really have from that era is the Dakota, everything else was a small truck. Honestly when it comes to planet destruction all of the plastic geegaws you own are likely far worse for the planet. Pickup trucks washing into the Pacific Ocean aren’t what is killing it after all. But it does feel so much better to point the finger at others about stuff than taking that long, hard look in the mirror, I’ll give you that.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      A truck with a 74″ bed is longer than a truck with a 63″ bed.

      Who knew?

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Face it, there are those who would be happy to have a pickup truck the size of a school bus if one was offered on the market .

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        +1

        I have always said, for me bigger is better.

        Another example of my philosophy: I had a 22KW natgas AC generator installed at the house I live in now. I only have a 100-amp service, so a 12KW generator would have been more than sufficient.

        The reason I went with the 22KW is because I have a 5-horse air compressor and I’ll be building an outdoor kitchen that is both natgas and electric.

        All that extra power is nice, and I don’t have to juggle circuits. Just fire up old Gennie, and go.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Don’t cherry-pick. Besides not comparing apples to apples (CCLB vs. CCSB), the Avalanche was the shortest crew cab “pickup” of its day, but at 78″, was still wider than any mid-size or smaller pickup then or now.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Fuel economy seems to peak mid-summer and fall-off every October. Does anybody publish a “seasonally adjusted” fuel economy metric?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      These figures are for the EPA fuel economy of newly sold vehicles, not the entire fleet of actual vehicles running.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Exactly. It looks like Americans buy more efficient cars in the spring and summer and less efficient cars in the fall. That’s the pattern from ’07 to ’14. ’14-on doesn’t show as much variation.

        I wonder why that is. Are people more likely to buy guzzlers during model-year clearouts (October)? Is it just a bunch of snow-plow-ready Super Duties? Is there some other fleet-related explanation? Is it due to the cratering of Miata sales as winter approaches?

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          I would find the idea that people are more apt to buy AWD CUV/SUVs in the fall credible. Also, dealers work hard at year end to clear out pickups and luxury cars.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do believe fuel pricing impacts more than some who comment on this site would like to admit.

    Most households are stretched. By saving $10 a week to many is putting food in their kids mouths.

    Now is the time for the US Federal government to increase the levy taxed on fuel and put it to good use by expanding transport infrastructure. The effects will hardly be noticed.

    Even a modest 50c a gallon increase will be substantial in improving infrastructure and maybe improving and developing much needed public transport like light rail. Many US cities have a lacking of decent public transport.

    Removing vehicles from cities will benefit trade and business activity. Add to this an improvement will again improve the efficiency of “doing business” in America.

    All will benefit.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      74% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and could not come up with $400 from savings in an emergency.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree its a major problem, but redistributing the amounts of paper wealth of a sick currency from an overgrown government with signifncant debt overhang is not the answer. Nothing will improve until there is a return to sound money and government shrinks.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          The dollar is strong and US debt as a % of GDP has been flat since 2009.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The patient in hospice in the best shape is still ultimately terminal.

            The funny thing about you is out of one side of your mouth, you correctly point out things are so screwed up 74% don’t have enough (or have poor enough spending habits) cashflow to save $400 and out of the other you defend the insurmountable debt and the strength of ZIRP toilet paper. The two things are kinda interrelated, just a tad.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I don’t see the incongruity. I believe in personal responsibility and would not blame the government for my personal problems.

            If you make a good living, but spend all your money keeping up appearances, then how is that the Fed’s fault? If you choose not to work hard, what do you think Obama should be doing to help you?

            Look, it’s fact that the dollar is strong. Just compare it to other developed world currencies. It’s fact that debt levels as a % of GDP have been flat since we exited the great recession.

            I realize times are hard for people. I see income disparities and know that they have risen. But 3/4 of federal spending is locked in as social security and medicare/medicaid. If you don’t tackle that, then reducing the debt requires either reducing defense spending, or increasing taxes.

            I don’t know why you would do that when it won’t solve the issues we have in our economy.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “Interrelated” is a superfluous compound buzzword, much like “irregardless.” Just “related” will do fine.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          28CL, there are plenty of jobs to be had in America. Millions of jobs stay unfilled.

          But many Americans are too proud to do the work that is offered to them. So we have to legally import foreigners to do those jobs for us.

          H1B, anyone?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “So we have to legally import foreigners to do those jobs for us.”

            I honestly don’t have the time to do the proper research to refute this particular point, however the corporatocracy salivates at cheap labor. The other nice thing society is kind enough to do is feed US kids the line their whole lives about “go to skool 2 be sukkessful”. They then go and get into LOADs of debt when the corporatocracy turns around to hire foreigners who don’t belong here for a few less dollars an hour. I mean, really guys?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I think you hit the nail on the head. That has been exactly what has been happening, especially in highly specialized fields like electronics, computer science, medical/health professions and Generalists liks MBAs, MPAs and MEs.

            But that was an offshoot of when there were still more baby-boomers in America who needed to be replaced as they left the work-force.

            Today there are more Millennials in America than there are baby-boomers. So it is up to these American Millennials to shape the future of America to their way of thinking.

            The vast majority of American baby-boomers have made theirs, achieved their nirvana, and are now living their version of the American Dream.

            I didn’t want any of my off-spring to be deeply indebted when they finished college, like their peers.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            That’s right. In the 80’s, I went to one of the most expensive schools in the world, got zero help from my family, but came out $10K in debt. 30 years later, that $10K might be worth $30K, but it’s manageable. And I paid the minimum every month in my twenties, and the debt was paid by the time I got to grad school.

            If I did that today, I’d probably be in debt about $150K, which is definitely NOT manageable. Kids today have to be really smart about where they go to school, how employable they will be, and how much debt they can take on. If someone is telling them otherwise, they need better advisers.

          • 0 avatar
            yamahog

            H1B is completely different. Usually, there are a lot of Americans who can fill them but corporations can get an H1B worker for less money.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            yamahog, in order to get an H1B, corporations have to show that there are no viable American candidates for the position.

            Check out your nearest VA Medical Center. Lots of H1B medical staff doing their internships and training there because there aren’t enough American young medical professionals that accept employment there.

            They all prefer to go into sponsored private practice as specialists.

            The auto industry’s need for ME’s and BSEE’s is not far removed from those same needs.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @HDC

            While in theory corps are supposed to show there where no other qualified applicants when hiring H1Bs, in practice that is pretty much not enforced in my experience. Or they simply write the job requirements such that nobody qualifies, or the pay is so low that no qualified person would take it. I work with a LOT of H1Bs in my professional life at client sites, I don’t believe for a second those jobs were unfillable. It’s all about the dollars.

            IMHO, there is a special ring of H3ll reserved for H1B project managers, the most useless creatures in all of IT.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            HDC,
            You are technically correct, that corporations have to try to hire an American citizen before going the H1B route.

            However, in practice, what many companies do is they go through the motions of looking for citizens so as to fulfill the requirement, but they aren’t seriously trying to hire a citizen at market wages.

            The issue with the VA is (and there are SO MANY issues with the VA – it is a national tragedy that we subject our treasured veterans to this abuse) that they don’t pay like the private sector, so they either get foreign talent, or the bottom of the barrel.

            Again, no way to be treating our vets.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            There have been some changes made, especially for those vets who live in rural areas, like mine.

            Vets have walk-in Clinics now, both locally and in nearby towns, and two VAMCs within driving range that will fully reimburse the traveling expenses, including lodging.

            And they can seek care on the economy with vouchers — as long as they pass the Means Test.

            My area is HUGE with veterans of all age groups and conflicts who served in the American uniformed services, including the Coast Guard.

            Lots of former Coast Guardsmen become cops because they were already sworn Federal Law Enforcement officers while on active duty.

            Most of the new additions to Veterans Healthcare do not apply to me of course because I’m 70 and covered by Medicare, TriCare for Life and the VAHCS, because of me being retired Air Force.

            But from personal experience, private Health insurance, in our case BlueCross/BlueShield of NM up to 2013, was the better healthcare coverage because they paid the doctors and hospitals more, and we got priority appointments ahead of Medicare/Tricare.

            I actually get a better and more complete physical every six months at the VA Clinic, without having to wait, than I do at my Internal Medicine Specialist who is our Civilian Primary Care provider.

            And we always have to worry about the dreaded Advanced Beneficiary Notice when using Medicare.

            If you live long enough to become Medicare eligible, you may find that it is not everything it is cracked up to be. And God forbid you develop cancer or some life-threatening ailment that Medicare denies payment for.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I;m glad to hear things are improving for you with the VA. I am a total lefty, but this is one instance where I’d love to see privatization to reduce cost and improve service. Crazy idea, I know.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I never had any complaints. But the loss of our BC/BS coverage did necessitate doctor-shopping on our part because so many doctors and clinics do not accept Medicare or Tricare patients.

            They have to take you as a patient (because it’s the law) but you have to pay in full before you are seen — they accept credit cards. And then you file your claim with Medicare afterwards.

            You also hope to be reimbursed by Medicare. We were denied each time we went through that procedure. I’m sure others have experienced the same.

            Now we have to travel to appointments in El Paso, TX, Las Cruces, NM, or Albuquerque, NM, to be seen by specialists who accept Medicare and Tricare. That is significant travel time in addition to appointment time.

          • 0 avatar
            yamahog

            @highdesertcat

            I couldn’t reply to your comment directly, but saying that the H1B system isn’t abused is like watching a person get stabbed and saying ‘no that cant happen stabbing people is illegal’. Go google the H1B visa abuse cases. Heck, Disney had a functional I.T staff and then disney brought a ton of H1b visa workers in to replace the American I.T staff who had to train their replacements to get their severance.

            The system is broken because corporations fight tooth and nail to avoid giving the legislation any teeth to enforce the provisions. Nearly half of the applications for H1bs come from two corporations in India that contract their workers out and H1Bs are given out in a lottery system. So world class brainiacs who want to work for google can get unlucky / stuck in India but a college grad with a padded resume can get in. If anything, the h1bs should be auctioned off so corporations have to decide whether the person is worth it, but that’s not going to happen because the program is used to cut I.T costs.

  • avatar
    d4rksabre

    Know how I know the US economy is fine despite all the complaining? Truck sales.

  • avatar

    My giant Earth-pounding, CO2-belching daily driver SUV yields about 19 m.p.g.. I used to keep precise records for about 3 years, because I didn’t trust the computer. Anyhow, switching to a 40 mpg Elantra would probably save me about $1,100 a year at $3/gal and $1,930 at $5/gal., which is not entirely insignificant, but not massive either. Essentially, the one or two grand a year is the tax I’m paying for all the camping and hunting in remote locations.

    I should also note that the depreciation rate for this SUV is about $2750/year. An economical compact car could eke about $1000 in amortization savings on the 12-year replacement cycle.

    • 0 avatar
      jim brewer

      Pete, the short-run price elasticity of gasoline as I recall is about 1 to 4. Not elastic, but not uncorrelated either.

      I see it when I visit California in my pickup. I tower over the other vehicles, just like in the old days.

      Roads can be self-sustaining. We have important societal reasons to have cost-causers to be cost payers when it comes to roads. If it were me, I would go a little above the break even price, fix the roads a little better than we do and abolish CAFE.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    Free will is a wonderful thing.

    People get to buy what they want and can afford to operate.

    But that is not at all what the neo-communist progressives would want you to do; and if they had their way, you’d be driving a Tonka truck powered by a battery and you manspreading fools would have to find a way to haul your junk around.

    I make up for some of you. I am fully concerned about fuel economy and have found ways without being an idiot hypermiler to make my car that should get 34 mpgs combined into one that averages 43 mpgs combined for over 100k miles.

    I do the stuff that doesn’t cost money – I am a fanatic about tire pressure. I always drive in the slow lane and don’t go 1 mph over the speed limit (and drop my speed when tailgated just for fun to see how long the Honduh, Toyoduh, and Mazduh owners – the top three brands of tailgaters in my neck of the woods – after all, I am nearly “Rainman” in my OCD.

    I know all of my stoplight patterns (yes, friends, there are patterns) and I know the most efficient routes.

    On my cheap Ford, there are those places where fog lamps go but aren’t on mine so I filled them with foam and taped them over (white duct tape blends nicely with the white bumper) – that alone lowered fuel consumption by 5%.

    Did you know that temperatures increase or decrease gas mileage by up to 25%? Impacts tire pressure and operating temperature zone of the engine.

    I say this will all due respect for men who buy big trucks and rarely haul anything other than their big bums. I say this to the women who really dig women who buy Toyoduh 4×4’s and never carry anything but their 300 pound other half. You are free to buy what you want.

    But don’t tailgate me. I don’t brake check (cause you’d hit me and I don’t want to be that close to you). I just start dropping the speed until such point as your neanderthal brain can’t take it anymore.

    Hugs and kisses. From a devout Libertarian!

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      This would have been a good post if you had edited out all the insults that serve to only make people take you less seriously.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        And the part about some tape over the foglight openings giving a 5% improvement. 0.5%, maybe. And you get to drive around in a duct-taped Escort.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      I do agree with some of lazerwizard’s points if you delete the insults. Maintain you tire pressure, lower your speed, and may I add slowing down when you anticipate stopping not only for fuel economy but to add more years to your vehicle especially the brakes. Not too good for a vehicle to accelerate hard and then slam on the brake when the light turns red. You can take your existing vehicle and make it more efficient with proper maintenance and common sense driving. In the long run you are not only helping the environment but you are paying yourself by saving money on maintenance and extending the life of your vehicle.

  • avatar
    Hydromatic

    In the end, it all comes down to how automakers respond to CAFE, not necessarily what people will buy and how much fuel costs. See how Ford is aggressively moving towards turbocharged 6-cylinder engines in a bit to raise average fuel economy ratings. Within the next decade, the average light-duty full-size pickup truck might be able to crack 25 mpg in mixed driving without breaking much of a sweat.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “it all comes down to how automakers respond to CAFE”

      Automakers have no choice. They must comply. It’s the law.

      As such, I believe more people will step up to the HD pickup truck, like an F250-class, or in some bizarro cases, an F350-class, as daily drivers.

      Look at the increased demand for four-door pickup trucks after the demise of the four-door large sedan, like the Crown Vic. I would have gone F250 if my 2016 Tundra had not been available with a 5.7L V8.

      There will always be a need for these work horses like the F250 and F350, and some people will use them for commuting and light-duty use instead.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        They have to comply with CAFE, or pay fines. But there are a lot of loopholes – it’s like the NBA cap. Flex fuel vehicles, elongated wheelbases, bought credits, etc.

        It’s all in how you play the game. Companies like Honda and Mazda will be fine – they have a smaller mix of vehicles and have invested in fuel efficiency. FCA? Not so much.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Big vehicles will have to be built/sold regardless, CAFE compliance or no. It’s a good thing they’re so extremely profitable, so any CAFE fines would tiny in comparison, adding maybe O.002% to MSRP or simply absorbed by their OEM.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “It’s all in how you play the game. Companies like Honda and Mazda will be fine – they have a smaller mix of vehicles and have invested in fuel efficiency. FCA? Not so much.”

          You don’t really understand how CAFE currently works. Honda and Mazda will hurt as much if not more than FCA if the 2025 standards remain in place.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    For me a pickup has more utility than a 4 door sedan of any kind. True I don’t use the bed of my pickup all the time but I use it enough to justify having one. You don’t have to have a large late model expensive truck. I don’t have anything against 4 door sedans except that a truck just meets my needs better. I doubt most people would be that impressed by a 17 year old midsize truck, but I use it and I don’t own it to impress anyone. Maybe if I lived in a condo instead of a house I would feel differently but I use the bed of my truck to haul things that I would have to rent a truck for and the amount of use I get from my own truck is still less expensive than renting a truck when I need one. For many it would be better to rent a truck than to own one, but not everyone has the same needs or wants.

  • avatar
    redav

    The goal is to burn less gas & release less CO2. I can support that. My current car is larger, more powerful, AND more efficient than my prior one, so I can’t complain.

    But this statistic misses the forest for the trees. fuel consumed equals miles driven / real world mpg. As has been noted countless times, you only get small incremental improvements with improving mpg for most cars. But you can get huge results by reducing miles driven. So what is being done to facilitate that?

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