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Transportation Nation

Car Sales Are Booming, and So Are the Prices

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

U.S. new car sales appear to have reached a six-year high as buyers raced back to showrooms in August – but that wasn't because consumers were getting great deals. 

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Transportation Nation

Electric Vehicles Have Best Sales Month Ever in June

Thursday, July 25, 2013

WNYC

There are now more than 100,000 electric vehicles on U.S. roads. A new report from the boosters at the Electrification Coalition hails increasing -- if still small -- EV sales and lays out some optimistic projections. 

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Transportation Nation

Consumer Reports: High Fuel Costs Reduce Car Sales

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) Just after we get news of the new fuel economy sticker for cars, this comes in from Consumer Reports, saying they've surveyed drivers and found higher fuel costs in recent years have led to a drop in car sales.

From Consumer Reports:

"The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted 1,764 random, nationwide telephone interviews of adult car owners from April 28-May 2, 2011."

"The economy has caused a significant drop in annual car sales over recent years, and the age of the average car driven by respondents has increased to eight years. This trend was consistent across most demographics, though household income was a key factor. In households earning $50,000 or more a year, the average age of their cars was six years, whereas lower-income households drove 10-year-old vehicles on average. A significant 23 percent of surveyed motorists are driving cars from the 1990s, many of which must be at the tail end of their reliable service life and certainly well behind current safety standards."

Read more at Consumer Reports.

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Transportation Nation

Study: Gas Price Hikes Spur Efficient Car Sales, but with Two Year Lag

Monday, April 18, 2011

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) Higher gas prices do cause higher hybrid vehicle sales, just not right away. A new study finds there's a two year lag between fuel price changes and car sales.

The study in the Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research finds that a 10 percent increase in gas price, decreases the demand for SUVs by 13.7 percent and increases the demand for Hybrid cars by 9.1 percent. The price of a gallon of unleaded has increased more than 30 percent in the past year, according to AAA.

"Gas price has a direct impact on vehicle choice... However, this impact is not immediate and there is a time lag between price changes and vehicle choice," authors Mansoureh Jeihani and Soheil Sibdari write.

The study also treats picking a new vehicle as a long term choice, not an impulse buy based on the data.

The study also verifies other research that says people won't stop driving, or drive fewer miles, when gas prices go up, but they will use more fuel efficient cars, especially if the household owns multiple vehicles.

(Via The Daily Stat)

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Transportation Nation

Americans Still Aren't Buying Fuel-Efficient Cars

Monday, March 28, 2011

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) The Detroit Free Press is reporting sluggish demand for fuel-efficient cars despite gas prices climbing above $4-per gallon in many parts of the country.

The Free Press: "Hybrid car sales actually shrunk from 2.9 percent of new vehicle sales in 2009 to 2.4 percent last year. Sales of light trucks -- pickups, SUVs, crossovers and minivans -- rose to 51 percent from 48 percent over the same period."

Car companies have to meet government standards for fleet-wide fuel efficiency. Meeting those targets requires increasing sales of  smaller cars with higher miles-per-gallon performance, and hybrids, which earn carmakers credits under the system.

The government's average fuel economy standards call for a fleet-wide average of 35.5 m.p.g. by 2016. "The 2010 average of all new vehicles actually slipped to 22.2 m.p.g. from 22.3 m.p.g." the Free Press reports.

For a sense of sales numbers of the newest generation of electric cars as compared to SUVs The Free Press offers this: "In the first two months of the year, Chevrolet sold 602 Volts while Nissan sold 154 Leafs. In the same period, by contrast, Cadillac sold 2,793 Escalades and Lincoln sold 1,193 Navigators."

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Car Sales Jump, Houston Transit Takes $168 Million Hit, and CA HSR Advocates Get Ready for Hearings

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New and used vehicle sales jumped 20% in 2010 -- making cars the only retail sector to see more than 5% growth. (NPR)

Indianapolis is installing solar-powered parking meters. (Indianapolis Star)

California high-speed rail supporters are turning out this week for transportation hearings headed by John Mica. (Los Angeles Times)

Houston's Metropolitan Transit Authority is preparing to declare that it has spent $168 million on what have turned out to be useless assets -- like rail expansion projects that never will be built or will have to be started over. (Houston Chronicle)

Unrest in Libya prompts a spike in oil prices. (Marketplace)

The Takeaway talks Florida high-speed rail with a Republican State Senator Paula Dockery.

A group of teenagers from Nairobi won a video contest with "Me and My Bike" -- an ode to how bicycles can change the world.

Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: opponents of the Park Slope bike lane want a moratorium on future bike lane construction. And the TN documentary "Back of the Bus" is now available to be downloaded--for free--on iTunes.

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