Friday, February 25, 2011

Deja Vu: Will higher gas prices increase small car sales again?

Gas prices chart
This incredibly detailed, highly (un)scientific graphic was made by yours truly in 2008, but it looks like we might be in the same boat yet again: oil keeps creeping up.While typing this, crude was at $98.17 a barrel for WTI Crude. Economists say that if it goes up to $125 a barrel, we could face a recession again (still?). We've all likely heard of the $5 per gallon rumor, too (some say as early as May). This after reporting that large vehicle sales were way up last summer. Really, who ever thought gas prices would go up again? (That was a joke, folks.)

If oil/gas does continue its skyward climb, it'll be interesting to see if small car sales make an increase as well. However, unlike 2008 when the gas price averaged $4.11 a gallon nationwide, more manufacturers are poised for such a spike with more fuel-efficient vehicle offerings. Even many of the larger trucks and SUVs are getting better mileage. We'll see what happens. Hopefully for our wallets, things don't get too bad.

1 comment:

D2M said...

I know in our case we bought a used ('00) Nissan minivan as a secondary vehicle. It was the only vehicle in our budget (less than 2K) and still in good condition. It might get 22MPG highway on a good day. (Combined is 18MPG.)

The worst part is we don't even NEED a van. It was just the only one there when we were looking. If I could have found something smaller, in the good condition, with better fuel economy I would have gotten it. :-(

That said, the Van is only used for my husband (primarily highway) work commute. For everything else (including 19 hr roads trips) we use the Fit.

New car sales will probably be different though. I imagine anyone who's going to be getting a loan and paying that monthly won't want a huge gas bill every month either.