Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

Driver Habits Steadfast Unless Gas Sticks at $3 a Gallon

August 27, 2003

Gasoline prices could keep setting daily records into September, fueling increasingly strident complaints that nevertheless are unlikely to change what or how most people drive, according to USA Today.Gas would have to hit $3 a gallon and stay there permanently to get people out of big vehicles into small, fuel-efficient ones, according to studies by automakers and auto-industry consultants. Even so, stubbornness remains, USA Today said."Our data show that 57 percent of new car and truck buyers would not change the type ofvehicles they drove at any price," says George Peterson, head of consultant AutoPacific. "Hard to believe that," he acknowledges, adding:"We understand, anecdotally, that the price at which they would change is around $3.50 to $4 a gallon."The issue is important to car companies because they take two or three years to develop a model. Automakers don't want to hit the market with big V-8 engines just as fuel shortagesoccur, or offer only fuel-sipping four-cylinders when gas is cheap and plentiful and rivals are selling powerful V-6s and V-8s, according to USA Today.
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