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Commentary & Voices

Automakers at the White House to discuss Fuel Economy and Emissions


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Earlier today, senior leaders from a number of the global automakers met with President Trump and other officials at the White House to discuss fuel economy regulations and emission standards.  As NHTSA and the EPA work to establish clear regulations for vehicle emissions going forward, gas prices in the USA continue to rise and the State of California has made their opposition clear.  

With fuel prices rising, our KBB team has been performing “Quick Poll” work on the KBB.com. These polls are not full, scientific studies, but they do offer insight into the mindset of consumers shopping for vehicles on the popular KBB.com website. These surveys provide a flavor of what Americans are thinking about gas prices right now.  See charts below.  

Additionally, Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke and our Industry Insights team have been looking carefully at the numbers and believe that, in the current environment, rising fuel prices likely won’t drive consumers to smaller sedans, as happened a decade ago.  

Says Smoke, “The annual fuel premium for driving a compact SUV versus a compact car was over $300 in 2008. It was down to $191 last year, roughly $16 month. Further, the incremental increase in the premium paid due to this year’s 21-percent higher gas prices is $34 a year, or less than $3 a month. Will consumers suddenly abandon ride height and greater utility for the cost of a coffee? I don’t think so.

Smoke wrote a piece about how higher gas prices will be affect car buyers in a piece that ran in The Hill this week. You can read the piece here: http://thehill.com/opinion/finance/386893-many-americans-are-shrugging-off-higher-gas-prices

If you would like to speak to any of our experts and analysts, feel free to contact us.

KBB Quick Polls.  May 2018. 

With gas prices rising how will your driving habits change? % Count
Nothing will change 47% 144
Only pay the amount I am comfortable with for, even if it doesn’t fill the entire tank 20% 60
Plan more activities close to home 14% 43
Use a different mode of transportation (bike, walk, etc.) 9% 27
Try to work from home more often 6% 17
Carpool more 4% 13
Total Votes: 304


Due to the rising price of gas are you more likely to consider a more fuel efficient vehicle? % Count
Extremely unlikely 12% 48
Unlikely 19% 75
Neutral 23% 91
Likely 19% 76
Extremely likely 21% 84
I wasn’t aware that gas prices were rising 7% 26
Total Votes: 400


How much would gas prices have to rise for you to seriously consider changing vehicles to something more fuel efficient? % Count
$1.00 – $1.99 increase 20% 67
$2.00 – $2.99 increase 18% 60
$3.00 – $3.99 increase 9% 29
$4.00 – $4.99 increase 11% 35
$5.00 – $5.99 increase 5% 17
$6.00 – $6.99 increase 1% 2
More than $7.00 3% 9
I wouldn’t change vehicles due to gas prices 33% 108
Total Votes: 327

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