Emphasis on Small Cars not Permanent According to Edmunds.com

Emphasis on Small Cars not Permanent According to Edmunds.com


Emphasis on Small Cars not Permanent According to Edmunds.com

Recent Shift in Consumer Interest to Small Vehicles is Subsiding as Gas Dips to $3.88

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — August 11, 2008 — In June and July the national average price for gasoline topped $4 per gallon for seven weeks, fueling a sudden shift in consumer interest towards smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles. But according to Web site traffic on Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, consumers' single-minded focus on small vehicles is subsiding as gasoline prices drop.

"There's been a rush to small cars, but that doesn't necessarily mean the shift is permanent," said Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.com. "With the initial shock of high gas prices fading, consumers are returning to rationality and again viewing gas consumption as just one of many factors when considering their next vehicle. And as gas prices actually decline, this trend could accelerate."

Edmunds.com "consideration data" tracks consumer interest by measuring its Web site traffic to each vehicle segment. The data shows the trend towards small vehicles is leveling off, and interest in previously declining segments — such as compact crossover SUVs — is on the rise. Even interest in the popular hybrid segment is down 34 percent compared to June as gas prices have declined.

"Automakers made some big changes to their production plans based on preferences in the second quarter," said Jesse Toprak, Executive Director of Industry Analysis for Edmunds.com. "But if gas prices continue to recede to the long-term trend line, automakers may find that they overreacted to a temporary shift in consumers' preferences."

"Gas prices, not incentives are the driving force behind recent consideration shifts," said David Tompkins, Senior Industry Analyst at Edmunds.com. "We are noticing that many vehicles carrying big incentives continue to register drops in consumer interest, while other vehicles with low levels of incentives are experiencing increased levels of consideration."

For more information, please visit the Edmunds' AutoObserver.com story, "Rush to Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Recedes, Edmunds.com Research Suggests," located at: http://www.autoobserver.com/2008/08/rush-to-fuel-efficient-vehicles-recedes-edmundscom-research-suggests.html.

About Edmunds
Edmunds.com publishes three Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers and enthusiasts. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value® , is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in January 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in February 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site and home to the oldest and most established automotive community. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

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