Buying Smart

The juxtaposition of two major news stories in recent weeks provides fascinating perspective on the amazingly resilient and ever hard-charging auto industry. When the Obama administration issued a corporate average fuel economy mandate of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 — Republican Mitt Romney decried the standards as too costly, the traditional lament of the multi-million dollar auto industry lobby — fighting tougher mileage standards. But these days there is no hue and cry coming from the auto industry against the new mileage standards!

To the contrary — manufacturer technical presenters and media ride and drives hosts sound like environmentalists — without the whining. Chevrolet, Hyundai, Audi, Nissan, Ford, Mazda, VW and Toyota, have made 35 – 40 mpg ratings for conventional gas and clean diesel vehicles, the centerpiece of their marketing campaigns.

When auto sales rose by a dramatic 19.9 percent in August in the face of a major spike in fuel prices — it demonstrated just how many fuel efficient models are available to consumers. Instead of driving Americans away from making car purchases — high fuel prices made consumers turn to mileage and value-smart choices like the Ford Focus, Toyota Yaris, Mazda 3, Chevy Cruze Eco, VW Jetta and Hyundai Elantra.