Fuel Price Freefall Due In Part To Auto Industry Efficiencies

The slide in oil prices from a summer high of $104 to $86 per barrel has taken US pump prices below $3 for the first time in 4 years. Clearly the result of slowing foreign economies, increased domestic energy production and an OPEC glut, the auto industry can claim some credit for dropping fuel prices.

With government minimum mpg standards providing a token mandate, the auto industry has enthusiastically embraced the technology race to maximum fuel efficiency across all categories of cars and trucks.

The Ford Fiesta 1.0 liter ecoboost gas powered 3 cylinder with a 45 mpg highway rating is an obvious example. But even the more substantial Chevrolet Malibu compact sedan with its own ECO TEC 4 cylinder fuel efficiency system delivers 37-Highway mpg.

The hybrid and electric segment, barely 4 percent of the market is still a factor. When a tricked out full-sized luxury sedan like the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid can deliver a straight 45-mpg City and Highway rating and a mid-size Ford Fusion Energi sedan peaks with a 100 mpg city rating, the cumulative impact of the segment becomes obvious.

This is George Polgar of GT Marketing for KYW News Radio