There is a shortage of hybrid and fuel efficient cars in the auto industry. One can say that the industry is having one of its worst years ever but there were some cars scrutinized by auto buyers which they found to be alluring and were in the range of $18,000 to $30,000.
The sales of some of these models increased in 2008 as compared to 2007 and this increase contributed in giving a ray of hope to automakers who were otherwise struggling to stay on board. The sales for the Chevrolet Malibu (25mpg), for example, went up by 73.4% in June 2008 as compared to 2007. The Honda Accord (24mpg) received a 54% increase in sales. The sales increased to 45.9% for the Chevrolet Equinox (19mpg). The sales for the Subaru Forester and the Pontiac G6 were also up.
The double increase in the sales of mid-sized cars indicated the preference of the consumer is shifting from fuel guzzling SUV's, whose sales dwindled, to mid-sized cars. Overall, according to AutoData Corp. , a vehicle sales tracker, sales for the month of June fell to 13.3% although there were fewer selling days in June 2008 than in June 2007. The three days wouldn't have made much of a difference as no automaker was spared from the plunge.
Even Toyota, who was predicted to overtake GM in sales, failed as they plunged 21% in sales whereas GM stayed put at 18%. No segment was spared from the sudden downfall and even the hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic experienced a fall. For them it wasn't because of a drop in sales but more to a lack of availability of the cars themselves. Purchasers bought them at a rate faster then the production rate.
Until the buyers get their confidence back, auto sales will not experience any lift whatsoever; this may not be until next year. Until more people feel secure in their jobs, housing and finance, only then will they regain their confidence. To reduce their fuel expenses, customers who go to purchase new cars, took a look at other options rather than looking into SUV's and pickups.
Some purchased small and compact cars for mid-priced vehicles. This segment which became a whole lot more popular contained sedans, coupes, compact SUV's; convertibles that are compelling to families of all sizes. There are some families who want a fuel-efficient car but one which is fairly large and tough enough to meet their demands.
Analysts are saying that some people don't really want to own big cars anymore and go as far as indicating that people now require more room for their family without compromising in fuel efficiency and safety as well. There is clearly a shift in the consumers’ preference so it may take some time for the automobile manufacturers to catch up to this change for the need of fuel efficient vehicles.
If we take the June sales into consideration, then the demand for the cars is way ahead of the supply. And this may remain the same for some time to come. Manufacturers must increase factory production to meet demands.
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