There he goes again…But they weren’t Hybrids or Electrics

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There he goes again…But they weren’t Hybrids or Electrics

I read this article this morning and felt it deserved wider circulation. The government has for years demanded that the auto industry sell more and more higher mileage cars. To wit:

Since 2007, when George W. Bush (applauded by one Sen. Barack Obama) signed into law a 40 percent increase in federal fuel-mileage standards mandating — mandating! — that automakers sell more small cars that average 35 mpg, the mix of vehicles in the U.S. market has gone in exactly the opposite direction. As America climbed out of the Great Recession of 2009, sedans owned a 55 percent to 45 percent market-share advantage over light trucks. By February of this year, that percentage had nearly flip-flopped with SUVs outselling sedans with 53 percent of the market.

Then last month it flip-flopped again. What happened? More regulation? A 50 mpg mandate? Nope. Four-dollar-a-gallon gas happened.

The market works, and there seems to be no way to mandate what people will buy.

Customers flocked to GM for smaller cars in April. But they weren’t hybrids and electrics. Indeed, sales of hybrids actually dropped from a year earlier — to a minuscule 2.2 percent of the market (compared to 2.4 percent in April 2010).

Sales of the plugin Chevy Volt actually dropped. GM’s  hybrid Chevy Malibu sedan sold — wait for it — five cars. Meanwhile, Chevy sold 24,000 — that’s thousand — gas-fueled Malibu sedans. And it was the Chevy Cruze — the $40,000 Volt’s platform-mate that sells for half the price — that was the General’s star seller at a healthy 25,000 units. More than the vaunted Toyota Corolla. Nearly even with the legendary Honda Civic.

 

Hmmmmmm

JVH

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John Van Horn

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