The Facts Don’t Lie: Fuel Efficiency and Car Sales Both on the Rise

by Roland Hwang
Natural Resources Defense Council
September 5, 2012

August sales data reconfirms that current stronger fuel efficiency standards are already working for consumers. Gas prices and fuel efficiency are up, but so are vehicles sales. What’s going on here?

This morning’s New York Times sheds light on this question, simply entitled “Gas Prices Rise, but So Do Auto Sales.” The piece notes that August sales figures show very strong sales growth, jumping 19.9% year-over-year. Sales-weighted fuel efficiency of new vehicles sold in August jumped by 0.2 mpg over the previous month, according to the University of Michigan. And yet, auto sales growth persisted despite increasingly high gas prices, a historical anomaly for the U.S. auto sector.

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