As the price of gasoline in the U.S. remains high, the October 2005 Fuel Price Impact Survey
conducted by AutoPacific's Vehicle Voice, a research firm for the automotive industry based in Tustin, CA, confirms that many consumers intend to shift the type of vehicle they drive, though not quite to the extent they indicated only one month ago. The Fuel Price Impact Survey is based on the results of a VehicleVoice Internet survey with 1,145 respondents who completed the survey between October 17 and October 22, 2005.
change the type of vehicle they drive, there clearly is impact on the SUV market. Approximately 22% of SUV owners say they will shift to another type of vehicle next time they buy, down from 27% a month ago. The vehicle class most likely to benefit from this migration is small cars (up 33% this month, compared with a 41% increase last month). While the data does not show a direct relationship of drivers moving from SUVs to small cars, the study finds that there is a tendency to move from less fuel-efficient classes to vehicle types that get better gas mileage.Many of the respondants see hybrid cars as a preference. The study finds that nearly 1/4 of drivers who have vehicles powered by V8 engines say they will shift to more fuel-efficient engines, the same as reported last month. Vehicles with hybrid powerplants will be considered by 15% of the respondents, virtually unchanged from the prior survey. According to the survey, this is a reaction to the continuing positive media attention surrounding hybrid-powered vehicles and the public's perception that hybrids are an answer to the higher price of fuel. There is also somewhat more interest in diesel engines, though significantly less than the level of interest in a gas-electric hybrid.