For some, dropping oil prices are a blessing — but the plummet has given oil-industry folks plenty to gripe about. Consumers, meanwhile, have seen the decreasing gas prices as cause for celebration, but are they busting out the party supplies too soon?
As for the auto industry, will low gas prices change product design in the coming year, or will auto companies continue on as if nothing has changed?
See what President Obama and a few major auto executives have to say about how lower gas prices will affect the consumer and auto industries as a whole.
"America is now the world's No. 1 producer in oil, gas. We've doubled the production of clean energy. And, by the way, you're saving about a buck-ten a gallon at the pump over this time last year. Although I keep on reminding folks, gas prices, they go up and they come down and then they go up. So I just want everybody to know that you should enjoy this. Take the money you're saving, pay off the credit card or go get a new appliance, or buy a fuel-efficient car — so that when prices go back up, you're still well-positioned."
Toyota North American CEO Jim Lentz
"You just have to gut it out, because the reality is, over the long term gas is only going one direction, and that is up. And that's why, as a full-line manufacturer, you just have to stick to your plan of having a full product portfolio. As fuel prices go up, and they will over time, it will be a tailwind because of our hybrids and our passenger cars. So as a manufacturer, you just have to stick with it. You need to have as much flexibility as you can in manufacturing, to build what customers want. But now is not the time to panic."
Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford
"We have taken a point of view that over time, prices will go up. And so to pursue these fuel-saving technologies, I believe, absolutely is the right thing to do."
Mazda North American CEO Jim O'Sullivan
"Fuel prices above all are going to be good. I think they're going to be a catalyst for further industry growth. (But) we know they're not going to be there forever. We've seen these kinds of swings before. ... If SkyActiv (Mazda's suite of fuel- and weight-saving technologies) was nothing but fuel economy — not good-looking cars, not good safety cars, not fun to drive — then I would be very, very concerned."
How do you think lower gas prices will effect the auto industry and consumers in the coming year? Comment below.