Average MPG For New U.S. Vehicles Sold Declines In April

A University of Michigan transportation research report noted a slight reversal last month in the average new vehicle’s fuel economy rating.

The drop was small – in March a record average of 24.1 mpg was recorded, and in April it notched back to 23.9.

This number is equal to February’s average, and whether analysts are straining at a gnat, or are implicitly saying Americans are highly reactive – or expressing accurate insights, you decide – researchers have initially made comments about what it could mean for the high-efficiency car market.

Brandon Schoettle, an institute research associate and co-author of the report was quoted by Automotive News as saying the drop was in relation to fuel prices which also declined in April.

“Starting with the first week in April, gas prices dropped each week,” he said. “We think that consumers are not only sensitive to the absolute price of gas, but also the recent changes, leading to a drop in fuel economy.”

The university’s Transportation Research Center has monitored average new vehicle fuel economy since October 2007 when it was 20.1 mpg.

Aside from consumers potentially reacting to what at-the-moment gas prices are to help determine what kind of car one should get, Shoettle said the U.S. unemployment rate was another major variable contributing to the decline.

The average fuel price is reportedly down 12 cents from a month prior, currently hovering at $3.80 per gallon. If the average nationwide price of gasoline and unemployment rate continue to decline, researchers say, so could the aggregate interest level in high fuel economy vehicles.

Automotive News


  • Tony Tan

    In March, Cars had 55% share while in April it was down to 53% and thats probably because the business bought more Pickups. So it should be because of the economic recovery factor.

    But we should also know that all the gasoline sold here has 10% Ethanol and soon that will increase to 15%. Similarly Bi-fuel Pickups that can run on CNG will cut down gas consumption.

  • TheK

    Would be interesting, to get the pickups out of that number and see the average for the remaining. That value should be a lot higher.

  • sukhwinderfoss

    yes i agree with you, it all about fuel prices the fuel prices is increase day by day.

  • AP

    Once again the American consumer shows its “commitment” to high fuel economy. At the first hint of dropping gas prices, they are ready to buy something with worse fuel economy, not thinking about how fuel prices might rise over the next few years they will own it.

  • James Davis

    There is just something strange about an article like this. Let me see if my math is corrupt enough to get this right: Gas prices drop by one tenth of one percent and electric and hybrid sales drop by the hundreds, if not thousands, and gas guzzling SUVs and truck sales increase by the hundreds, if not by the thousands.

    Who are the idiots standing out there by the gas pumps watching for gas prices to go down one tenth of one percent so they can run down to their auto dealer and drive off in a big 18 MPG SUV or a big 14 MPG truck that costs them $40 to $50 thousand dollars?

    I heard on the news last night that oil fell under $100, so why is gas still hovering around $4.00 gal.?