Fuel Economy Gains Importance

Fuel prices are an increasingly important factor in what shoppers study before they
purchase vehicles.  The 2004 J.D. Power and Associates “Escaped Shopper Study” found that 15
percent of new-vehicle buyers will reject a vehicle because of its fuel economy.

Among
those shopping for a full-size SUV, 22 percent will reject a model due to gas mileage, and
about 40 percent who decide on something else will downsize to a midsize SUV instead.
Rebates are another factor. Power says 18 percent of shoppers reject a model due to
insufficient rebates; that’s up 2 percent over 2003.

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