26 Apr '12, 6pm

High Gas Prices Having a Different Effect on US Drivers This Time

High Gas Prices Having a Different Effect on US Drivers This Time

Rising gasoline prices have gone from bane to boon for the recovering U.S. auto industry. In 2008, U.S. gas prices hit a record of $4.11 a gallon and contributed to Detroit’s downfall, as truck and sport-utility vehicle sales collapsed. With gasoline again approaching $4, buyers are returning to showrooms to replace old guzzlers with new, fuel-efficient models. “It’s really astounding that you’ve gone from $4-a-gallon gasoline devastating sales to $4-a-gallon gasoline supporting sales today,” Mike Jackson, chief executive officer of AutoNation Inc. (AN), the largest U.S. car dealer, said in an interview. “This is a real change in consumer behavior that puts us in a much better place than where we were in 2008.” [...] “The impact of $4-a-gallon gas on the sales rate is neutral to a slight positive,” said Brian Johnson, Chicago- based auto analyst with Barclays Capital. “It ...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/cars/high-gas-prices-having-dif...

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