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|Surprise, Surprise - Chevrolet Beats Toyota in Overall Fleet Fuel Economy|
|Written by Richard Truesdell|
|Monday, 14 July 2008 21:07|
When it comes to mainstream auto manufacturers, those selling a full range of cars and trucks in great quantities, wouldn't you tend to think that Honda and Toyota would be the leaders, and that the domestic brands would lag far behind? If so, you would only be one-third correct, if the latest figures from the U.S. government's official fuel economy ratings (published by the Department of Energy, the Office of Energy Efficiency, and the Environmental Protection Agency) are to be believed.
Here's the eye opener.
It might not surprise you that Honda would rank near the top; However, the fact that Chevrolet -- which provides a full spectrum of vehicles from the miserly Aveo to gas-guzzling light trucks and SUVs -- would score more than 2 mpg higher than Toyota, is an eye-opener. Toyota, with the Tundra pickup and Sequoia full-sized SUV, offers vehicles in virtually every category and at the same time offers the Prius, the darling of the green crowd. A score this much lower than Chevrolet's must come as a surprise.
What it says to me is that Chevrolet, in spite of common perceptions, is doing an outstanding job in meeting the needs of the marketplace, on an across-the-board basis. Moreover GM, with three brands in the Top 10 (four if you count Suzuki, in which it has a substantial ownership stake), is easily the domestic manufacturer best positioned to weather the current spike in petrol prices, its current stock price notwithstanding.
Speaking of petrol prices, has anyone noticed a slight retreat in prices over the last week or 10 days? Here in Southern California, it seemed that two weeks ago, almost everyone in my area was at $4.59 for regular but over the past week prices seem to have settled in at about $4.45 per gallon where one Mobil station that I frequent is now at $4.38. (I do not take into account Arco, which does not accept credit cards. Arco seems to be about three to five cents a gallon lower than neighborhood competition.) It seems that the oil companies got what they wanted: higher prices at the pump.
And speaking of credit cards, it seems that in some parts of the country, gas stations no longer accept credit cards, or are offering substantial discounts for cash. Given that credit card companies take a 2-3% commission, that means as much as 14 cents a gallon is coming out of the bottom line of gas station operators. Is this a trend in your area? Use the comments section below to add your comments.