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Roadfly Magazine
Issue 13
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Nissan Maxima
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Issue Thirteen
August 3, 2004
Hybrid Vehicles: Sales on the Rise
Summer BBQ Guide
The Dells Auto Museum
Hot Lap: Top of the Line
2004 Mazda6
2004 Nissan Maxima SE
Coming Next Issue
Chrysler 300C
iPod FM Tuners
Helmet Review

Rising Fuel Prices:
Can Hybrids and Diesels Help You?
By Steve Litscher

(Monday, June 14, 2004 12:45 PM EST)

hybrid fuel vehicles

gas prices

gas guzzlers

bad gas mileage

For more info see:
Ford Motor Company
Honda USA
Toyota USA
It's difficult to go anywhere without running into someone who is upset with the recent surge in gasoline prices. "Used to be, gasoline cost less than a buck," said one old-timer as I filled my Chevrolet Tahoe with $45 worth of regular unleaded. "Them folks 'ought go to jail for chargin' what they do," he said as he topped off his truck's gas tank.

A few minutes later, I was in the grocery store, and could overhear people talking about gas prices while in the check-out line. "I hear we'll be paying more than $3.00 a gallon next year," said the lady to her friend as they browsed the tabloid headlines. And I have to admit it, I started to do some math, just to see how much a fill-up might cost me next year - and I didn't like the result.

We all know that we're addicted (or possibly held hostage) to petroleum based products - we've built our lives around fossil fuel powered "necessities," from cars and appliances to furnaces and airplanes. Unless you're Amish, there's little doubt you use at least one fuel burning machine every day of your life.

Automotive manufacturers are feeling the heat from rising fuel costs and have begun to attempt to counter the rising fuel prices with massive incentives. One of our local dealerships is advertising Chevrolet Suburbans and Tahoes for as much as $14,000 off MSRP. Despite their best PR efforts otherwise, the manufacturers realize that Americans may, for the first time, begin to let fuel price play a role in the purchase of an automobile - something that could put a dent in SUV sales. According to experts, every month that GM offers a $1000 incentive on a truck, it cuts $230 million from its bottom line (Business Week, May 31, 2004).

It's obvious that manufacturers can't afford to continue to offer rebates and incentives to curtail the consumer's gas price pains, so what are the alternatives? Well, if fuel prices continue to rise, it's possible that we'll be seeing more hybrids and more diesel powered vehicles come to market faster and in higher volume.

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