More SUVs, CUVs, luxury vehicles at NY Auto Show

More SUVs, CUVs, luxury vehicles at NY Auto Show

The Great Recession and high gas prices seemed like a distant memory at the opening of the 2016 New York Auto Show, as automakers competed to see who could show the biggest SUVs, the most expensive crossovers and the most luxurious features for all vehicles. Joining the well-attended media days this past week in New York were WANADA representatives on behalf of the Washington Auto Show. Attending major auto shows like New York affords the opportunity for WANADA reps to interact with OEM exhibitor operatives and industry executives, which is time well spent, since Washington, like New York is an OICA recognized auto show on the global industry circuit.

–The industry as a whole has never been as healthy as it is now,” Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn proclaimed at the New York Auto Show Media Breakfast.

Consumers seem happy to assume that gas prices will remain low forever, and they are snapping up utilities of all sizes. –At the end of the day, the customer comes first and the customers want the SUVs,” said U.S. Vice President of Buick Duncan Aldred, the Detroit News reported. Even in the Washington area, where car sales have long predominated, the most recent WANADA Area Report showed light trucks topping car sales. The American Automobile Association said recently that gas prices climbed for two straight weeks to reach their highest national average since January, $1.98 per gallon, but the rise was mostly caused by seasonal increases in fuel demand and reduced production as refineries do maintenance.

Consumer interest in eco-friendly cars seems closely tied to the price of gas. Even the manufacturers of hybrids and electric cars are de-emphasizing the fuel savings from their vehicles and instead talking up the styling, acceleration, handling, reliability and large number of features at a good price, reports the Associated Press.

A midterm review of federal fuel economy standards is scheduled to begin this summer under the terms of the EPA regulation that established them. Automakers are widely expected to ask for more flexibility in meeting the standards, which are based on sales, not the fuel economy of vehicles manufactured.

As this yearês Washington Auto Show demonstrated, automakers are investing in and making many alternative-fuel and high-mileage models. But consumers arenêt buying them in sufficient numbers to meet the EPA requirements. Judging from the reaction of government officials at the SAE Government/Industry Conference during The Washington Auto Show, flexibility on deadlines to meet the standards may be elusive.

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