Fuel efficiency gains for new vehicles sold in the US were in a bit of a holding pattern last month, according to a new report from TrueCar. Fleetwide fuel efficiency for new US light-duty vehicles in September rose 5.5 percent compared to 2011 figures, but remained the same as August 2012 figures.

In September, new cars got an average of 23.2 miles per gallon, up from an even 22 miles per gallon in September 2011. Through the first three quarters of 2012, US fleetwide new-vehicle fuel economy has been up 5.9 percent from 2011. Looking at individual automaker figures, Toyota showed the biggest year-over-year fuel efficiency gain (with a 1.4 percent increase), while Honda and General Motors both made 1.1 percent advances. On the flipside, Volkswagen's fuel efficiency gains were the lowest among the automakers tested, rising just 0.2 percent from a year ago. More details available below.
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SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 9, 2012 -- TrueCar.com, the authority on new car pricing information, trends and forecasting, today provided actual fuel economy numbers from September light vehicle auto sales that indicate TrueMPGTM increased to 23.2 mpg in September 2012 compared to 22.0 mpg in September 2011, and stayed flat from August 2012 at 23.2 mpg.

Through the first three quarters of 2012, TrueMPG has averaged 23.2 MPG from 21.9 MPG over the same time period in 2011, which is the highest ever for the industry," said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence at TrueCar.com. "GM, Toyota, and Honda increased their fuel economy the most over a year ago as consumers continued to flock to small cars due to unseasonably high gas prices and compelling product."

Below is how the top eight manufacturers fared comparing overall mpg, broken out by car and truck mpg:

Average MPG Average Car MPG Average Truck MPG
Manufacturer Sep-12 Sep-11 YoY Sep-12 Sep-11 YoY Sep-12 Sep-11 YoY
Chrysler 20.0 19.2 0.8 23.9 22.6 1.4 18.3 17.7 0.6
Ford 21.9 21.0 0.9 26.6 25.8 0.8 19.8 19.3 0.6
GM 21.5 20.4 1.1 25.1 24.9 0.3 18.8 18.5 0.3
Honda 25.0 23.9 1.1 26.8 27.5 -0.7 22.3 21.0 1.3
Hyundai 27.5 26.7 0.8 29.4 28.7 0.7 23.9 23.7 0.2
Nissan 24.0 23.4 0.7 26.7 26.3 0.4 20.1 19.7 0.4
Toyota 24.6 23.3 1.4 29.1 27.7 1.5 19.3 18.9 0.3
Volkswagen 26.6 26.4 0.2 27.1 27.9 -0.8 21.6 19.2 2.4
Industry 23.2 22.0 1.2 26.3 25.8 0.5 19.8 19.2 0.6

According to TrueCar.com, the TrueMPGTM for vehicles sold by U.S. manufacturers averaged 21.2 MPG in September 2012, up from 20.2 MPG in September 2011. European manufacturers increased their average fuel economy for vehicles sold from 21.9 MPG to 23.4 MPG; Japanese manufacturers increased their average fuel economy from last year at 23.5 MPG to 24.8 MPG; and South Korean manufacturers increased their average fuel economy for vehicles from 26.7 MPG to 27.5 MPG.

Below is a snapshot of a few vehicle segments and how they compare from September 2012 versus September 2011:

Average Small Car MPG Average Midsize Car MPG Average Large Truck MPG
Manufacturer Sep-12 Sep-11 YoY Sep-12 Sep-11 YoY Sep-12 Sep-11 YoY
Chrysler 31.1 25.0 6.0 23.9 24.1 -0.2 15.8 15.6 0.2
Ford 32.3 32.1 0.2 26.8 26.6 0.2 17.4 17.5 -0.1
GM 30.5 30.4 0.0 26.3 25.2 1.2 17.1 17.0 0.1
Honda 31.9 31.8 0.1 26.3 25.4 0.9 17.2 16.9 0.3
Hyundai 31.3 31.1 0.2 28.0 27.5 0.4 N/A N/A N/A
Mazda 30.8 26.1 4.7 23.3 24.8 -1.5 N/A N/A N/A
Mitsubishi 25.2 25.9 -0.7 24.3 24.3 0.0 N/A N/A N/A
Nissan 31.1 30.7 0.4 27.6 25.0 2.5 14.3 14.3 0.0
Subaru 28.3 21.5 6.8 25.4 24.2 1.3 N/A N/A N/A
Suzuki N/A N/A N/A 25.1 25.2 -0.1 N/A N/A N/A
Toyota 34.8 33.5 1.3 28.3 25.0 3.4 15.6 15.8 -0.2
Volkswagen 30.8 30.6 0.2 29.2 30.0 -0.9 N/A N/A N/A
Industry 31.8 30.6 1.2 26.9 25.6 1.4 16.8 16.8 0.0

TrueMPGTM is an easy-to-understand and objective way to comprehend monthly fuel economy averages by brand, manufacturer, origin and vehicle segments using Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") ratings based on estimated and/or actual monthly automotive sales-weighted data. TrueCar.com seeks to provide transparency and truth in average fuel economy, providing an alternative view to Corporate Average Fuel Economy ("CAFE") ratings that can be confusing and misleading. TrueMPGTM helps keep in perspective what each manufacturer's average miles per gallon per car sold, computed monthly and annually, by using the EPA's window sticker ratings.

TrueMPGTM computes monthly average fuel economy by brand, manufacturer, origin and vehicle segments by using actual sales data or forecasted sales data for the current month. Calculations start at the trim level, taking into account EPA fuel economy data including engine size and drivetrain that affect a vehicle's MPG ratings; the sales share from each trim level is then calculated to create an average for each model. Brand level data is calculated by the sales share of each model and the manufacturer data is then based on the share of each brand, providing an accurate and completely data driven picture of actual measured MPGs in the market place. TrueCar utilizes the EPA's average fuel economy rating using 45 percent highway and 55 percent city driving behavior.

For additional data on TrueMPG by brand, manufacturer, origin and vehicle segment, please visit the TrueCar Truth Blog. The TrueMPG data will be released in September's TrueCar.com TrueTrends report. You can follow TrueCar on Twitter (@TrueCar) and become a fan of TrueCar on Facebook and Google+.

About TrueCar, Inc.

TrueCar, Inc., headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., with offices in Santa Barbara, Calif., San Francisco, Calif., and Austin, Texas, is an automotive pricing information and analysis company that creates a better buying experience for dealers and consumers. As an online publisher of unbiased new and used car transaction data, TrueCar.com provides price reports that empower dealers and consumers to agree on the parameters of a fair deal by supplying a transparent, simple understanding of what others recently paid for identically-equipped new cars in their geographic area. TrueCar also owns ALG, the benchmark for vehicle value information to the automotive industry and has been forecasting residual values for nearly 50 years in both the U.S. and Canadian markets.

TrueCar is a data-driven company that sources and compiles car-buying information unlike anybody in the industry. This is why, since its founding in 2005, TrueCar dealer partners have sold over 600,000 vehicles across the country. Its national network of more than 4,700 Certified Dealers is committed to provide no-hassle pricing for some of the country's largest membership and service organizations, including American Express, AAA, USAA and Consumer Reports that collectively represent more than one million monthly in-market customers.

You can follow TrueCar on Twitter (@TrueCar) and become a fan of TrueCar on Facebook and Google+.


This press release and the information contained herein is for noncommercial use on "as-is, as available" basis and may be used for informational purposes only. TrueCar makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in this press release and the results of the use of such information, including without limitation, the implied warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. The information contained in this press release may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Neither TrueCar nor any of its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates or respective partners, officers, or directors, employees or agents shall be held liable for any damages, whether direct, incidental, indirect, special or consequential, including without limitation lost revenues or lost profits, arising from or in connection with your use or reliance on the information presented in this press release.

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