Heaven help the analyst trying to get a handle on year-over-year green-car sales numbers, because there is little rhyme or reason to them. Just when one would think the usual summertime bump in gas prices may spur more Americans to buy hybrids, plug-ins or diesels, the industry turns in another down month in July.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) reports total petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) fell by 0.5 percent in July, compared to the same month in 2010. Though miniscule, July marks the first time in 2011 that deliveries actually dropped when compared to the previous month. Perhaps more importantly, gasoline demand hit a ten-year low for the month of July. Once again, we turn to the words of API chief economist, John Felmy, to make sense of the situation: