Supporting what many surveys and interviews have claimed, the less money you make, the more gas prices are attacking your wallet. At a briefing in Sydney, Australia, BMW CEO Helmut conceded that gas prices will drive consumers away from gas guzzlers, but fortunately for BMW, the luxury carmaker won't feel those effects because its customers can afford to pay more for gas. At the briefing, Panke conveyed his expectations that US oil prices will settle somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 per barrel, which is higher than anybody expected this time last year. Even more notable was his pessimistic view of OEMs being able to cope. According to Penke, every manufacturer will offer at least one hybrid vehicle by 2013; however, these vehicles would only be of value to urban drivers. Due to lack of the manufacturers' infrastructure, Penke says not to expect real change until 2020.
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