Car buyers can be a fickle group. Put another way: we hate pumping gas, but we love chugging coffee while we drive more. General Motors reports that consumers say good fuel mileage is the third-most-important consideration, right there behind styling and value, for customers looking to purchase one of their vehicles.
That may be true, but are their customers willing to pay for high mpgs? All things being equal (which is rarely the case), the answer is usually no, if Mike J. Jackson from AutoNation is to be believed. He says that the only way to force consumers to choose fuel efficient vehicles is to price gasoline higher, which we agree would probably do the trick. Since that's not likely to happen, the government is forcing the automakers to build the types of cars that consumers may not want. According to Jackson, that could be a boon to the used car market at the expense of the newer more fuel efficient cars.