Demand For Fuel Efficient Cars Exceeds Production
|   Friday, June 22, 2012
It comes to no surprise that people are putting costs, short and long term ones, above almost everything else, but the scale with which this phenomenon is happening is quite amazing. Thanks to improved building techniques, better and light materials, as well as more aerodynamic designs, cars today have all become much more abstinent as far as fuel is concerned, as opposed to cars manufactured 10 years ago.

While this is clearly a piece of good news, some in the auto industry are beginning to warn manufacturers that their current production abilities are not adequate to satisfy demand.
According to Automotive News (subscription required), the increased demand has already prompted 4 automakers to increase production significantly. It is also pointed out that the extra demand is concentrated on mid-sized cars, not on compacts or superminis.

We have Toyota and its 2012 Camry. Demand is so high right now that it has scheduled daily and Saturday overtime at quite a few of its U.S. factories. Sales have gone up by 44 percent this May, the 28 mpg Camry proving to be highly popular.

The same situation can be found in Montgomery, Alabama. This is where Hyundai produces the 2013 Sonata. Employees are working overtime on weekdays and Saturdays until a third shift is officially implemented in September. Its stock at the beginning of June was enough for only 22 days. The 2.4 liter engine mounted on the non-hybrid Sonata delivers about 28 mpg, so people are anxious to get one.

Hyundai's child, Kia, is undergoing a similar process in West Point, Georgia, the location where the 2012 Optima is being built. They are also working overtime, partly because demand is high, and partly because they need their stocks to reach safer levels; 25 days is not nearly enough.
Lastly, we have the Germans from Volkswagen. At the Chattanooga plant, where its 2012 Passat is built, a third shift is planned so that annual production numbers will go up to 180,000 cars from the current 150,000 units. The 2.0 liter TDI Passat, rated at a combined 35 mpg, will no doubt appeal to many even if diesels are not exactly mainstream in the US. What's more, there are plans to further increase production levels to 250,000 units per year if the need arises.

Now, this is all fine and dandy, but this might lead to a not-so-welcomed side-effect: dealerships might raise the price on the fuel efficient models. After all, it's an effect stipulated in the offer and demand law. On the other hand, there are some dealerships that are offering incentives on older, less green cars, in an effort to kill stocks.

Bottom line is that you should be prepared to wait a few months if you plan on buying a fuel efficient car this summer, as well as be prepared for extra expenses due to a captive market. However, you could just wait for a couple of months for things to enter normality and supply is on par with demand. Either way, be sure to thoroughly check the market out for the best deal available.
PHOTO GALLERY
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