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As the Price of Gas Falls, So Does Consumer Interest in Small Cars

Washington November 4, 2005; The AIADA newsletter reported that the rapidly falling price of gasoline has lowered interest in small cars, reports USA Today.

Three popular Internet car-shopping sites report notable drops in users seeking information on gas-electric hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars. says that on the week Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast, 19,500 users went to their web page on fuel economy. That number has since dropped to about 3,000 views a week, the same as it was in early August.

“Kelley Blue Book’s reports that the proportion of site users interested in information about hybrids and economy cars dropped a few percentage points each of the last two months.” says searches for fuel-efficient used cars have fallen as well, particularly the Toyota Prius.

Gasoline consumption the past four weeks was only 1.7 percent lower than it was last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The falling interest doesn’t mean people are ready to jump back in the market for big SUVs, however.

According to AAA spokesman Geoff Sundstrom, it would be a surprise if consumers went back to big SUVs right away. “$2.50 a gallon, on average, is still awfully high for most people," he says