Maybe these guys should talk to each other.
A few weeks ago, TrueCar.com released some industry based data showing that although the average fuel economy of new cars sold in June was higher than June 2011, the net MPG of cars sold has been slipping for three months.
Computing their numbers from actual vehicles sold, TrueCar.com came up with an average light vehicle fuel economy number of 23.0 miles per gallon, a noticeable improvement from last June’s 21.6 mpg.
But they also noted that the figure has been dropping by a few decimal points since April of this year. They attribute some of the drop to the increase in sales of heavier or sportier (and thus less efficient) vehicles as fuel prices drop.
But hot on the heels of that report came a release from Baum and Associates of Washington, D.C. noting that “U.S. auto fuel efficiency reached an all time high in the first six months of 2012.” Their report goes on to note “From January to June of 2012, the average fuel efficiency of new passenger vehicles was 23.8 MPG, improving by 1.1 MPG the record of 22.7 MPG set over the same six months in 2011.”
Baum notes that 2012 is the first year in a long-term federal program requiring improved efficiency and reduced emissions, and they attribute some of the increased mpg to the across the board improvements made in all new vehicles.
The difference in the data is minimal, less than one mile per gallon, but the pictures painted by the presenters are quite opposite each other. So is the fleet of new purchases doing really well, or not so good? It depends on whose numbers you read and what you take from them. Either way, the overall MPG numbers will likely increase as new and stiffer requirements come into effect in following years.