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DEMAND FOR FUEL EFFICIENT VEHICLES HAS EVAPORATED DUE TO LOW FUEL PRICES, ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURERS SAYS

 ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Demand for fuel efficient vehicles has evaporated because motorists can buy gasoline at half the price they paid in 1955, according to information released today by the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM).
 "There is no incentive for consumers to purchase high mileage cars with gasoline prices so low," said Philip A. Hutchinson, president of AIAM. Auto manufacturers currently offer a number of highly fuel efficient vehicles, but sales volumes for these models are very low because of cheap gasoline.
 The price of purchasing gasoline to drive 100 miles in 1955 was $8.60, compared to $4.39 in 1992, in dollars adjusted for inflation according to the AIAM analysis. "The Federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy program makes no sense if you are trying to influence motorists driving habits," said Hutchinson. "It only forces manufacturers to produce vehicles no one wants."
 The AIAM report concludes that higher fuel prices is a better way to get car buyers to choose fuel efficient vehicles. More expensive gasoline will be more likely to push drivers to reduce unnecessary travel and fuel consumption.
 The association, which represents international automobile manufacturers, supports a market-based approach to encourage car buyers to favor high mileage cars, instead of federally imposed regulations. Higher fuel prices would create a market for fuel efficient cars, vans, and trucks that does not exist today. AIAM is joining the growing consensus among policy makers that a gasoline tax makes sense for the nation.
 AIAM members include: BMW, Daihatsu, Fiat, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Rover, Saab, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
 -0- 1/13/92
 /CONTACT: Philip A. Hutchinson, president, or Kathleen Mordini, director of public relations, Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, 703-525-7788/


CO: Association of International Automobile Manufacturers ST: Virginia IN: AUT SU:

KD -- DC002 -- 4316 01/13/93 07:34 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1993
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