MN Gas Trends Impact Consumer Habits

Rising gas prices push customers toward higher-mileage vehicles

Gasoline in Mankato last week stood at about $3.60 a gallon, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration said there’s a 1-in-4 chance that prices will surpass $4 a gallon this summer.

Oil prices hit their highest point in two years, and the forecast calls for crude oil prices this year and next to exceed 2008 prices.

“When gas prices go up, the focus goes to vehicles that get high gas mileage,” Luther Mankato Honda sales consultant Bob Anderson said. But the opposite is also true: When fuel prices ebb, people resume buying “up.”

Pat Adams, a sales manager at Mankato Motor Co., said he hasn’t seen as much of a customer push toward better-mileage cars as he did in 2008 because people may be better prepared for gas hikes this time around.

Despite the rising gas prices, demand for large trucks and SUVs still exist for work purposes and outdoor enthusiasts. Ben Heintz of Heintz Toyota says there is still good reason to consider vehicles that sip rather than guzzle.

“As we tell customers, whether gas is $2 or $4, you’re still going to save money.”

Keywords: Mankato gas prices, rising gas prices, vehicle gas mileage

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