Experian Automotive analysis shows impact of a $1 gas price increase

     Experian Automotive analysis shows impact of a $1 gas price increase

PR Newswire

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Feb. 7, 2013

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Experian Automotive today
released findings from a study on the impact of rising fuel prices on various
vehicle segments over a five-year period. The research showed that there was a
direct correlation between fluctuations in gas prices and changes in market
share for different types of vehicle sales.

Not surprisingly, the analysis showed the biggest market share gainer to be
the Small-Car Economy segment. However, more interesting is how much this
segment is affected. In the study, the Small-Car Economy segment rose by 0.7
percent for every dollar increase in fuel price. This means that if gas prices
increased by $1, in an average month with 1 million unit sales, the Small-Car
Economy segment volume would increase by 7,000 units. Conversely, the same
price increase would cause the Full-Size Pickup Truck segment to lose 0.5
percent market share.

With approximately 18,000 new vehicle dealers in the country, these findings
show that on average, a $1 spike in a gallon of fuel means every dealer in the
nation could see one more Small-Car Economy vehicle sale approximately every
three months.

"Everyone knows that a rise in fuel prices changes consumer purchasing
behavior," said Erik Hjermstad, lead analytic consultant for Experian
Automotive. "But, the question is, how are various segments influenced by a
specific rise in fuel prices? In some cases, the shift in market share can be

Another surprising trend was the impact on hybrid vehicles and electric
vehicles. Sales of hybrid trucks actually fell by 0.1 percentage points.
Hybrid cars went up by just 0.2 percentage points, and electric vehicle sales
were up by only 0.1 percentage points. While these vehicles are still likely
to be solutions to long-term transportation challenges, currently, there is
low market demand, even when gas prices increase significantly.

"While higher fuel prices tend to get people talking, actual consumer behavior
is affected primarily at the vehicle segment level. What this means for
dealers is not necessarily a change in number of vehicles sold, but rather a
shift in which vehicles people are buying," Hjermstad said. "Smaller cars
definitely pick up market share, and full-size pickup trucks and SUVs
definitely see a downturn. But, the magnitude of these shifts is also a
function of how quickly gas prices increase or decrease."

Hjermstad also said that dealers who closely monitor their market and have a
better understanding of the vehicle sales in their region will be in a better
position to react to fuel price changes, making better business decisions that
keep sales up and inventory at the right level to meet demand.

Experian Automotive will be discussing the latest analysis at the National
Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Conference, Feb. 8 to 11 in Orlando,
Fla., Booth #1823.

For more information on this report or Experian Automotive's leading products
and services, visit our Website at www.ExperianAutomotive.com or follow us on
Twitter @Experian_Auto.

About Experian Automotive
Experian Automotive provides information services and market intelligence that
enables results-driven professionals to gain the fullest possible
understanding of the market, the vehicles and the people who buy them. Its
North American Vehicle Database^SM houses data on nearly 700 million vehicles
and, when combined with Experian's credit, consumer and business information,
provides an integrated perspective into the automotive marketplace. Experian
Automotive's AutoCheck^® vehicle history reports provide dealers and consumers
with in-depth information, allowing them to confidently understand, compare
and select the right vehicles. For more information on Experian Automotive and
its suite of services, visit our Website at www.ExperianAutomotive.com.

About Experian
Experian^® is the leading global information services company, providing data
and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses
to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate
decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report
and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a
constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March
2012 was US $4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44
countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with
operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and Sao Paulo,

For more information, visit www.experianplc.com.

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered
trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company
names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Roslyn Whitehurst
Experian Public Relations
1 714 830 5578
Twitter: @RozWhitehurst

SOURCE Experian Automotive

Website: http://www.experianautomotive.com
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