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Compact cars in high demand but not subcompact

Posted On Thu, June 23, 2011

A new study has found that while demand for small cars is high, that's not the case among even smaller vehicles.

According to a study conducted by GfK Custom Research, more than 18 percent of the six-month light vehicle demand in May was comprised of compact cars, but subcompact demand totaled just 3.6 percent.

"While consumers are looking at smaller vehicles due to high gas prices, they aren't willing to go all the way down to a subcompact car," said Doug Scott, senior vice president for GfK. "Consumers are discovering that newer compact cars offer the comfort features before only reserved to larger cars, combined with the fuel economy that was only available in much smaller cars."

In addition to subcompact cars not being in high demand, neither were alternative energy vehicles like hybrids and electric cars. The study found AEVs represented just under 9.5 percent of light vehicle demand in the month of May.

Several compact cars have been labeled as Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This may translate into auto insurance discounts for those who insure them. 

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