U.S. light-vehicle sales earned an overall 22.3 mpg (10.5 L/100 km) rating on Ward’s Fuel Economy Index in April, a 0.5% increase from year-ago’s 22.2 mpg (10.5 L/100 km).
April and March showed the smallest year-over-year improvements to date on Ward’s FIE, indicating that as the country’s economic recovery continues consumer demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles has slowed.
Led by gains made by cross/utility vehicles and vans, light trucks accounted for a higher share of the April market than prior-year, taking 49.6% of LV sales compared with 47.8% in like-2009 and creating downward pressure on the industry rating.
Light trucks earned a 19.4 index rating for the month, compared with a 25 rating for passenger cars.
While cars continue to lead in overall fuel economy, light trucks have made gains, rising 2.6% from April 2009, while the car index rating remains even with year-ago.
Related document: Ward's Fuel Economy Index
Motor Corp. raised its industry-leading ranking to 25.3 in April from 24.9 in March, but fell short of year-ago’s 25.7.
Motor Co. Ltd. held the No.2 spot on the index in April, matching its March rating of 24.7, while America Motor Co. Ltd. finished third with 24.2.
Co. led Detroit-based auto makers with a 20.6 rating, ahead of Motor Co.’s 20.2 and truck-dominated Group LLC’s 19.8.
Porsche AG earned its highest rating to date on Ward’s FIE at 19.9.
Domestically built vehicles finished with a 21.5 rating, down slightly from March due in part to a slight bump in the light-truck market share. Import vehicles, meanwhile, registered a 24.9 rating for the month.
April’s results bring the industry’s year-to-date rating on the Ward’s FEI to 22.3, up 1% from year-ago.