订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

商业 - 汽车

燃油经济性提高,小排量汽车热销

Doron Levin 2011年08月16日

长久以来,美国的汽车司机都青睐动力强劲的大排量汽车。不过现在,情况有所改变。

    汽车工程师们一直都很清楚,设计小排量、重量轻的汽车是满足不断提高的燃油经济性标准最理想的途径。汽车体积越小,每加仑汽油可供行驶的里程数就越多。问题在于,青睐大排量、动力强劲的汽车是美国司机的一个传统。

    但是,汽车制造企业近来终于打破了对重型汽车的依赖,开始着力打造舒适、豪华,同时对消费者具有吸引力的小排量汽车。随着新车型——特别是福特(Ford)、通用(General Motors)和现代(Hyundai)新车——上市,小排量汽车如今越来越流行,也越来越具有竞争优势。鉴于相关法规越来越严格,这一趋势有望得到延续。

    今年七月,美国小排量汽车的市场份额上升到了17.4%,全美本土汽车总产量中有140万辆是小排量汽车。中、大排量和豪华型汽车的市场也有所增长,但是涨幅略为逊色。换言之,小排量汽车销量占所有汽车总销量的三分之一,是唯一一个实现销售增长的类别。

    上周,美国总统奥巴马宣布,2025年度的企业燃料经济性标准(Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency)要达到54.5英里/加仑。此外,他还提出了针对小排量货车的免税计划,以及鼓励电动汽车等先进技术的优惠政策。目前,车辆燃料经济性的标准是平均27英里/加仑,到2016年,这一标准将提高到34英里/加仑。

    目前,丰田汽车公司(Toyota)的卡罗拉(Corolla)领跑小排量汽车市场,而通用汽车的雪佛兰克鲁兹(Ehevrolet Cruze)、本田思域(Honda Civic)、现代伊兰特(Hyundai Elantra)和福特的新福克斯(new Focus)则紧随其后。所有这些汽车都配备先进的娱乐系统、舒适的座椅并配以优质的内饰。此外,先进的汽车引擎和变速装置提供了可观的动力,同时保证了燃料经济性。

    克鲁兹、新福克斯和伊兰特是汽车史上最具代表性的突破。雪佛兰克鲁兹取代了科宝(Cobalt)和它的前身骑士(Cavalier),这两款车的平庸表现毫无争议地为通用汽车赢得了漠视小排量汽车市场的“美誉”。新版福克斯性能大幅改善,与老款和更早的福特护卫者(Ford Escort)相比已经有了很大不同。

    汽车资讯网站Edmunds.com分析师杰西卡•卡德威说:“通用、福特和现代新款汽车的面世都伴随着盛大的营销活动,无疑激发了人们的兴趣。和以前相比,这次的激励措施力度略有减小,主要表现为低息车贷或实惠的汽车租赁方案。”

    此外,其他国家生产的一些被称为微型车的超小排量汽车也属于小排量汽车之列,它们也吸引了原本钟情于大排量汽车的消费者。流行的车型包括尼桑汽车(Nissan)的新骐达(new Versa),该车今年七月全美的销量达到了5.1万辆;以及福特汽车的嘉年华(Fiesta),今年七月的销量达到了4.8万辆。

    在韩国制造的通用雪佛兰乐骋(Chevrolet Aveo)表现不温不火,2011年前七个月的销量仅为2.5万辆。但是这一情况将很快将改观,因为这款实用但呆板的汽车即将被新款索尼克(Sonic)所取代。现在,索尼克已在底特律南部投产。在设计和乘坐舒适度等方面,新款索尼克都填补了乐骋的空白。

    消费者有权自主选择他们中意的车型,但是为了与联邦政府制定的燃料经济性标准保持一致,汽车制造企业必须推出优惠措施,才能销售足够数量的小排量汽车,提高燃料经济性的平均数据。大排量汽车却刚好相反,只会拉低燃料经济性平均数据。因此,汽车生产商正设法抑制大排量汽车的市场需求,促使消费者购买排量更小的汽车。有鉴于此,前者的售价将进一步上涨。

    大多数小排量汽车都采用四缸发动机,以满足燃料经济性标准。2011年新年周,汽油价格突破3美元/加仑大关,五月达到峰值,为3.90美元/加仑。近来的汽油均价呈现出上扬之势。毫无疑问,这也促使一些司机考虑更换小排量的汽车。

    对小排量车的未来而言,汽油价格会有多大的影响现在还难以预测。保守的观点认为,汽车价格只会继续上涨。不过,一旦汽油价格出现下降,消费者可能会再次选择动力强劲的大排量汽车,而小排量汽车势必将砸在汽车厂商手里。

    译者:乔树静/汪皓

    

    Engineers have long known that designing smaller, lighter vehicles is an ideal way to meet tighter fuel-economy standards. Less bulk, higher MPG. Problem is, American motorists have a long-standing love affair with large, powerful vehicles.

    Automakers are finally breaking their dependence on heavier models and managing to create comfortable, luxurious small cars consumers actually find appealing. As new models roll out -– especially from Ford (F), General Motors (GM) and Hyundai -- the category is gaining in popularity and competitiveness. That trend is likely to continue as regulations grow tighter.

    Through July, the small-car segment rose to 17.4 percent of all car sales, accounting for nearly 1.4 million cars built in the U.S. Midsize, large and luxury cars gained as well, though less so proportionately. In other words, small cars, accounting for a third of all car sales, were the only category to gain share.

    Last week, President Obama announced Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, with special exemptions for pickup trucks and incentives to encourage advanced technology like electric vehicles. Currently fleets must average about 27 miles per gallon and are required to improve to 34 miles per gallon by 2016.

    Toyota's (TM) Corolla leads the segment, trailed not far behind by the Chevrolet Cruze from GM, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, and Ford's new Focus. All of these vehicles offer advanced entertainment systems, comfortable seating, premium-feeling interior fabrics and materials. Advanced engines and transmissions provide decent power as well as fuel efficiency.

    The Cruze, Focus and Elantra represent the most remarkable break with history. Chevy's Cruze replaces the Cobalt and its predecessor, the Cavalier, whose mediocrity earned GM a well-deserved reputation for indifference in the small car segment. Ford's new Focus is a vast improvement over the previous model by the same name, and an earlier unlamented Ford Escort.

    "The new models from GM, Ford and Hyundai have been accompanied by a big marketing campaigns, which no doubt has sparked interest," says Jessica Caldwell, an analyst for Edmunds.com, an automotive website. "And while the incentives aren't as big as they once were, you can find them in the form of low-interest rates or attractive leases."

    A number of new subcompacts known as microcars overseas is also adding to the small-car category and drawing shoppers from larger vehicles. Notable for their popularity are Nissan's new Versa, which sold about 51,000 units in the U.S. through July, and Ford's Fiesta at about 48,000 during the same period.

    GM's Chevrolet Aveo, built in South Korea, has been a laggard with sales of about 25,000 in the first seven months of 2011. But that could change soon as that dull utilitarian machine is replaced by the new Sonic, which is starting in production in suburban Detroit. Not surprisingly, the new Sonic offers many of the design and comfort features that the Aveo lacked.

    Consumers will buy what they wish, but to comply with federal standards the automakers must create incentives so they can sell enough small models to keep the fuel economy average high. Large cars, which hurt the average, could become more pricey as automakers try to limit demand and prod buyers toward smaller models.

    Small cars in most cases come powered with four-cylinder engines that are tuned for fuel efficiency. The recent run-up in the average price of gasoline, which passed the $3 a gallon mark the week of New Year and peaked at $3.90 in May, no doubt is motivating some motorists to downsize.

    The price of gasoline remains a wild card for the future of small cars. Conventional wisdom says gas will only grow more expensive. Should the opposite happen, consumers may once again seek big and powerful transportation, leaving automakers with lots of little flivvers on hand.

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏