NEWS

Low gas prices could fuel bigger car sales

01/07/2015 06:05 EST | Updated 03/09/2015 05:59 EDT
Low gas prices mean Canadians will have more money in their pockets and, possibly, bigger cars in their driveways, according to one expert. 

Auto industry consultant Dennis DesRosiers predicts the still-falling low oil and gas prices will move consumers towards larger and less fuel-efficient vehicles.

Sales of electric and hybrid cars will suffer, DesRosiers said. 

"It will be hard for consumers to pay more for a plug-in or hybrid, given the gas prices out there," DesRosiers told CBC News. 

Gas prices around Toronto averaged 91.5 cents per litre on Wednesday, according to the Toronto Gas Prices website. Prices dropped some three cents last night and could go down by another cent tomorrow. 

Every 10-cent drop puts $5 billion in the pockets of Canadian drivers, DesRosiers said. 

"It could go to $20 billion, that will be a lot of money available for people to reinvest into their automobiles," he said. 

Car dealer Frank Romeo of Pineview Hyundai in Vaughan says fuel costs are usually a big concern for consumers — but not lately. 

"We're not hearing them come in and say 'What kind of fuel mileage am I going to get on this car?'" Romeo said. 

Sales of the Santa Fe sports utility "have never been stronger," he said. "And I think fuel prices are contributing."

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