Responding to complex market forces swirling around the issue of automotive fuel economy, and leveraging more than 30 years of automotive powertrain research experience, Morpace will release its first annual Powertrain Acceptance and Consumer Engagement (PACE) study the first quarter of 2009.

“The PACE study provides a comprehensive new assessment of consumer attitudes and preferences related to powertrain and alternative fuel technologies,” said Bryan Krulikowski, Morpace Automotive Practice Vice President. Initially to be conducted in the U.S., providing segment-level insights on key issues within each market; future studies will be tailored to Europe and China.

“While right now low gas prices are the ‘silver lining’ in today’s challenging economy, consumers are skeptical that gas prices will remain this low moving forward,” said Krulikowski. “If gas prices do, in fact, rise as consumers expect, they will obviously be looking for more fuel-efficient options from auto manufacturers.”

When asked about gas prices one year from now, 59 percent of consumers interviewed in a recent U.S. Morpace Omnibus Study said they do expect gas prices to increase to $2.50 or more per gallon — including 36 percent who expect prices to again climb above $3.00 per gallon. Only 14 percent think gas prices one year from now will be lower than $2.00.

“Today’s consumer has a heightened awareness of their vehicle’s powertrain and what they will purchase in the future,” Krulikowski said. “Challenged by unstable fuel prices, stringent government regulations, and increasing global demand for limited energy resources, the PACE study will provide vital information on the powertrain technologies that will appeal to consumers in the years ahead.”


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