Vehicle fuel economy of new cars in May: 24.8 mpg image

The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in May reached a new record – 24.8 miles per gallon, the researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute said on Thursday.

This is up 4.7 mpg since October 2007, the first month of monitoring.

“Vehicle purchasers are going in and asking, demanding better fuel economy from their vehicles,” UMTRI’s Brandon Schoettle said, “But the auto companies are, too, putting out better vehicles across the board.”

Total new car sales in May across United States increased 8 percent compared with May 2012. Ford Motor Company’s U.S. sales grew 14 percent in May, while Chrysler Group LLC said it sold 166,596 cars in May – up 11 percent compared to May 2012.

“This quick rebound is just another example of how the auto industry is currently one of the most resilient areas of the overall economy,” said Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst at car-shopping site Edmunds.com.

Toyota also reported strong sales in May. The Japanese automaker sold 207,952 vehicles last month in U.S. – up 2.5 percent compared to May 2012.