Activate Your Premium Data Experience >


While some automobile manufacturers are fearful; others are frothing at the mouth with anticipation. Now is exactly when you want to be known as a builder of small, fuel-efficient cars. In other words, Hummer wants to be Honda. Jeep would love to be Mini.

But they’re not. Neither is Chevrolet, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Cadillac, Buick, or Pontiac known for their 4-cylinder urban runabouts. 
Although it helps to offer something small and economical (as Chevrolet does with the Aveo, Cobalt, and HHR), the pain you’ll feel at the same time when your larger vehicles (Tahoe, Silverado, TrailBlazer, Suburban, Impala) struggle even though you’re still building them strips away the joy you could assume would be present with 4-cylinder concentration.
Thus, automakers like Honda, which offers not a single V8 engine and only three models equipped with a V6 as standard equipment, are loving the general consumer’s desire to save at the pump. In all honesty, Honda can see what happens with a lineup that’s thicker with cylinders. Their luxury brand, Acura, builds one crossover/SUV that’s exclusively equipped with a V6 and two sedans that feature a standard V6. Sales at Acura were 16.4% lower this June than last. Acura’s newest, smaller 4-cylinder sedan posted its best June ever with year-to-date sales up 2.2% compared with the first six months of 2007.
You see the point we’re trying to get at. Sell fuel-efficient cars? Sell much. Sell trucks and SUVs? Sell not so much. There’s more to separating the automakers between the “have fuel-efficiency” and the “have not fuel efficiency”. Check out the categories has listed below and pay close attention to the + and – signs. If you see a “TG12” symbol beside a brand, follow the link to find that maker’s cars in The Good 12. Onthe contrary, if you see a “TB8” symbol beside a brand, follow the link to find that maker’s cars in The Bad 8.

Mini +40.5% TG12
Honda +17.9% TG12
Suzuki +6.6%
Hyundai +14% TG12
Kia +21% TB8
Mazda +3.8%
Volkswagen +12.8% TG12
Buick -34.4%
Chevrolet -3.5% TG12
Chrysler -36% TB8
Dodge -21.3%
Ford -19.8% TB8
Mercury -16.3%
Mitsubishi -35.2%
Nissan -8.3% TB8
Pontiac -5.1%
Saturn -1.9%
Subaru +18.4%
Toyota -10.3%
Acura -16.4%
Audi +18.5% TG12 
BMW -34.4% TG12
Cadillac -3.1%
Infiniti -0.9% TG12
Jaguar +8.5%
Lexus -21% TB8
Lincoln -12.5% TB8
Mercedes-Benz +12.4%
Porsche -8.7% TG12
Saab -51.7% TB8
Volvo -17.7% TG12
GMC  -14.6%
Hummer -54.2%
Jeep -32.8%
Land Rover -40.5%