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As the Beatles succinctly put it: "It's getting better all the time." That's how we can characterize US new-vehicle fleetwide fuel economy, which last month marked the third straight in which US new vehicles set an all-time record for fuel economy.

In March, new light-duty vehicle sales averaged 23.7 miles per gallon, up from 23.4 mpg a year earlier, automotive researcher TrueCar reports. Cars averaged an even 27 mpg while trucks achieved a 20.2 mpg average.

Midsize cars made the greatest strides, boosting their average fuel economy to 27.7 mpg from 26.3 mpg a year earlier. Meanwhile, Hyundai and its Kia affiliate topped all major automakers with a 27.3 mpg average, while Nissan had the largest single-year jump, with a 1.4-mpg increase to 25.3 mpg.

While March 2013 advanced-powertrain sales were relatively even with 2012 figures, plug-in sales were up 49 percent from a year earlier, largely on monthly record sales of the Nissan Leaf battery-electric.

Last month, the US Environmental Protection Agency said fleetwide fuel economy went up a 1.4 miles per gallon, a single-year record, to an all-time high of 23.8 mpg. All in all, fuel economy is up 16 percent during the past five years. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) also called 2012 a record-high year for fleetwide fuel economy. Check out TrueCar's press release below.
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Average Fuel Economy for New Cars Sold Sets Record for 3rd Consecutive Month, According to TrueCar's TrueMPG™

Midsize Car Fuel Economy Posts Year-Over-Year Increase of 1.4 MPG

SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- TrueCar, the automotive pricing information and analysis company that provides new car pricing trends and forecasting, today announced fuel economy numbers from March light vehicle auto sales indicate TrueMPGTM increased to 23.7 mpg, the third consecutive month fuel economy records have been achieved by the industry.

"The industry reached yet another record-high TrueMPG average in March, thanks not only to continued consumer preference for smaller vehicles but also due to significantly improved fuel efficiency of larger vehicles, especially large trucks," said Jesse Toprak, senior analyst for TrueCar. "The highly competitive mid-size sedan segment experienced the biggest gain since last year, with Nissan and Chrysler posting the largest improvements among automakers."

Below is how the top eight manufacturers fared comparing overall MPG, broken out by car and truck MPG:

Average MPG

Average Car MPG

Average Truck MPG

Manufacturer

Mar-13

Mar-12

YoY

Mar-13

Mar-12

YoY

Mar-13

Mar-12

YoY

Chrysler

21.0

19.9

1.2

24.0

22.8

1.2

19.5

18.3

1.2

Ford

23.1

22.4

0.7

29.1

26.8

2.3

20.1

19.7

0.4

GM

21.4

21.6

-0.2

25.3

25.4

-0.1

19.1

19.0

0.1

Honda

25.9

25.4

0.6

29.7

28.6

1.1

22.6

22.8

-0.3

Hyundai/Kia

27.3

27.4

-0.1

28.9

29.0

-0.1

22.8

23.4

-0.6

Nissan

25.3

23.9

1.4

29.7

26.4

3.2

20.6

20.4

0.2

Toyota

24.9

25.4

-0.5

30.1

30.8

-0.8

19.6

19.5

0.1

Volkswagen

26.0

26.1

-0.2

26.8

27.1

-0.3

22.3

21.9

0.4

Industry

23.7

23.4

0.3

27.7

27.0

0.7

20.2

19.8

0.4



According to TrueCar.com, the TrueMPGTM for vehicles sold by U.S. manufacturers averaged 21.8 MPG in March 2013, up from 21.3 MPG in March 2012. European manufacturers increased their average fuel economy for vehicles sold from 23.0 MPG to 23.4 MPG; Japanese manufacturers increased their average fuel economy from 25.0 MPG last year to 25.4 MPG; and South Korean manufacturers' average fuel economy decreased from 27.4 MPG in March 2012 to 27.3 last month.

Below is a snapshot of a few vehicle segments and how they compare from March 2013 versus March 2012:

Average Small Car MPG

Average Midsize Car MPG

Average Large Truck MPG

Manufacturer

Mar-13

Mar-12

YoY

Mar-13

Mar-12

YoY

Mar-13

Mar-12

YoY

Chrysler

31.3

25.0

6.4

24.0

24.0

-0.1

18.6

15.8

2.7

Ford

33.2

32.2

1.0

30.3

26.9

3.4

17.5

17.5

0.0

GM

29.1

30.9

-1.8

26.2

26.1

0.1

17.1

17.1

0.0

Honda

32.1

32.3

-0.3

29.0

26.1

2.9

17.2

17.2

0.0

Hyundai/Kia

31.3

30.9

0.5

27.6

27.9

-0.2

N/A

N/A

N/A

Mazda

29.6

29.2

0.4

27.6

25.1

2.6

N/A

N/A

N/A

Mitsubishi

25.4

25.3

0.1

24.3

24.3

0.0

N/A

N/A

N/A

Nissan

34.4

30.7

3.8

28.6

25.3

3.3

14.3

14.4

-0.1

Subaru

27.1

28.5

-1.3

25.8

24.3

1.5

N/A

N/A

N/A

Suzuki

N/A

N/A

N/A

25.0

25.1

-0.1

N/A

N/A

N/A

Toyota

34.4

35.7

-1.3

28.4

28.5

-0.1

15.0

15.3

-0.3

Volkswagen

29.1

29.6

-0.4

28.3

27.5

0.8

N/A

N/A

N/A

Industry

31.8

31.8

0.0

27.7

26.3

1.4

17.3

16.8

0.5


TrueMPGTM is a data-rich method to compare monthly fuel economy averages by brand, manufacturer, origin and vehicle segments using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ratings and actual monthly automotive sales-weighted information. TrueCar.com seeks to provide average fuel economy transparency by creating an alternative view to Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) ratings. TrueMPGTM helps keep in perspective what each manufacturer's average miles per gallon per car sold – computed monthly and annually – by using the EPA's window sticker ratings.

TrueMPGTM computes monthly average fuel economy by brand, manufacturer, origin and vehicle segments by using actual sales data for the current month. Calculations start at the trim level, taking into account EPA fuel economy data, including engine size and drivetrain that affect a vehicle's MPG ratings. The sales share from each trim level is then calculated to create an average for each model. Brand level data is calculated by the sales share of each model and the manufacturer data is then based on the share of each brand, providing an accurate and completely data-driven picture of actual measured MPGs in the marketplace. TrueCar utilizes the EPA's average fuel economy rating using 45 percent highway and 55 percent city driving behavior.

For additional data on TrueMPG by brand, manufacturer, origin and vehicle segment, please visit the TrueCar Truth Blog. The TrueMPG data will be released in the April TrueCar.com TrueTrends report. You can follow TrueCar on Twitter (@TrueCar) and become a fan of TrueCar on Facebook and Google+.

About TrueCar, Inc.
TrueCar, Inc., headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., with offices in Santa Barbara, Calif., San Francisco, Calif., and Austin, Texas, is an automotive pricing information and analysis company that creates a better buying experience for dealers and consumers. As an online publisher of unbiased new and used car transaction data, TrueCar.com provides price reports that empower dealers and consumers to agree on the parameters of a fair deal by supplying a transparent, simple understanding of what others recently paid for identically-equipped new cars in their geographic area. TrueCar also owns ALG, the benchmark for vehicle value information to the automotive industry, which has been forecasting residual values for nearly 50 years in both the U.S. and Canadian markets.

TrueCar is a data-driven company that sources, compiles, and analyzes car-buying information unlike anybody in the industry. This is why, since its founding in 2005, TrueCar dealer partners have sold over 700,000 vehicles across the country. Its national network of nearly 6,000 Certified Dealers is committed to provide no-hassle pricing for some of the country's largest membership and service organizations, including American Express, AAA, USAA and Consumer Reports that collectively represent more than one million monthly in-market customers.

You can follow TrueCar on Twitter (@TrueCar) and become a fan of TrueCar on Facebook and Google+.

Disclaimer
This press release and the information contained herein is for noncommercial use on "as-is, as available" basis and may be used for informational purposes only. TrueCar makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in this press release and the results of the use of such information, including without limitation, the implied warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. The information contained in this press release may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Neither TrueCar nor any of its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates or respective partners, officers, or directors, employees or agents shall be held liable for any damages, whether direct, incidental, indirect, special or consequential, including without limitation lost revenues or lost profits, arising from or in connection with your use or reliance on the information presented in this press release.

SOURCE TrueCar, Inc.