Small Cars More Popular with Rising Gas Prices

Consumers shopping for cars are already reacting to the recent surge in gasoline prices, but Detroit’s automakers say this time around they have the right lineup of cars and trucks to handle it.

General Motors is armed with the fast-selling Chevrolet Cruze and Sonic small cars, Ford has the Fiesta and redesigned Focus and Chrysler is launching the Dodge Dart, a new compact car, this spring.

That gives the Detroit Three an improved lineup that should insulate them from market-share losses this year in the U.S., even if General Motors results dip when automakers report February sales today.

“Four or five years ago (high gas prices) would have been a detriment to us but we’ve done a lot of work to diversify,” said Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle.

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