The concept of ‘bigger is better’ is starting to go by the wayside, especially when it comes to the auto industry. With the price of fuel the way it is, and especially since the surge we saw back in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, people are reluctant to get behind the wheels of gas guzzlers. As such, the installation rates for V8 and V8 engines is continuously falling; 57.1% of cars in ’09 were outfitted with the engines, while 63.9% were in 2008. This continues a trend of decline since 2004 when V6’s and V8’s accounted for 76.2% of engine installations.
The 4-cylinder engine is starting to develop its own market presence as well, accounting for 61.9% of the car market in 2009, up from 51.7% in 2008. The once lowly engine also accounted for 14.8% of all light-truck installations.
Cylinders aside, the usage rate for those engines witht he least displacement fell, with usage of those engines under 2.0L fell from 8.2% in ’08 to 7.1% in ’09. The largest decline in 2009 goes to those engines with displacements of 3.0L to 3.9L, as they accounted for 33.0% of light-vehicle output in 2008 and only 29.0% in 2009. 4.0L-4.9L saw a 0.4% dip in usage and those occupying 5.0L or more in space declined 2.2% to account for 16.6% of engines in 2009.
Specialty engines such as Turbocharged gasoline and Turbodiesel have held steady or increased in usage, as have hybrids and flex-fuels.
– By: Stephen Calogera