Blog: Glenn BrooksNatural gas prices plunge: which car brands could benefit?

Glenn Brooks | 19 January 2012

North America

North America's 2012MY Civic Natural Gas' trunklid ID

The UK's Financial Times reports the Nymex February gas contract falling to US$2.402 per million British thermal units earlier on Thursday. That's got me thinking about CNG-fuelled cars.

Well, Honda is in pole position in the US market with such vehicles. The old Civic sedan was available in CNG-fuelled form but the sales numbers were never anything to get excited about. Then, American Honda got clever when it came to replacing it, making the new model available in all 50 states for the first time. That was back in October. Slowly, sales have been building. If I were Honda's ad agency I would be hassling the client with suggested campaigns right now, linking the Civic to news reports of plunging traded-gas prices.

'Forget the Civic Hybrid, hey we sold fewer than 5,000 in 2011 anyway, embrace the Civic Natural Gas'. Yes, perhaps my tagline needs work. There again, maybe the car itself could do with a snazzier model name.

If Honda misses this opportunity, I wonder which other brands could grab it? Here in Europe, Fiat does fairly well in the Italian market with its methane-fuelled Natural Power models. They might even be the boost that that brand needs at home right now too.

 


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