Gasoline prices are rising, but do consumers care? As always, evidence is mixed. But we believe we can lay this controversy to rest.
We put our faith in one particular indicator: the automakers' own advertising. Toyota, Honda, Ford and General Motors all have introduced TV commercials touting their lineups of fuel-sipping cars and trucks.
The average price of gasoline is up 29 cents a gallon from a year ago, according to the Department of Energy. Adjusting for inflation, gasoline is still cheaper than it was 25 years ago. But automakers aren't taking chances; nobody wants to be labeled a fuel hog.