Higher gas prices might be starting to have an influence on the types of cars Iowans are buying. Chantel Grimm commutes from Boone to Ames everyday for work. She took that into account in a recent visit to a suburban Des Moines car lot. She says she was looking at “Trailblazers” but says there’s no way she can afford the gas. Grimm’s mom Sherrie is also looking for a new car. She wants to trade her 1988 Oldsmobile for a newer car with a six-cylinder engine.She says she wants more power provided by the six cylinder, but won’t go to an eight because it would take too much gas. Rob Bierman, the new car sales manager for Toyota of Des Moines, says Grimm isn’t alone. He says they have seen a lot of people wanting to downsize and get better fuel economy.Bierma says the higher gas prices are making more people look at his company’s electric hy-bred Prius. He says the demand for the cars has been very good and they’re on an eight-month supply list.The hy-bred gets 60 miles for each gallon of gas while and S-U-V averages about 20 miles per gallon. The General Manager of Quality Ford in West Des Moines, Owais Ahmed says truck and S-U-V sales remain steady. He says people who can afford a 45-thousand dollar vehicle aren’t worried about the price of gas. He says there are people coming in with older trucks who come in and trade them for a car. He says new truck sales aren’t down so far. Ahmed admits if gas prices remain high and begin to affect consumer choice, it could be tough on his dealership, as the trucks and S-U-V’s are top sellers.
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