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Dealers Stacking Sandbags In Preparation For Higher Gas Prices

Auto dealers see gasoline prices heading up because of the political maelstrom in the Middle East, and are saying they will adjust their vehicle mix to weather that storm when it hits again: they say they will stock more small cars and fuel-efficient crossovers.

Currently, the average national gas price is in the neighborhood of $3.20, which is 54 cents above what it was last year. But in trading yesterday, West Texas Intermediate was within spitting distance of $100 a barrel. "We'll change the mix of products that we offer," said one dealer, John Pitre, the general manager of Motor City Auto Center in Bakersfield, Calif. "Hybrid demand has been pretty weak the last couple of years, so you can count on that coming back to life."



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