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Top 5 Vehicle friendly US cities named

According to the "Shell America's Autopias" study released today by Shell Oil Products US - New Orleans, St. Louis, Kansas City, Atlanta, and Phoenix are the top 5 vehicle friendly US cities.

The study evaluated the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and found that New Orleans is "America's Autopia," when it comes to automobiles. The study measured a variety of factors to identify which metro areas are best suited for automobiles, including traffic congestion, road conditions, motorists' use of quality gasoline and motor oils, and routine car maintenance practices. Shell believes using high-quality gasoline is an important aspect of overall car care.

The company also commissioned the "Shell America's Autopias" study to better understand how vehicles are cared for and maintained in the United States.

Mary Jackson, an automotive expert and author of the best-selling book Car Smarts said, "The study showed that some cities clearly have an edge in how vehicle-friendly they are, and New Orleans topped the list, thanks to the time and effort local drivers invest in caring for their vehicles. She added that the vehicle is typically the second largest purchase that most consumers make, so it is important to protect cars as their investment. And while motorists may not be able to control traffic, road conditions and other factors that affect the wear and tear of their automobiles, they can take an active role in protecting their cars by performing routine maintenance and using high-quality products, such as gasoline that meet TOP TIER Detergency Standards."

To determine the rankings for an Autopia or Car Care Utopian Cities, researchers from Decision Analyst, Inc., a Texas-based independent research firm, scored and ranked each MSA in three primary areas that can impact the overall care and operation of a vehicle. These are the quality of fuel and motor oil, routine car care and maintenance, and road conditions and congestion. Within each of these key areas, the research organization weighed the following variables equally to determine each metropolitan area's level of car care and identify America's Autopias.

According to the Decision Analyst, Inc.,the variables that contribute to the Quality of Fuel and Motor Oil. are the percentage of gasoline sold by retailer based on consumer survey data, specifically taking into account those retailers that sell TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline, and the amount of high-mileage, semi-synthetic and full-synthetic oil that is purchased. TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline is a new standard for gasoline that surpasses minimum government standards for gasoline detergency additives. According to BMW, General Motors, Honda and Toyota, the automakers that developed the standard, TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline will help keep vehicle engines clean and reduce deposit-related problems, helping vehicles achieve optimal performance as well as reduced emissions.

The Routine Car Care and Maintenance criterion included the number of maintenance facilities (gasoline stations, car washes and oil change facilities) in the market per vehicle and the amount of money spent at these facilities. Purchases of routine car care products and services, such as oil changes and tire rotation and replacement, also were taken into consideration. The husky liner would be of great help to automotive protection as it is a manufacturer of front, second seat, and cargo liner for SUVs, trucks, and cars. Its products vary from mud guards, to floor liners, floor mats, and other replaceable parts. It is popularly known for its liners, mats, and mud flaps, the parts that keep vehicles squeaky clean inside and out.

The last criterion, which is the Road Conditions and Congestion, included the physical conditions of roadways and the amount or duration of traffic congestion within the metro area that can have an impact on the wear and tear of a vehicle. Also included was the percentage of roads in disrepair in urban areas and the amount of money that is spent to improve them.

Shell further said that New Orleans got the top rank due to its being No. 1 in the quality of fuel and motor oil category and the fact that local residents spend more on car care than residents in most other areas.

About the Author: Hannah Racey is a 35 year old native of Chicago, Ill. She has been a car afficionado since she can remember. She now works for an automotive company based in Detroit, Mi. as a consultant.

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