Although high fuel-prices have led to an overall decrease in sales within the light-truck category, CUVs have managed to climb out of the downward trend with seven vehicles experiencing improved sales in 2008.
For the first two quarters of 2008, overall light-truck sales (which, for our purposes, include light-duty pickups, SUVs and crossover utility vehicles [CUVs]) were down 17.7%. Pickup sales dropped 23.3%, while SUV sales dropped 32.5%. CUV sales decreased by a mere 1.7%.
“As the U.S. economy experiences a downturn due, in part, to high gas prices, consumers have began to shift their vehicle buying preferences,” said Ty Michael, SEMA market research manager. “While drivers still seek the family hauling capabilities and utility that pickups and SUVs offer, they now find similar attributes in crossover utility vehicles (CUVs), which also offer improved fuel economy and handling compared to their body-on-frame counterparts.”
The Isuzu i-Series was the only pickup that experienced increased sales for January through June 2008 over the same period the previous year, and the Chrysler Aspen experienced an increase on the SUV side. CUVs fared much better, with seven vehicles seeing improved sales so far in 2008.
The top seven CUVs that witnessed a growth in sales within January through June 2008 were: Chevrolet HHR (50,818 units, up 9.6% from the previous year); Jeep Patriot (36,684 units, up 145.1% from the previous year); Ford Edge (68,727, up 16.9% from the previous year); Chevrolet Equinox (42,101 units, up 1.0% from the previous year); GMC Acadia (38,269 units, up 8.5% from the previous year); Buick Enclave (21,757 units, up 291.0% from the previous year); and Suzuki XL7 (17,077 units, up 30.6% from the previous year).
For more original SEMA research, please visit www.sema.org/research.