Do you remember when
- Convertibles had retractable hard tops instead of soft, cloth tops.
- Station wagons had rear side panels made of wood.
- The 1965 Volkswagen Beetle was the car everyone wanted.
- Every new sedan had a pinstripe running down its side panels.
- More than 67% of the tires sold in the U.S. were whitewall tires.
A dramatic change is occurring in the auto industry today. Sales of traditional cars are down, but the demand for trucks and SUVs has increased. www.latimes.com reported that “three years ago, trucks and SUVs represented 50% of the U. S. market. They closed 2016 at 63% of total sales, and analysts don’t see that changing anytime soon.”
Why have SUVs become so popular? Consumers like the space, the high seating, all wheel drive, the improvements in fuel economy, the special promotions, and elevated incentives. Cheap gas has made the vehicles more appealing. The January 8, 2017 Chicago Tribune RIDES article “Sport utility valentine,” says that qualities like these have made vehicles “like the Honda HR-V, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, and Toyota RAV4 the hottest things on wheels.”
Still, even with incentives, the average sale price of a vehicle rose to $32,000 according to the LA times article. Prices for the BMW 5-series SUV start at $51,200, excluding destination charges.
Why are so many consumers eager to buy a new vehicle? According to an article entitled “Consumer Demand for Trucks, SUVs Outdistances Interest in Cars” on www.jdpower.com, the average age of vehicles on the road is 11.4 years. The article further explains, “Since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009, the U.S. auto industry has experienced six consecutive years of growth—a period unmatched since the 1920s.”
To see a video of the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox, go to The New 2017 Chevrolet Equinox SUV Premier Review at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13HzUtWov3g.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are unable to access a video by using the link, type the name of the video into your search engine.
—By Karen Centowski