Car Sales Plummet in New Vehicle Market

What’s going on out there in the consumer market for automobiles?Well, one thing that’s pretty noticeable is this: Car sales plummet in new vehicle market data we’ve seen so far, and sales of cars are expected to continue to drop for at least the next 18 months.

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2017 Ford Fusion

We’re talking about cars specifically, not the generic “cars” that people tend to use as shorthand when referring to what they drive. Generic, as in, “I’ll pick you up in the car”, and the “car” is really a 6000-pound Chevrolet Suburban.

Nope, cars is what we’re referring to. Cars like the Chevrolet Malibu, the Toyota Camry, the Hyundai Tiburon, the Ford Fusion and the Nissan Altima.

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2017 Honda CR-V

The reason for this is that it seems that more and more people in the United States have decided that what they really want is an SUV, or, something that looks like an SUV, which is a crossover. Crossovers are built on car platforms, and they have better handling and better fuel mileage as a result, come with 2WD or AWD, and mimic the look of their brawny forebears, the SUV.

A crossover is pretty much a modern-day station wagon, albeit with taller sides and the option of AWD. That sneaky reality has not stopped the public from embracing the crossover, though – in an era when very few auto makers even offer a wagon anymore, and the ones that do, don’t find a lot of takers for them, crossovers have enjoyed months and months of increasing sales.

Hey, news flash to crossover owners – you’re driving a station wagon. Yeah, you!

Enough of that; crossover owners get pretty miffed when you point this out to them. So, we will allow them to continue their delusion, a delusion that is continually fortified by very good marketing by the manufacturers.

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1976 Mercedes-Benz Unimog – if you’re going to go the SUV route, why not get all primal in the process?

The consumer shift towards SUVs and crossover shows no signs of abating anytime soon, and it’s now being helped considerably by the fact that gasoline is cheap again. Very cheap, actually. So, hey, why not get something that doesn’t get very good fuel mileage if there are also no consequences at the pump?

And, all the data around oil prices (which directly correlate to the price of gasoline) suggest that low gasoline prices are here to stay for quite some time.

So, every manufacturer that is heavy in cars and light in SUVs and crossovers (like Hyundai/Kia) is sort of getting hammered right now in terms of sales, and the manufacturers that have a lot of SUVs and crossovers to sell are doing pretty well.

Car sales plummet in new vehicle market conditions like this, and that is not going to change anytime soon…

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