SUV sales plummet, high gas prices cited
October 4, 2005
High gas prices caused American consumers to spurn sport-utility vehicles in September. Further, resale values for SUVs are falling as demand for the gas-guzzling vehicles softens while interest in smaller, more fuel-efficient models soars.
According to The Wall Street Journal and Autodata Corp., U.S. car and light-truck sales fell 7.6% in September to an annual selling pace of 16.36 million vehicles. The September sales figures are the best evidence to date that consumers are looking for more fuel-efficient vehicles as gasoline prices have climbed past $3 per gallon.
Of the big automakers, GM sales fell 24% from last year, while Ford sales dropped 19.5%. DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group saw sales increase 3.7%; Toyota Motor Corp., maker of the popular gas-electric hybrid Prius, jumped 10%; Nissan Motor Co.’s sales climbed 16% and Honda Motor Co., manufacturer of the efficient Civic and a new hybrid version of its Accord model, said sales rose 11.7%.
Last week, in an effort to make further gains with Americans feeling the pain of high gas prices, Toyota launched a new $60 million advertising campaign trumpeting its hybrid technology.
This is a NIH news release.