Ford executives said that soon the already delicate line between cars and SUVs will soon disappear as utility vehicles are not what they were at the beginning.
Around 10 years ago when you said SUV you though of a big, body-on-frame vehicle, usually towing a trailer over a dirt road. With the new technology available, automakers have created small and even luxury SUVs, to replace the midsize cars. Demand for this type of vehicles is in a continuous increase, as customers appreciate them for their durability, improved fuel economy and for the higher view of the road ahead.
Currently, global sales of SUVs reach 13 million annually or 18% of the global market, or an increase of 35% since 2005. Small utility sales have more than doubled, increasing 154% since 2005 and analysts predict the segment will continue to surpass the industry. In 2012 automakers sold 1.4 million small crossovers in China and sales are expected to double in the next 10 years.
“There are big trends going on, and they are really accelerating,” Ford global marketing chief Jim Farley said. “The death of utilities was premature. It’s just coming back in a different form. … Our intention is to be a utility leader around the world.”