With the resurgence of the US economy also came increased prospects for the auto industry, as the second largest auto market in the world is now posting increased sales every month.
Chief among new car sales are again the American icons – pickup trucks and SUVs. But while the tendency to buy large, hulking cars seems to have returned, there are also significant changes to the shopper’s list. And one segment that increasingly appears there is the small sport utility one, with overall deliveries for the compact and subcompact models in the category surging from 10 to 18% of the total US automotive market.
“Sales of crossovers of all sorts have been growing significantly in recent years, but the growth in sales of smaller crossovers and SUVs has been nothing short of phenomenal,” Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for AutoTrader.com, said in a statement. “It’s easy to see why, with the segment being so versatile to meet the needs of a wide variety of car buyers. They can carry people, serve as a substitute truck or haul bigger cargo while still driving like a car.”
IHS Automotive forecasts sales in the compact segment – of models like the Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox or the Toyota RAV4 – are set to rise from 2 million units today to 2.2 million by 2017. The subcompact category – which includes Nissan’s Juke, Jeep’s newly introduced Renegade or Buick’s Encore – should also rise to see half a million vehicles sold by 2019.