US: the principles behind the crossover surge image

After the first six months of the year, across the surging and healthy US auto market, the traditionally largest segment, midsize passenger cars, are down 3.4 percent.

That’s because consumers are dropping their usual sedan purchase in favor of a crossover, SUV or pickup truck. Why? According to industry experts, the answer is simple in its intricate complication. Back a few years ago, and consumer had to choose between the comfortable ride and increased fuel economy of a sedan and the versatility and better visibility offered by sport utility vehicles. “Now I can get everything I want to get, and I don’t have to give up all those things that I might have had to give up five or six years ago,” comments Mike Manley, the global chief of Jeep, the brand that took the biggest share of the shift in demand. When dealing with a crossover or SUV, consumers are now attracted by the increased hauling capacity when compared to a same-size sedan. “One of the fundamental drivers of the American car industry is that, all other things being equal, people will always choose the most flexibility,” comments John Krafcik, a former Ford and Hyundai executive.

The consumer interest for the newly established crossovers and more traditional SUVs had been there for years, with automakers rethinking their model lineups to address that shift, putting into production more of them and less of the sedan models. Part of the move towards crossovers and SUVs can also be explained by the surging fuel economy of the vehicles, with many of them swapping components from very fuel-efficient passenger cars. And naturally, the booming growth has been supported since the latter half of last year by the dropping fuel prices.

Via Automotive News