Are Americans breaking up with their cars?
Last year, car sales dropped almost 11 percent according to Autodata Corp. The trend is continuing this year while auto sales fell at General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan and Honda. Hyundai and Kia, also posted declines the beginning of spring.
Drivers are abandoning passenger cars for crossovers, SUV’s and trucks. The decline is causing some automakers to slow down the production of passenger cars.
Ford announced it is ending the sales of their Ford-C Max, Fiesta, Fusion, Taurus and Focus models. The car models will be phased out in the next few years. By 2020, Ford expects 90 percent of its portfolio to be trucks and SUV’s. To support their decision, Ford’s F-series pickup trucks recorded their highest sales since 2000 reports J.D. Power. Ford also plans to add five new SUV models over the next two years.
By 2022, almost 73 percent of all consumer vehicle sales in the United States are expected to be some sort of utility vehicles. About 27 percent will be cars, according to LMC Automotive, an auto industry forecasting firm.
People are choosing crossovers, trucks and SUV’s over cars. To that point, Toyota sold more crossovers, SUV’s and trucks in February of this year than ever before. The remade Jeep Compass is also experiencing strong sales after years of struggling. With fuel prices holding steady, larger cars are more appealing.
Auto industry experts believe auto sales in general are experiencing a decline due to several different conditions such as, tightening credit conditions, higher interest rates and stingy discounts. This equates to higher monthly car payments which are not appealing to most drivers.