It's well known that the popularity of trucks and sport utility vehicles continues to grow; so much so, that over the last few years, more of these larger vehicles have been sold than small ones.
This new state of affairs has been confirmed by sales figures for the first five months of the year in the United States. Pickups and SUVs of all shapes and sizes are flying off lots at twice the rate of automobiles.
According to analysts at LMC Automotive, this trend is unstoppable. They even go as far as predicting that the market share of larger vehicles could reach as high as 80% by 2025.
Aside from trendiness, several factors are contributing to the popularity of this type of vehicle. Engines have become more efficient, narrowing the fuel consumption gap between cars and trucks. Despite this, cars still consume less fuel and represent a better choice in this aspect; all things being equal, mechanically, this will always be true.
Another mitigating factor in favour of these road monsters is the relative stability of fuel prices in recent years. In this regard, it will be interesting to analyze the data again in a few months, since fuel prices, both here and in the US have been climbing since the spring.
There has also been a proliferation of new utility vehicle models in recent years, particularly in the burgeoning sub-compact SUV segment. Greater availability undoubtedly translates into better sales.
It should be noted that exactly seven years ago, the ratio of sales between cars and trucks was 50:50.
For the immediate future, the popularity of SUVs remains clear; however, we should keep an eye on where electric vehicles are heading. Consumers are prepared to make the jump, and if the right conditions present themselves and the ideal vehicle is a car rather than an SUV, we could witness a strong comeback of the car.
The next few years will be interesting.