$3 gas? Truck sales still strong


Contrary to media hype about hybrids and small cars, the big news out of the auto industry this year is that – despite consistent gas prices in the $3 range – trucks and SUVs continue to outpace sedan sales in the U.S.

Sedan sales dropped 3 percent in the last year – almost twice the rate of light trucks. And its not just smaller, “crossover” SUVs that are selling. Sales gains for the massive Cadillac Escalade and Chevy Suburban are up by double digits, while Ford’s biggest sport ute, the Expedition, saw sales leap by 12.2 percent. Overall, light trucks now make up 53 percent of the market – up from 48.7 percent at the beginning of the decade.

“The decline in trucks (this year) is really not that significant – the numbers are not telling the story that’s being told out there,” says Edmond’s chief economist Jesse Toprak, referring to the media’s green spin.

Lately environmentalists have questioned why Toyota – which has gained a green halo for its Toyota Prius hybrid – has come to market with giant trucks like the Toyota Tundra and Sequoia. The answer is simple: Toyota’s just following the money.


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