For the first time in more than two years, SUV sales account for more than half of the U.S. auto market. This will come as no surprise to readers of this blog, as we have charted the growing rebound of light truck sales as the U.S. economy has (albeit slowly) rebounded and gas prices remain under $3 a gallon.
The trend comes even as Washington issued a new edict that vehicles average an absurd 62 mpg by 2025. The current absurd standard — 35 mpg by 2015 — has forced manufacturers to invest billions in new small-car development.
Today, manufacturers are in defiance of their own customers — their marketing departments churning out small-car ads touting their new green products. This puts automakers in a tough spot: Continue to make cars for the government, or listen to their customers.
For now, manufacturers are sticking with the government, telling the Detroit News that “with a slew of new cars coming out, such as the Chevrolet Cruze, the Ford Fiesta and a new Ford Focus early next year, car sales are likely to outpace truck sales in the coming months.”
Maybe. But it would contradict this year’s clear market trend in precisely the opposite direction.