Planet Gore

Washington Disconnect: SUV Sales Well Over 50 Percent of Market

As if to put a punctuation mark on how out-of-touch Washington is with the electorate, October vehicle sales released today reveal that SUV sales have now almost fully rebounded from their pre-recession numbers and now make up 53 percent of the market, with cars at just 47 percent. The numbers have flipped since last October as the economy recovers and customers return to bigger, more fuel-thirsty vehicles.

The figures came in the same month that the Obama administration ordered the EPA to study raising average mpg mandates to an absurd 62 mpg by 2025 (why not 100 mpg? Do I hear 150?) on top of an already fanciful 35 mpg figure by 2015. Currently, only cars like the tiny Smart two-seater make 35 mpg while the market trend is away from compacts.

To justify their mpg mandates, Washington Democrats claim that Americans are warming to hybrids. But October sales contradict these claims, as hybrid sales continued their drop to just 2.6 percent of the market – down from 2.9 percent last year (and 3.1 for 2009 as a whole)

The MSM, having spent all of last month extolling the virtues of new electric cars, largely ignored the inconvenient SUV data. “Most automakers reported strong truck and crossover sales while Toyota noted that its hybrid sales were off,” reported the Detroit News.

At GM, the marked SUV sales rise spelled good news as the profitable vehicles will help the Detroit giant pay off its massive government loans. GM’s “hot vehicles include the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX followed by the larger Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse,” reported the News. “On the pickup side, the Chevrolet Silverado, Avalanche and GMC Sierra saw sales rise 9 percent for the month.” All are low-mileage SUVs.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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