Wednesday 29 December 2010

Rising fuel prices threaten SUV sales (U.S)

Recently, sales of SUV’s and pick-up trucks have risen, but at late so have fuel prices, which may hinder sales and residual values of large SUV’s and pick-ups.

With fuel prices across the States averaging around $3 a gallon, it’s signing the highest levels observed since October 2008. An additional ¢50 may see customers purchasing smaller vehicles.

“If you see a ¢20 -¢30 price increase per gallon over the course of a couple weeks then of course people are going to panic,” Alec Gutierrez, analyst for vehicle evaluation at Kelley Blue Book, said. Nevertheless, Gutierrez noted that if prices increase steadily, it’ll give the “market a chance to react rationally.”

Some showrooms have already begun to see consumer’s down-size. A large amount of customers are ditching large SUV’s in favour for compact ones like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Mercedes GLK.

Jason Stewart, general manager of Earl Stewart Toyota of North Palm Beach in Florida said: “Our small SUVs are doing OK but the large SUVs and large trucks have definitely cooled off since the pickup in gas prices”.

He also claimed sales of the Toyota Prius have tripled at his dealership. Dealers are also reporting a decline in prices as an end result to shove consumer’s into smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles.

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