America’s love for sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) might be fading, according to sources quoted in a recent article by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Such a change in motorists’ tastes and preferences would have an impact on the towable RV sector, because SUVs are used to tow thousands of travel trailers and folding campers.
Basically, SUVs have become a victim of their own success, according to G. Clotaire Rapaille, the consultant who worked with the former Chrysler Corp. to develop the PT Cruiser.
“The main reason people were buying (SUVs) was that they were different,” Rapaille told the WSJ. But now that SUVs are everywhere “they are losing one of the reasons people were buying these cars.”
Also, gas prices have roughly doubled in some parts of the country in the last two years, and a survey by J.D. Power & Associates found that “excessive fuel consumption” was cited as a problem with 2001 trucks and SUVs at more than double the rate for 2000 models.
The auto industry is responding by designing a variety of smaller, lighter SUVs such as the PT Cruiser, according to the WSJ.
“The whole sport-utility creation probably isn’t repeatable,” Ford CEO Jacques Nasser told Wall Street market analysts last month, according to the WSJ. From now on, the SUV market won’t be dominated by one or two leading brands, but will become more fragmented, like the passenger-car market, Nasser added.