The Year of the Truck & SUV

Written by Chloe Harwood

Auto sales climb back up in April 2016, as the automotive industry continues to see a major trend towards new SUV & Truck sales in North America.

It is safe to say American’s tend to like things with more power and capability, even if it does tend to cost more, we are willing to take out more debt to satisfy that thirst for power. In America we absolutely love our Trucks and SUVs. This has become very visible as sales in April 2016 show record sales for trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

The higher interest in the truck and SUV models is great news for automakers around the globe, not just here in North America, as these heavy hitters tend to provide the greater margin of profit. The one automaker that saw the most success was FCA with their prized Jeep and RAM models. The record month of April was mostly powered by Jeep’s sales of their smaller Renegade and Jeep Compass sales. Dealerships like Junction Chrysler near Cleveland, Ohio has seen a greater interest in a number of their Jeep and RAM models. They also noted that they have seen a growing interest in their Fleet vehicles such as the RAM ProMaster, and their lineup of commercial vehicles.

So what are the contributing factors to this major spike in interest for the SUV and truck models in 2016 so far? Well 2015 was probably the biggest year in total sales the automotive industry has experienced in nearly ten solid years. Up unto this point we have seen a great number of sales increase for sedan, compact and even cross-over segments, but this is the first time we have ever seen such a tremendous growth with the heavier truck and SUVs.  Many believe the driving factor in this past years decreased oil & gas prices, also the better fuel-economy for many of these larger vehicles.

The simple equation, lower fuel costs, plus better fuel economy, equals more truck and SUV sales. People are confident that the fuel prices will be stable in the sub three-dollar range for a while, so they are taking the risks to buy these vehicles for their luxury and all-purpose capabilities.

Now on the topic of purpose. FCA and many other automakers also made mention of their Fleet sales increasing over the past year, and this very well be because there are more people who are starting their own businesses, or current businesses who are taking the opportunity to seize the fleet vehicles while they are affordable, and fuel-efficient. For many these commercial vans and heavy-duty trucks become incredible long-term business investments.

Even though 2015 is still the best sales year, 2016 is still shaping up to be a good sales year, but right now it is trending towards fewer car sales, and more towards larger vehicle sales. If we do see a shift in gas prices it is very safe to say that trend may very well end abruptly.

About the author

Chloe Harwood