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Kelly Blue Book Survey Claims 5% Decline in SUV Buyer Interest in Last 6 Weeks

March 31, 2003

Wave II of Kelly Blue Book’s New Vehicle-Buyer Attitude Study on SUVs claims to show a 5 percent decline in consumer interest in buying sport utility vehicles over the last six weeks.Even though gasoline prices have begun to decline slightly, the overall cost-per-gallon appears to have had a significant impact on car-buyers. In this latest study, more than four out of 10 potential SUV buyers indicated that recent pgasoline prices would keep them from buying the vehicle. Additionally, half of those not considering an SUV as their next vehicle cite gasoline prices as their main reason. Wave II of the New Vehicle-Buyer Attitude Study on SUVs revealed: overall favorability of SUVs has dropped 5 percent since January; of those consumers not considering an SUV as their next purchase, their No. 1 reason for not buying the car is gasoline prices; 43 percent of those surveyed believe SUVs have a significant impact on foreign oil dependence versus only 36 percent just six weeks ago; 44 percent of car-buyers felt that car manufacturers do not care about the social impact SUVs have on the US, a gain of three percent over the last six weeks.While "family-oriented" remained the top attribute given to SUV drivers, it dropped from 68 percent to 60 percent, while the attribute of "irresponsible" gained ground."While sales of large SUVs are not necessarily declining, we are seeing greater interest in crossover vehicles and small SUVs," said Charlie Vogelheim, executive editor of Kelley Blue Book. "Regardless, the editorial team believes the heyday of large SUVs is about over."
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