Full-size sport utility vehicles might be the Goliaths of the road, but some car dealers say a David - a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle - is now gaining ground in the battle of sales, according to the Augusta Chronicle
of Augusta, Ga."We are beginning to see an increase in the attempt to trade in full-size trucks and SUVs," said Scott Wade, the general manager of Honda Cars of Aiken, S.C. "People are looking at trading them in, but it's a battle for them. They want that image car, but yet logic is starting to come into play."Dealers said a possible war with Iraq is the sling, delivering the powerful punch of higher gas prices and leading motorists to consider smaller, midsized SUVs or cars.Paul Taylor, the chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association, said the largest growth sector of vehicles is currently in small-sized SUVs. January and February sales of truck-based SUVs, which are typically V8s and larger than midsized SUVs, have decreased 14.7 percent nationwide from a year ago, Taylor said. Small car-based SUV sales have increased by 27.2 percent.