Trend Towards Smaller Cars Continues
An analysis of new car and truck sales at the halfway point in the model year confirms a trend towards smaller cars fueled in part by high gasoline prices, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.Fuel-efficient small cars now account for 25.98 percent of all sales compared with a 23.37 percent market share a year ago. Hyundai's new Accent posted a 43 percent gain over June 2005 sales and there are waiting lists in some parts of the country for both Honda's Fit and Civic. Civic Hybrid sales posted a 40 percent increase over last year. On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that full-size SUVs are down 19.3 percent for the first six months of this year compared with 2005, and mid-size SUVs are down 8.3 percent for the same period. Only entry-level SUV sales and luxury premium SUVs are up in the six-month period by 6.1 and 16.7 percent, respectively, compared with 2005. Toyota Land Cruiser, Sequoia and Highlander sales all saw significant decreases for the first six months of the year. Acura's MDX, Chevy's Equinox, Jeep Liberty and Ford Expedition sales have all seen considerable drops in sales, in most cases, by at least 30 percent. Although some models are still selling well, June was generally a slow month for domestic automakers. At GM, Pontiac's G6, the Chevy Impala, the HHR, Buick Lucerne and Pontiac Torrent are all seeing successful sales so far in 2006. At Ford Motor Co., the Ford Fusion, Lincoln Zephyr and Mercury Milan have seen sales increases. Still, sales slipped 6.8 percent overall at Ford compared to June 2005.