Automotive News recently reported sales of passenger cars are on pace to hit the lowest level in 60 years. This, as sales of trucks, SUV’s and various crossover vehicles continue their rise. It has caused Ford Motor Company to abandon sedans in North America followed by a host of other manufacturers readying plans to modify their “single story’ offerings. The rush to non-car products places auto executives in a challenging position: committing billions of dollars, often years in advance trying to forecast what the buying public may need…or want. It is certainly no walk in the park. Meanwhile, Toyota, as just one example, doesn’t appear to be paying attention. Sales of their popular Camry sedan continue to rise.
Trucks and SUV’s are terrific – especially if you really “need” their features and capacity. My personal, unsophisticated guess: There will come a point in time where “horsing” around (and parking) that over-sized, fuel eating monster loses some of its initial appeal. It may even spur a renaissance for smaller, sportier, more agile cruisers that essentially scoot about, are easier to park and maybe are even a bit kinder on fuel costs—whatever fuel we may be using. And for those manufacturers who get their product mix just right — they may well rule the roost…or at least the road.