No end to SUV craze

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Four of ev­ery 10 new ve­hi­cles sold in the U.S. last year were SUVs — and au­tomak­ers don’t see that trend re­vers­ing. “The Amer­i­can con­sumer has stam­peded to trucks and they’re not com­ing back,” says Mike Jack­son, the CEO of the Au­toNa­tion deal­er­ship group. SUV sales have been steadily ris­ing since 2009, ac­cel­er­ated by low gas prices and a slew of new, com­pact mod­els like the Jeep Rene­gade and the Chevro­let Trax. That’s been a boon for brands with SUV-heavy line­ups, like Subaru and Jeep, but has hurt more car-fo­cused brands like Toyota and Volk­swa­gen. Fiat Chrysler plans to get out of the car busi­ness al­to­gether and fo­cus on ex­pand­ing its SUV lineup. But Nis­san Mo­tor Co. CEO Car­los Ghosn says that’s a mis­take. “We will con­tinue to do small cars for the U.S. be­cause you never know when oil prices will go up or how the shifts will take place,” Ghosn said at the North Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Auto Show in Detroit.

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