Saturday, March 12, 2005

A small sliver of reason: Gas prices affect SUV sales

Rising U.S. gasoline prices are hurting sales of large sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, according to some industry analysts, a trend that could stall a major engine of profits for Detroit's automakers.

The gas-thirsty, full-sized SUV segment lost 1.2 percentage points of U.S. market share over the last two months and large pickups were down about 2 percentage points, according to, which tracks the industry.

Fuel-efficient compact cars, on the other hand, gained 2.2 percentage points of market share in the same period.

Large SUVs and full-sized pickup trucks account for close to 80 percent of North American automotive profits for Ford Motor Co. (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and General Motors Corp. (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) , Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache said in a recent research note.

When these chickens come home to roost, and they will, the effects will not be subtle. The 1973 oil crisis will look mild by comparison, and GM, Ford and Chrysler will be caught as flat-footed as they were 30 years ago.


Post a Comment

<< Home

see web stats