Perhaps the last third of 2016 will be remembered for the theme, “Expect the Unexpected.”
Tuesday night’s election results shocked the world as President-elect Trump overcame astronomical odds to secure the nation’s highest office. That’s as far as our political commentary will go on this blog, but rest assured the significance of the election isn’t lost on us. We’ll be sure to keep a close eye on the election’s effects on the auto industry.
Slightly less significant, October’s car sales report had a few unexpected twists too. In a time of slowing sales, when we might expect passenger cars and full-size trucks to maintain the status quo, something else has happened.
Automakers as a whole have seen sales drop for three consecutive months. Buyers are becoming tighter with their money, and fewer people are in the market for new vehicles. The market as a whole was 3.5 percent smaller at the end of this summer than it was at the end of summer in 2015.
Yet, General Motors managed to increase sales of its full-size SUVs by a whopping 59 percent.
Full-size SUVs are supposed to be on the way out. They are dinosaurs of the industry and are set to be replaced by sleek crossovers. Many automakers don’t even build full-size SUVs anymore, which could partly explain GM’s wild success with them. There’s decent demand for these rigs and simply no competition.
The success of these trucks is the result of a steady demand for government and corporate fleet sales, as well as high retail demand.
An article at The Truth About Cars says,
Sales of GM’s passenger cars were down about 14 percent and sales of its full-size trucks dropped 7.6 percent, while midsize trucks saw a hefty 41 percent increase.
We saw a new political landscape be drawn Tuesday night and GM appears to be following suit by defying the odds and succeeding with full-size SUVs in an industry that says it’s not supposed to be possible.
Will a full-size GM SUV be on your shopping list anytime soon?