SUV Sales Gain Heat
It may seem a bit surprising, but SUVs are more popular than ever! You’re probably wondering that what kind of sorcery is working behind this sudden rise in SUV sales. Let me provide you with an insight in the marketing strategies recently employed by SUV manufacturing companies like Honda, Mazda, and others.
The question that needs answers first is that what led to the stagnant growth of the SUV market? What could have been the sole reason behind it, if it weren’t the drastic hikes in gasoline and fuel prices? With all the poor mileages that SUVs are known to offer, the heavy increment in fuel prices was expected to bring about a fall of around 20% in the prices of SUVs.
Another less important factor is the size of the vehicles. The gigantic sizes that traditional truck based SUVs were based on was initially welcomed by consumers, especially due to the “perceived” safety factors involved in driving a large car. Sadly, physics doesn’t approve of vehicles that have heights beyond a certain level in correspondence with their base width. As a result, the traditional SUV emerged with a much higher tendency of turning turtle on sharp corners. Moreover, they proved to be much more dangerous when road accidents were considered both for the ones traveling in the SUV and for the ones whose vehicles were hit by SUVs.
These factors, along with a number of other facts (including environment concerns, noise, less ideal for inner city driving) were quickly realized by the SUV manufacturing companies and new marketing and manufacturing strategies were developed. These new strategies proved to be much more effective than the ones that were employed previously. During the era of traditional SUVs, 1 of every 5 vehicles sold was a SUV. Big enough, right? After the successful implementation of the below mentioned strategies, 1 of every 3 vehicles sold was a SUV! Now that’s big!
The traditional gigantic models like Hummer and Ford Excursion are no longer manufactured. Instead of designing SUVs on truck based models, manufacturers are making new SUVs more sedan-oriented. This gave birth to a new car designation, the Crossover, or Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV). We all have heard of the Ford Explorer, the truck based SUV that played an inevitable role in the rise of the SUVs a decade or so ago. While designing the new Explorer, Ford switched from truck based pattern to a more sedan based pattern, the one that Ford Taurus uses. Now with the relatively smaller size, and much more fuel-efficient engine, Ford undoubtedly saw a better future in the SUV market. Similarly, Mazda launched its new CX-5, which was said to be “sold out” by Mazda’s spokesperson, Jeremy Barnes, and boasts of giving a mileage of 30MPG (12.75kmpl) on a highway!
These smaller SUVs proved to be much more practical. “Nobody wants to drive what their parents drove,” says Mazda’s Barnes, explaining the popularity of the CUV with the younger generation. And this rise in popularity has translated into increased sales for the car manufacturers. The CUV design has been employed by many of the major companies like Honda, Ford, Mazda and others, and has energized the market for everyday utility vehicles.