Cost of expensive gasoline measured in SUV sales drop

May 15, 2008



Are high gas prices killing Americans’ love affair with gas-guzzling SUVs? Looks that way.

In April, SUVs and light trucks took their smallest share of total U.S. vehicle sales in nearly nine years, and dealers sold more new cars than trucks for the second month running — the first time that’s happened since 2001. While many factors have teamed up to torpedo sales of high-ticket vehicles like SUVs — tighter credit, a tough job market, slumping real estate values and a generally soft economy — the fact that pump prices have soared to a record aren’t helping, as the chart shows.

This trend might not easily reverse in May. Gas prices are up an average of 3 percent in the first two weeks of the month, with the latest weekly average pump price setting a fresh record of $3.72 a gallon, according to the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration.


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As a SUV driver (a 1995 vintage vehicle), I’ve been attempting to replace it and at the moment the manufacturers do not offer much if what you need stresses the utility part of SUV.

The trend in (US) vehicles is (still) towards luxury and performance. If you want to further improve gas mileage with a manual transmission (in the US) the vehicles are almost non-existent. Even Jeep seems to be more interested in a softer ride and plusher interior.

I spent considerable time this last spring looking, and basically decided to wait and see if the offerings improve the coming model year.


Naperville, IL USA

Posted by Greg Pronger | Report as abusive

I think it is about time something happened to make people drive less and switch to smaller vehicles. This country is wasteful of resources and acts like a spoiled child when it can’t get its way. I hope gas prices go above five dollars a gallon to force people to drive only when necessary and drive more fuel efficient vehicles. Nobody but businesses need to drive SUV’s. In southern california, you see many SUV’s with one or two people in them. You can’t tell me they need a SUV to survive. Ridiculous.

Posted by Mike Sunada | Report as abusive

Please.. You people are NOT driving SUVs. The only vehicle that deserves the title SUV is the Porsche Cayenne.

Americans don’t know ISHT about auto technology, and that’s why you are putting the entire world in the ISHTER with your gas guzzling junk.

Wakeup and get a clue about DIESELS from Germany!! 200 MPG VW concept, that was acutally BUILT. I am SOOOO SICK of everyones WHINING. It’s your fault for not researching trends and being incompetent about auto tech. Either that or you just don’t want a “hitler” mobile. So suck on it.

You should know, it’s just going to get worse. Europe already has $10 a gallon fuel, even with 50%+ diesel car sales and YOU’RE NEXT.

Posted by Fleet Admiral of cars | Report as abusive

[…] we were all quite happy to find out that in April, SUVs and light trucks’ market share dropped to the lowest it had been in 9 […]

Posted by Greener.Ideal » Higher Gas Prices Leading to Fewer SUVS | Report as abusive

As usual, the “greenies” are out to bash anyone with a vehicle large enough to carry more than a briefcase, while those of us who need the space AND fuel mileage to efficiently perform our jobs have been waiting since the 1980’s for auto manufacturers to produce a vehicle that meets those needs. Finally, and only in response to extreme pressure of soaring fuel prices, the auto manufacturers are beginning to produce vehicles with that 1980’s technology, giving us a few more miles per gallon. If 50 mpg SUV’s were available 20 years ago, you probably wouldn’t be spouting off about how wasteful I am with our precious resources. Let’s get this straight: The auto and oil companies have been responsible for withholding technological advances, not consumers.

Posted by Enough Already | Report as abusive

I’m not sure why folks keep on talking about waiting for US auto manufacturers to come up with a fuel effecient SUV. It’s here already in the Honda Element. As usual, the Japanese are way ahead of the curve. The only problem is that it does not fit the ego of the average American SUV driver. That’s what this is all about isn’t it? Are American kids so big that soccer moms need a 6000 pound truck to hual them around?

Posted by Robert Van Pelt | Report as abusive

Oh quite your whining and get back to work!!!! Productivity people…productivity…we must keep the shareholder happy…we must not complain about gas prices and we damn well must not complain about excessive CEO compensation…we must keep working and keep the stock price propped up…we must work for less pay…we must work for less benefits…we must work for less family time…we must work for less less and less. If we were working more we wouldn’t have time to complain about high gas prices. I am just an average guy, with a college degre, who has seen first hand the effects of corporate greed and the demeaning results it has on it’s employees. Read the book, The Big Squeeze by Steven Greenhouse, it sums up perfectly what is happening in our country. Your job may not have been effected yet, but believe me the powers that be are looking for ways to make it happen. So get back to work!

Posted by coporate corrupt | Report as abusive

[…] a Mercedes-Benz Turbo Diesel V6 That gets 18-23mpg. Adding Diesels to the line up is a good move. As gas prices rise, SUV sales fall, and with all of Jeeps vehicles SUVs they should take Diesels more seriously. If people can still […]

Posted by » Jeep and Diesels – Diesel Auto Blog | Report as abusive

Its all about money. Dont think that big oil dont pay auto withhold low milage autos from going into production. one hand washs the other. big oil just gave the industry a punch in the gut. As far as if you drive a SUV or not. If you got the money go ahead and drive. I myself own a Lincoln Aviator and am quite happy with it. drive it 30 miles to work everyday. But the kind of People I transport for work dont think they would be happy in a Honda going to a lunch or round of golf.

Posted by Richard Beck | Report as abusive

As it happens I’ve purchased a Jeep (Patriot). ~30 mpg highway with manual trans. About as good as you get without a hybrid (concerns about longevity there). By the way I would not consider the Porsche a SUV. In the Suburban (I’ve kept it for moving bigger stuff) I can toss full size plywood or drywall in the back, and have enough ground clearance to go about anywhere. The Porsche is more of a toy than utility.


Posted by Greg Pronger | Report as abusive

It is time to go out and buy hummers guys. Not the fake consumer model that only burns a reasonable about of gas and oil, get the real military version at 4 mpg on the highway.

Posted by Oil | Report as abusive

Not a surprising news. Considering the condition of the nation’s economy, many people are shifting towards smaller cars and others are minimizing on the use of vehicles. I hope that there will fuel-efficient and reliable SUvs that will be massproduced.

Posted by Fourby4 | Report as abusive

[…] we were all quite happy to find out that in April, SUVs and light trucks’ market share dropped to the lowest it had been in 9 […]

Posted by Higher Gas Prices Leading to Fewer SUVS – Greener IdealGreener Ideal | Report as abusive