Last year was pretty good for US car sales, and 2012 looks to be even better. In August alone, the total number of new vehicles sold is up by 19 percent over the same month in 2011.
According to a report from Kelley Blue Book (KBB), many buyers chose their vehicle based on one important factor: rising gasoline prices.
“Gas prices have increased US$0.30 per gallon since early July”, states the report “and as a result, KBB has seen an increased interest in fuel-sipping small cars both in terms of KBB.com shopper activity and retail sales volume."
As a result, the subcompact segment recorded the biggest increase in sales: in August this year, 57,300 subcompact models were delivered in the States, up 42 percent compared to the same month in 2011.
Another category of vehicles boasting a significant increase in sales is the compact crossover. Even though they are not the most fuel-efficient models in the market, compact vehicles like the Ford Escape are much more economical than full-size crossovers and SUVs.
According to KBB, compact crossover sales recorded a 38 percent increase year-over-year, surpassing the compact passenger car segment that was up 30 percent.
In contrast, sales of full-size pickups, which are notorious for their higher fuel consumption, were up by only 6.7 percent. With analysts forecasting the highest-ever end of summer prices, this trend looks unlikely to change any time soon.
By Andrew Tsaousis
Story References: Time