KPMG Study Finds SUV Sales Growth Grinding to Halt As Buyer Preferences Shift

89 percent of all auto industry respondents now feel that fuel efficiency will be an important factor in a consumer's purchasing decision, ranking it as the single most important factor - ahead of quality, safety, affordability and product design.

Published: 06-Jan-2007

The Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) – or 4x4 – sector appears to have become the primary casualty of high oil prices and a hardening consumer desire to purchase more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly cars. According to the annual KPMG survey of the global automotive industry, expectations for growth within the SUV sector have now hit rock bottom amongst North American industry executives, while they have also slid considerably amongst their European and Asian counterparts. Just 3% of American executives expect to see growth in the SUV sector this year, compared to 39% in Europe (down from 50% last year) and 52% in Asia.

It is perhaps no coincidence that this loss of confidence comes at the same time that 79% of the executives surveyed agreed that oil prices have now permanently changed consumers’ purchasing habits – a figure which rises even higher amongst the North American (85%) and European (84%) respondents.

On top of that, 89% of all respondents now feel that fuel efficiency will be an important factor in a consumer’s purchasing decision, ranking it as the single most important factor – ahead of quality, safety, affordability and product design.

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