Gasoline Prices Driving Down SUV Sales

GM executives say large SUV sales, which are down 15 percent this year industrywide, are weak not because of gas prices but because GM's models are nearing the end of a product cycle.

Published: 26-May-2005

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DETROIT - To believe the commercials, sport utility vehicles can climb the most indomitable mountain, ford any stream and haul around the kids to boot.

But gas prices are a more unconquerable force of nature. With higher prices at the pump sinking in as something more than a blip on the radar, and with several new passenger car models winning back customers, America's love affair with SUVs is taking a breather.

For the first time in 14 years, the passenger car is actually taking sales back at the expense of SUVs and other trucks, according to an analysis of auto sales data. The renewed interest in cars over the first four months of the year, while modest, marks a pause in what has been the trend in auto sales for the past decade-and-a-half: the soaring growth of the sport utility vehicle as America's preferred family vehicle.

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