GO
Loading...

Gasoline is Dropping; Are SUVs Ready to Roll?

Tuesday, 2 Sep 2008 | 6:48 PM ET
AP

Filled up the tank lately? I have, and it's nice to see the cost of gas has come down a bit. I wouldn't call it a huge drop, but enough that it's noticeable.

I bring this up because August auto sales come out tomorrow (Wednesday) and once again we will hear questions about when SUV and pick-up sales will come back.

While we still can't say when that market will firm up, there are some encouraging signs for the Big 3 and Toyota, who all count on SUVs and pick-ups for big business.

From talking with dealers, I get the sense sales have stabilized a bit. They are still well off last year's pace, but the rate of decline looks to be about the same as July. This indicates we may finally be building the bottom auto dealers and automakers need. Noboday in the business believes SUV sales will bounce back to where they were a few years ago, but at last there may be some people looking to buy these vehicles.

Also, the premium or "price difference" between pick-ups and sedans in the used market is narrowing to a point where people are starting to look at these bigger models again.

Throw in lower gas prices and there are reasons to believe people are ready to once again consider buying an SUV or pick-up.

Now, I know some of you will e-mail me and scream, "Stop promoting SUVs!!!!!!" -- as if my reporting on interest in a particular type of vehicle will single handedly boost its sales.

Sorry folks, I'm not promoting SUVs, nor am I going to call for their demise. There is however a large segment of the population that not only wants an SUV, they need one. And for those people, the time may be approaching to think about trading in for a new or used sport utility vehicle.

_____________________________________
Click on Ticker to Track Corporate News:

- Ford Motor

- General Motors

- Chrysler (privately owned)

- Nissan

- Honda Motor

_____________________________________

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

  Price   Change %Change
F
---
GM
---
HLIT
---
7201.T
---
7203.T
---

Featured

  • Phil LeBeau is a CNBC auto and airline industry reporter based in the Chicago bureau and editor of the Behind the Wheel section on CNBC.com.

Autos