Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Auto Sales: You'll Be Surprised On What's Selling

2007 GMC Acadia

Sometimes those of us covering the auto business fall into the trap of believing the "conventional wisdom". Take the idea with gas prices still holding at roughly $3 a gallon, small, fuel efficient cars will be big sellers. Well guess what?

In September, small cars sales were down 2.4%. When I saw this, I was a little surprised. Especially since the small car segment is filled with relatively inexpensive cars that you would expect to be in demand as the economy has slowed down a bit.

Which brings up the second piece of conventional wisdom thrown out the window in September. Upper end luxury car sales jumped 26% last month. Yes, overall luxury sales slid 4.7% in September, but the most expensive models have clearly been in demand.

All of this goes to show that the conventional wisdom about what will sell and what won't sell is often off base. Just ask the folks at GMC , which has one of the most popular crossovers with the Acadia. It didn't get much press in advance and - even heard other journalists say "it's ok, nothing great". The Acadia's success shows those journalists don't always know what's driving the market.

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