The downturn in crude has a new casualty: the small and mid-size car.
March U.S. vehicle sales disappointed, falling to about 16.6 million autos versus estimates of 17.4 million. While unit sales for pickup trucks, SUVs and crossover utility vehicles (CUV) were all positive, small, luxury and mid-size car revenues slumped.
"The small and mid-size sedan car market is in trouble. Looking at last month's numbers, we have a recession in cars," Brian Johnson, Barclays Capital senior autos analyst, told CNBC "Squawk Box" on Thursday.
"This low oil price … is really what's driving customers out of cars, into CUVs, into light trucks," he said.
Crude prices have spiraled down more than 60 percent to about $37 per barrel since mid-2014.