April 19, 2006 |
THANKS to our excellent friends in the oil industry, the American market is in the midst of a general, and long overdue, right-sizing. Sales of full-size SUVs are diving off a cliff like tan, muscular men in Acapulco -- down 20% in two years. Meanwhile, sales of smaller, lighter crossover SUVs, or CUVs, are up 7.5% (456,947 units) in the first quarter of 2006, on pace to eclipse the annual sales of conventional SUVs for the first time.
March 30, 2006 |
The government set tighter gas mileage rules Wednesday for pickups and sport utility vehicles, including bulky SUVs such as the Hummer H2 and Chevrolet Suburban, responding to rising concern about the supply and cost of energy from abroad. The new fuel economy rules, affecting model years 2008 through 2011, would save 10.7-billion gallons of gasoline over the lifetime of the vehicles sold during the period and go further than a Bush administration proposal last summer, officials said.
March 17, 2006 |
Seven sport utility vehicles earned the government's highest ratings in providing protection in front-end and side crashes, according to test results released Thursday. The 2006 models of the Ford Explorer, the Honda Pilot, the Hyundai Tucson, the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class, the Nissan Murano and the Subaru B9 Tribeca received five stars in frontal and side impact crash tests for the driver and passenger sides.
February 6, 2006 |
Dodge can read the writing on the wall for full-size sport utility vehicles, whose sales have been slipping as gas prices rise and consumer tastes change. So the beefy brand is bringing out a mid-size SUV this week at the Chicago Auto Show. Dodge, a division of DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group, first introduced a concept version of the 2007 Dodge Nitro at last year's Chicago show. This time, it's unveiling the production version, which will begin selling later this year.
November 1, 2005 |
The government is investigating a steering problem that could affect more than 450,000 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles and Dodge Dakota pickup trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had received several reports of looseness in the steering shaft or separation because of loose or missing coupling bolts. The preliminary investigation will involve at least 467,000 vehicles, including the 2004-2005 models of the Durango and the 2005 model of the Dakota.
October 28, 2005 |
General Motors Corp. said it would double its offerings of smaller, more fuel-efficient "crossover" sport utility vehicles within four years. GM says it is developing a group of SUVs that would be the smallest in the U.S. if they are sold here. The move is part of a plan to boost offerings of so-called crossover SUVs, which are based on car designs. The company will offer 14 crossovers by 2009, compared with seven now, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said.
October 4, 2005 |
Americans' passion for sport utility vehicles cooled in the face of $3-a-gallon gasoline last month, helping drag down September sales for General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. as their Asian competitors enjoyed double-digit sales increases, the companies reported Monday. Sales declines of 24% at GM and 19% at Ford compared with September 2004 were also impelled by popular discount programs that pulled many of this year's sales into mid-summer.
September 16, 2005 |
Eight in 10 people say it's important for Americans now driving sport utility vehicles to switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles to reduce the nation's dependence on oil, a poll found. With gas prices hovering around $3 a gallon nationally and the price of natural gas rising sharply, six in 10 said they are not confident President Bush is taking the right approach to solving the nation's energy problems, according to the survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.
September 12, 2005 |
When General Motors Corp. was laying plans a few years ago to redo its profitable line of big sport utility vehicles, gasoline seemed cheap, Americans were in love with the hulking SUVs, and it looked like all green lights and open highways. No more -- and the timing couldn't be worse for GM. The company sells more big SUVs than all other automakers combined, and through August of this year sales of the truck-based vehicles were down 9.7% in the U.S. after a 6.7% decline in 2004.
September 9, 2005 |
A Santa Ana jury cleared Ford Motor Co.'s Land Rover subsidiary of liability for injuries to a 48-year-old woman who became paralyzed from the neck down when her sport utility vehicle rolled over on a California highway. The jury rejected claims by Janice Windh, who said the roof of the Land Rover Discovery was too weak to withstand a rollover and crushed in on her during the accident. Windh was injured in December 2000 when her 1995 Discovery flipped over after being struck by another vehicle.