The latest Edmunds study shows that interest in trucks and SUVs is climbing as gas prices start to recede from the $4 mark.
In July, 45 percent fewer truck browsers cross-shopped in the car segment than had in June, 46 percent fewer shopped crossovers and 47 percent fewer shopped hybrids — while 37 percent more of them considered only a new pickup, compared with the previous month, according to Edmunds.com calculations.I might point out that the gas prices receding is not the only factor influencing these buyers. I pointed out that it may not be the best time to look at hybrids because everyone else was doing the same thing right now. The type of pressure on smaller, hybrid and other more fuel efficient cars has to have a push back. Since people couldn't buy a hybrid right now, they almost have to look at other cars, trucks and SUVs.
In July, 11 percent fewer SUV lookers considered cars, 13 percent fewer pondered crossovers and 27 percent fewer took a gander at hybrids, compared with June shoppers. Meanwhile, 13 percent more SUV considerers in July, compared with June, decided to shop only for new SUVs.
Consideration of hybrids on Edmunds.com was down 34 percent for the week ended August 3 compared with its peak in June. Similarly, midsize-car consideration was down 13 percent in the same comparison, compact-car consideration declined 18 percent and subcompact-car consideration declined 7 percent. However, during the week ended August 3, consideration of those segments was still up 24 percent, 35 percent, 33 percent and 84 percent, respectively, compared with December of last year.
But it also seems that most people feel that higher gas prices are here to stay. Perhaps they really are starting to adjust to the reality, have made the determination they can live with it, and have started to shop big again.
Basically, it's too soon to say either way. I don't believe the bigger is better majority will come back any time soon. The more fuel efficient cars have taken back a significant portion of the market and we haven't seen how deep the changes are going to go.
The pressure was too sudden and too high for car manufacturers to keep up, leading to waiting list and days-to-turn down in the 2-5 days (meaning cars were being bought before they were manufactured). Until that pressure eases up , it's hard to know where the marketplace really is.