A lot of companies are starting to make a shift towards SUVs and crossovers. Well, all except for brands like Dodge and Chrysler at the moment. What’s all the sudden fuss about though? Is it all just a numbers game? Let’s talk about this sudden shift in the auto industry.
Yes, numbers do play a big part in auto manufacturers shifting their focus towards SUVs and crossovers. It’s the same reason why an auto brand may discontinue a model line – it’s just no longer profitable. Back in the day, Dodge dropped the Dodge Demon concept and instead turned it into a true blue sedan with the Dodge Dart because that was where the money was. Now that many automakers are starting a shift, the Dodge Dart has been discontinued. However, following the Hellcat’s success, now that the technology is there, Dodge is bringing the Demon name back with the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon muscle-car from hell.
Aside from cars like that and the Kia Stinger, many automakers are battling the fall in sedan sales by changing their strategy and shifting their focus to what is making money now. Several automakers saw a 60 percent increase in crossovers and trucks last year alone. Mitsubishi has dropped two of its sedans in the span of two years, and they are now putting their focus on utility vehicles – the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander, 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, and the upcoming Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
It’s not all sales though – what customers are looking for today also has an effect on the numbers.
Best of Both Worlds
Consumers and drivers used to get sedans primarily for their fuel economy and all the modern technology that they came with. A few years ago, SUVs were only known for making frequent stops at gas stations and that was it. Unless living in the north or always hauling cargo, they were vehicles that would quickly grain against the driver’s nerves. Jump forward to now, and not only are SUVs better than they once were, but they spawned a whole new category of vehicle.
That brings us to the modern day crossover. The term was actually coined back in 2008 when CNNMoney and the Wall Street Journal featured articles on crossovers, vehicles that look like an SUV but drive like a sedan. From there, crossovers started to blossom and stake a claim in the auto market. You might be surprised to know that although the crossover market has been defined in recent years, the concept is actually over 60 years old.
But that’s another story.