Low Gas Prices Boost SUV, Truck Sales

December's strong automotive sales numbers reflect the fact that gas prices dipped in the 4th quarter, as the month was driven by an appetite for crossovers, SUVs and pickups. The influence of gasoline pricing on auto sales might even outweigh the fuel-​efficiency technology SUVs/​crossovers and cars have now. But could these perceived savings in gas make a consumer consider an SUV in 2015?

Now, with low gas prices continuing into 2015, sales for pickup trucks, crossovers and SUVs could continue this uptick. Karl Greenberg writes, "And lower gasoline prices mean a little more cash in hand [for SUV shoppers to splurge]. Enough to influence auto-​shopping choices such as whether to buy a new car or a pre-​owned one? For the optimists, absolutely."

Many automotive brands set truck sales records in December, with one seeing a 41% increase in volume. Another SUV brand witnessed a 10.2% increase in sales for the year.

Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for AutoTrader​.com, conjectured that flat car sales are due to people's preferences for SUVs.

Brands will be releasing new and updated versions of their signature SUVs and popular pickup truck models in the next few months. Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelly Blue Book, thinks they are well-​positioned for full production and the expected continued demand for these types of vehicles.

Krebs is bullish on 2015, saying, ‰ÛÏA slowly improving economy, with better employment and wages expected this year, will buoy 2015."

According to AudienceSCAN data, 8.9% of U.S. adults are considering buying SUVs, and 52% of them are female. Those between the ages of 35 and 44 are 40% more likely to choose an SUV for their next ride.

This audience enjoys working on cars/​trucks (17%), so used SUVs have the potential for higher sales, especially on the auction block. Almost 20% of this audience also enjoys attending auctions. Not to mention, 52% already plan to purchase a used vehicle this year.

Newspapers could easily reach these shoppers, since 38.5% of them took action after seeing an ad in a newspaper in the past 30 days. And 31% did so after hearing a commercial on the radio in the past month.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.


Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.