Last updated: March 30, 2020
2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The rise of SUV Sales

It is a known fact that the automotive industry has shifted their time and resources to produce more and more SUV models compared to cars. To demonstrate this, we can look at some automotive brands and their strategies. Ford has taken the very prestigious Mustang brand name and has an up and coming SUV variant of the Mustang called the Mustang Mach-E SUV. Genesis, the luxury division of Hyundai has the up and coming Genesis GV80 SUV. Cadillac has the up and coming Cadillac EV. Lamborghini, the name prestigious for speed and raw grunt even have their SUV in their portfolio, the Lamborghini Urus.

If I were to put a singular reason to why Americans' appetites have shifted from cars to SUVs, it would be space and comfort and therefore makes for a more practical vehicle. SUVs can function as weekend road-warriors and the daily driver while cars can only maybe serve that purpose.

An SUV also allows much greater passenger space and room, tends to be more reliable off-road and can tow better. For example, the weekend bike trail rides and hikes. An SUV could fit bikes and gear while a car might not fit that requirement.

If we wanted to know why all we have to do is look at the annual sales number and it is very telling why manufacturers are moving to SUVs.

SUV vs Car Sales Statistics by Year

We can see that car sales are falling linearly while SUV sales are rising linearly. By the end of 2019, SUVs outsold cars by over 3.6 million vehicles. Compare that to the start of our timeline in 2005, where cars only outsold SUVs by only 2.3 million. If there ever were a hot commodity, it would be the SUV.

Cars vs. SUVs Cumulative Yearly Sales

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Cars 5670733 6147264 6131841 5622528 4667244 5074949 5632855 6889138 7109537 7284431 7219094 6603676 5933632 5162241 4566654
SUVs 3318950 3292008 3608266 2840682 2626707 3258577 3775311 4303865 4794841 5433823 6369519 6843327 7232469 7977472 8176527

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