“People who are getting jobs are opting for practical vehicles such as a crossover to get better mileage than a traditional SUV”, said Carlos Gomes, an economist at Scotia Capital. “You have the construction sector holding up very well, and that is positive for the pickup segment.”
This has worked very well for Chrysler, which in the first half of the year has overtaken Ford in light truck segment. That is because, with oil prices rising, new truck buyers are opting for more fuel-efficient models.
For instance, Chrysler’s Dodge Journey sales increased more than the SUVs of rivaling carmakers Ford and GM, the Escape and the Chevrolet Equinox respectively.
However, in total vehicles sales including cars, Ford still leads the market with a 17.4% share, having also beaten GM in 2010 for the first time in many decades. GM is second, with a 15.5% market share, but it can feel Chrysler breathing down its neck with 15.0% and only 4,000 vehicles difference in the first half of the year.