Small is Big
In a land where lumbering SUVs once roamed like so many dinosaurs, small car sales have grown to levels not seen is nearly 20 years, so says a report on Bloomberg.com.
One reason is obvious; soaring gas prices. It is a knee-jerk consumer reaction proven time and again; when gas prices rise, so too do sales of gas-efficient cars. And save for an early summer respite, we’ve seen gas prices rise all year.
The other reason is one we’ve mentioned before; small cars are better now than they have ever been. Automakers, following MINI’s lead, have finally realized that making small cars truly desirable is just plain good business. Small cars can be nearly as accommodating and luxurious as big cars. Downsized has moved upmarket.
Small cars, compact and below are poised to earn close to 20% of the U.S. market share, which would be the best year since 1993, when small cars accounted for 20.5% of the market.
Add to that crop the Dodge Dart, whose overall goodness almost makes us forget that the inept Caliber even existed, and the suddenly resurgent FIAT 500, and it’s clear that quality and style in the small car segments is playing nearly as big a role as MPG in this sales run-up.