Fuel prices are rising again just as automakers cut back on small cars.
Fuel prices are hitting a three-year high just as many automakers continue to shift their production lineups further in favor of crossovers and truck-based vehicles.
Ford’s recent announcement that it would only make two conventional passenger car models for the U.S. market has left some wondering if it will hurt The Blue Oval if fuel prices spike or if Obama-era fuel economy regulations stay in place.
Demand for sport-utility vehicles is expected only to grow. Auto industry forecaster LMC Automotive estimates SUVs, including crossovers, will be about 50 percent of all vehicle sales by 2022. Back in 2008, when gas prices were at a record high around $4.00 per gallon, sales were half that.
But there are a few things to keep in mind concerning this shift.
First, many of the vehicles automakers are betting on, such as crossovers and subcompact SUVs, are often based on lightweight car platforms, rather than the traditional truck platforms.