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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Adapt or die: Future of big SUVs



NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Until recently, big SUVs had resisted the sales declines hitting their smaller, mid-size brethren. That was because large SUV drivers were hard-core - they really needed interior room and pulling power, and they weren't about to switch to car-like crossovers.

But with skyrocketing gasoline prices, many big SUV drivers are rethinking those needs. Last month, non-luxury full-size SUV sales plunged 41% compared with last year, according to the Power Information Network, which tracks the auto industry.

Big SUVs aren't going to go away. Car companies still need to cater to their customers' needs while satisfying stricter government requirements and consumers' need for better fuel economy.

Here are the steps they'll be taking to make these big vehicles a little easier to swallow.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/11/autos/future_suv/index.htm
 

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IMO.......The days of any full frame truck be it SUV, Pick up, or van under 9,200 lb are numbered. If the government looks at fuel mileage expect it to go unibody or go by by.
 

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At least they mention the fact that the GM crossovers are selling well as a big SUV alternative.
My first thought was, at least they show a Mercedes as the poster child on the top of the article instead of a domestic product (specifically a GM product).:yup:
 

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Wasn't very well researched as it didn't mention start/stop.

They probably chose to omit E-85 and bio-fuels.

Also they could have given Ford a plug for the 7/8 size, probably aluminum frame F-100 that is under development.

Chrysler was totally ignored out even though they have like a Durango hybrid on the way.

And what about the payback on the Yukon/Tahoe hybrid, that should save alot more per year since gas has went up...probably $1100-1200 a year and reduce the payback period (especially when federal/state tax credits are added to the mix). Unlike the prius which as seen the sales price go up, thus increasing, not decreasing the payback period.

If they do a follow up to this article in 18 months, then the Transit-Connect and maybe even the Transit will be the poster boys for finding alternatives. Although you won't be able to pull a boat with a Transit-Connect.

Look for time-sharing on Full-Sized SUVs and Trucks to take off.
 

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I like this quote:

GM began offering the industry's first gas/electric full-sized hybrid SUVs this year. In city driving, two-wheel-drive versions of the Tahoe Hybrid and Yukon Hybrid get the same fuel economy as a 4-cylinder Toyota Camry.
Nice....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My first thought was, at least they show a Mercedes as the poster child on the top of the article instead of a domestic product (specifically a GM product).:yup:
I thought that too, but if you read the caption on the actual article, they praise the Mercedes for its unibody construction and supposed better fuel economy.
 

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Look for time-sharing on Full-Sized SUVs and Trucks to take off.

What are you talking about? The price of gas will put the kibosh on bigger trucks.. I say look for the return of Big SUVs with Hydrogen engines in the mid 20s
 

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I thought that too, but if you read the caption on the actual article, they praise the Mercedes for its unibody construction and supposed better fuel economy.
Except that Mercedes ML & GL is also a "domestic product" that is manufactured solely in Alabama and exported wordwide :p:
 

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I want you to cram a family of 6 into a mid size. Speaking of "Posters" I guess we need to remind people about the snip-snip deal, so they can fit into the "Smaller" SUV's
 

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IMO.......The days of any full frame truck be it SUV, Pick up, or van under 9,200 lb are numbered. If the government looks at fuel mileage expect it to go unibody or go by by.
SUV, maybe, but not a truck. If we still owned the farm, I'd still be driving a truck because a horse trailer doesn't pull well behind a minivan...or an Acadia for that matter. Sales will go down to 95% people who need them, but they will still be needed. Whatever a CUV can tow for a max weight, the Silverado would handle without hesitating.

Shame the government is telling us what we need for economy though, the market would dictate anyway, but someone always thinks they need to be involved.
 

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Though as some of you have said, its not a complete story, however it does cover some good points. I think the story takes a practical look into the market as opposed to hype, shock factor and chicken little mentality. The truck and SUV are here to stay, though be it in smaller numbers in the future. Those who think trucks and SUV's are going away or "will die" can be put into two categories: those who don't understand the demographics of those who actually need such vehicles....and those who say things out of envy and spite. You know the type who make fun of or put down people who drive corvettes only because they can't afford one. (I wish I had one!:dro:)
 

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But, no matter what, large SUVs will remain a market that's simply too big to just walk away from.
Absolutely. GM owns this market, it makes good money in this market, and it should be regularly updating its offerings to match consumer needs. The article nicely demonstrates steps GM is taking to make its FS SUV's conform to changing consumer preferences. FS SUV's aren't a problem. They simply need to be modified, that's all. That's the way successful companies manage change. Thank god they're not taking their usual, desperately pathetic strategy of cut-and-run. Force Toyota and Nissan to drop their offerings.
 

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Wasn't very well researched as it didn't mention start/stop.

They probably chose to omit E-85 and bio-fuels.

Also they could have given Ford a plug for the 7/8 size, probably aluminum frame F-100 that is under development.

Chrysler was totally ignored out even though they have like a Durango hybrid on the way.

And what about the payback on the Yukon/Tahoe hybrid, that should save alot more per year since gas has went up...probably $1100-1200 a year and reduce the payback period (especially when federal/state tax credits are added to the mix). Unlike the prius which as seen the sales price go up, thus increasing, not decreasing the payback period.

If they do a follow up to this article in 18 months, then the Transit-Connect and maybe even the Transit will be the poster boys for finding alternatives. Although you won't be able to pull a boat with a Transit-Connect.

Look for time-sharing on Full-Sized SUVs and Trucks to take off.
You might want to reread the article.
 

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GM has vehicles globally that can be used IE: Opel Corsa 4x4,Chevy LAV, the super mini vans and such.
 

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Absolutely. GM owns this market, it makes good money in this market, and it should be regularly updating its offerings to match consumer needs. The article nicely demonstrates steps GM is taking to make its FS SUV's conform to changing consumer preferences. FS SUV's aren't a problem. They simply need to be modified, that's all. That's the way successful companies manage change. Thank god they're not taking their usual, desperately pathetic strategy of cut-and-run. Force Toyota and Nissan to drop their offerings.
The market will rebound slightly when construction picks back up. But leisure owner will decline considerably. I think Ford has a higher mix of commercial sales vs. leisure sales so it won't hurt them as much.

As for GM, this could spell doom for the Avalanche/EXT, let's keep an eye on that one. They are niche vehicles but most of the engineering is paid for so I don't know what volume they have to sell at. The Sport Trac is already doomed when Ford reconfigures Lousiville assembly and ramps up the F-100 at Michigan Truck. Explorer goes to unibody (I guess Ford saw the writing on the wall early enough), and it has been mentioned that the Navigator/Expedition will go to the F-100 frame. That will be fine once Explorer goes unibody.

Trailblazer, Envoy, 9-7, RIP. Commander, Aspen, the same. toyoduh and nissen, infinity, lexus will be overexposed unless they cancel a pathfinder or armada, 4run or sequoia, etc. toyoduh and nissen have made their midsize trucks too large as well. Hopefully they are slow to fill the gap with a small truck and GM and Ford can capitalize with their own offerings. Speaking of, what is the status on redesigning the Colorado/Canyon...way overdue!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The market will rebound slightly when construction picks back up. But leisure owner will decline considerably. I think Ford has a higher mix of commercial sales vs. leisure sales so it won't hurt them as much.

As for GM, this could spell doom for the Avalanche/EXT, let's keep an eye on that one. They are niche vehicles but most of the engineering is paid for so I don't know what volume they have to sell at. The Sport Trac is already doomed when Ford reconfigures Lousiville assembly and ramps up the F-100 at Michigan Truck. Explorer goes to unibody (I guess Ford saw the writing on the wall early enough), and it has been mentioned that the Navigator/Expedition will go to the F-100 frame. That will be fine once Explorer goes unibody.

Trailblazer, Envoy, 9-7, RIP. Commander, Aspen, the same. toyoduh and nissen, infinity, lexus will be overexposed unless they cancel a pathfinder or armada, 4run or sequoia, etc. toyoduh and nissen have made their midsize trucks too large as well. Hopefully they are slow to fill the gap with a small truck and GM and Ford can capitalize with their own offerings. Speaking of, what is the status on redesigning the Colorado/Canyon...way overdue!
Agreed, Toyota's and Nissan's truck offerings are doomed. Very few contractors use them for real work. They won't be able to justify continued production of those models before long.

I can see the U.S. car market going back to what it was before the mid-90's. SUVs and trucks used by contractors, off-roaders, and people that tow. Many more small cars being offered. Except for minivans, seems like crossovers are firmly established replacements.

I can even see Honda and Toyota downsizing their Civics, Corollas, Camrys, Accords, etc. Those cars have all grown steadily over the past 20 years.
 

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The market will rebound slightly when construction picks back up. But leisure owner will decline considerably. I think Ford has a higher mix of commercial sales vs. leisure sales so it won't hurt them as much.

As for GM, this could spell doom for the Avalanche/EXT, let's keep an eye on that one. They are niche vehicles but most of the engineering is paid for so I don't know what volume they have to sell at. The Sport Trac is already doomed when Ford reconfigures Lousiville assembly and ramps up the F-100 at Michigan Truck. Explorer goes to unibody (I guess Ford saw the writing on the wall early enough), and it has been mentioned that the Navigator/Expedition will go to the F-100 frame. That will be fine once Explorer goes unibody.

Trailblazer, Envoy, 9-7, RIP. Commander, Aspen, the same. toyoduh and nissen, infinity, lexus will be overexposed unless they cancel a pathfinder or armada, 4run or sequoia, etc. toyoduh and nissen have made their midsize trucks too large as well. Hopefully they are slow to fill the gap with a small truck and GM and Ford can capitalize with their own offerings. Speaking of, what is the status on redesigning the Colorado/Canyon...way overdue!
Pruning of current choices in the market? Absolutely. However, those automakers who find a way to rationalize investment will prosper. 9-7 superfluous? Yes. Trailblazer viewed from both a global perspective and viewed from the perspective of sharing its platform with a smaller pick-up, like the Colorado? Yes. People will want and need small pick-ups, and they will delight in the use of a BOF SUV's like the Trailblazer. Again, viewed globally, and if the two products shared an assembly line, there is absolutely no reason GM could not justify building 200,000 total copies of these two vehicles by selling them as part of the total consumption of roughly 65 million(!) vehicles sold globally annually. They need to use science/technology to meet all the needs of consumers. I believe GM is up to the task.
 
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