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Car-based SUVs rapidly climbing sales chart
By Rick Popely and Jim Mateja, Tribune staff reporters

DETROIT -- Americans still love sport-utility vehicles, but their ardor is turning more to car-based models than the truck-based off-road vehicles that dominated the 1990s.

"The handwriting is on the wall, and 2003 is the first year there is a noticeable decline in sales of traditional SUVs," said George Pipas, Ford Motor Co.'s sales analyst. "They won't go away overnight, but, by the end of the decade, the crossovers will probably outsell the traditional sport-utility vehicles."

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I like the SRX. Does anyone have any thoughts as to why the SRX is selling relatively poorly (1914 units in December). Sure it's a new vehicle, and perhaps they're still ramping up production, but it still seems like lower numbers than I had originally antipated; I thought it would be selling on the order of 3,000-4,000 per month like the MDX and XC90, especially considering the rather unattractive RX330 is moving closer to 10,000 per month(!). I wondered if it could have to do with the fact that it's produced at the same plant as the CTS, which has sold in greater numbers than originally forecasted (almost 50,000/year versus the anticipated 30,000/year). Hmm... if it's a production problem, the future is a lttle bleak for the '05 STS, which is destined to be built at the same plant.
 

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Originally posted by tgagneguam@Jan 8 2004, 10:41 AM
I like the SRX. Does anyone have any thoughts as to why the SRX is selling relatively poorly (1914 units in December).  Sure it's a new vehicle, and perhaps they're still ramping up production, but it still seems like lower numbers than I had originally antipated; I thought it would be selling on the order of 3,000-4,000 per month like the MDX and XC90, especially considering the rather unattractive RX330 is moving closer to 10,000 per month(!).
I fully expect the SRX to ramp up to a run rate of at least 30K annual units very soon; but for now, it looks like the SRX's greatest competition out the gate has been the Escalade.

The following is a possible explanation for this that I posted in this thread:


I had an enlightening discussion with my favorite Cadillac salesman about the SRX about a month ago, and it seems that it may have suffered the same initial packaging problem as the Lincoln Aviator did when it was introduced. Specifically, folks would walk into the showroom, look at a $50K SRX, then walk over and look at a similarly priced $50K Escalade, scratch their heads, then plop down money for the Escalade.

Lincoln had the same problem with the Aviator/Navigator. That problem was solved by offering special packages of more "interesting" Aviator options and pricing those packages well south of Navigator territory. Apparently, that worked very nicely, as Aviators are flying out of Lincoln showrooms (ha, "flying", "Aviator", get it?), at least here in SoCal.

Cadillac apparently followed suit by offering more packaged options that result in a more affordable vehicle with a desirable feature set, and I'd venture to say that it's paying off, (we'll know for sure when we see December sales figures). I'm starting to see them on the road either daily or every other day, so anecdotally, it looks like the SRX is doing well.
...those "December sales figures" weren't exactly mind-blowing, of course, but I'm personally very optimistic, instinctively speaking, and perhaps the January sales figures will make it more apparent that the SRX is the sure-fire hit that everyone predicts it will be.
 

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Most of the soccer moms and lawyers that drive truck based SUVs really only need the features of a car-based SUV to do what they want.

No reason that a family guy commuting in to work every day from his apartment who never goes off the beaten path can't drive a Rendezvous instead of a Tahoe or Rainier. Mom doesn't get any benefit for driving her kids around in a Suburban as opposed to a Saturn VUE.

The Buick Rendezvous, Honda Pilot, Ford Freestyle and perhaps even GM's upcoming "crossover sport vans" will do the same job, and with better fuel economy and easier handling.

Let's face it, the days of the mainstream popularity of huge truck based SUVs is waning in favor of car based ones.

The Station Wagon is reborn.
 

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The Station Wagon is reborn.
Not only is the Station Wagon reborn, it's also reinvented, what with these new "Extended Sedans" and "Sports Tourers." :lol:

Ghrankenstein
 

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The SRX is a very nice vehicle but for $50K the Hummer or Escalade or Yukon look much more substantial for the same money.
 

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Production shouldnt be a problem, I think naturally sales will pickup and if GM re-aranges the option packages that will help a lot. The STS from my eyes will be a hit and I am confident there will be enough supply to meet the demand.
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Jan 8 2004, 11:21 AM
Most of the soccer moms and lawyers that drive truck based SUVs really only need the features of a car-based SUV to do what they want.

No reason that a family guy commuting in to work every day from his apartment who never goes off the beaten path can't drive a Rendezvous instead of a Tahoe or Rainier. Mom doesn't get any benefit for driving her kids around in a Suburban as opposed to a Saturn VUE.

The Buick Rendezvous, Honda Pilot, Ford Freestyle and perhaps even GM's upcoming "crossover sport vans" will do the same job, and with better fuel economy and easier handling.

Let's face it, the days of the mainstream popularity of huge truck based SUVs is waning in favor of car based ones.

The Station Wagon is reborn.
Rendezvous... umm... Rendezvouses... sell pretty well. At one point, they outsold the MDX and was closing in on the RX330. I don't know where it stands at the moment though.

I wouldn't put too much hope on the new crossover sport vans. They are still a funky looking van with a kcik a$$ interior. I mean... Odyssey is a sweet van on the outside. And don't count out DCX yet.

SRX will do fine, once the V6 version is out and people find they can buy one in the high-$30K's rather than the low-$50K's.
 

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I wouldn't put too much hope on the new crossover sport vans. They are still a funky looking van with a kcik a$$ interior. I mean... Odyssey is a sweet van on the outside. And don't count out DCX yet.
I wouldn't count [the GM vans] out yet, either. To a certain degree, they still have the public's perception to overcome, as well as some tough competition, but these "CSV's," which I like to call "Long-wheelbase Utility Non-Vans," or "LUNVS," solidly address the main area of criticism in the GM Minivans.

Noone actually in the market ever complained about the GM vans' utility, performance, or quality. The Silhouette even topped JDPower's initial quality survey for 2002. There's nothing inherently wrong with the current platform that can't be bandaged until the Tri-Lambdas (yep, there's that Revenge of the Nerds thing creeping back in) come out. Great interiors, and class-leading fuel economy will make them players until then.

Edmunds even noted, in their take on the Terraza, that the LUNVS are much better-looking in person than in photographs, and if Edmunds says something good about a GM Vehicle they aren't offering free price quotes on, it might actually have some stick.

The 3.9 HV is the ideal engine for these new LUNVS. If the styling and interiors play well enough, and the 3.9 HV makes its way in there within a model year or so, the Crossover-Sport Vans might mount a Revenge of the Nerds of their own.

Ghrankenstein
 
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