SUV Sales Rise in Aug., But Car Sales Suffer

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Sept. 5, 2018—Americans continued to purchase SUVs and crossovers at a steady clip in August, though sales for passenger cars continued to dip.

According to a USA Today report, forecasters at and Cox Automotive predicted overall sales increases of 1.2 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, for the auto industry as a whole in August.

As relatively encouraging as those figures may sound, passenger-car sales are largely plunging in the industry. Car sales dropped below 30 percent of the market in August for the first month ever, according to Cox Automotive; a few years ago, they made up half the industry. Toyota, Nissan, and Honda especially felt that pain last month, as their car sales declined 15.6 percent, 16.2 percent, and 15.3 percent, respectively.

Conversely, SUV brands like Jeep are performing well, which boosted Jeep’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler to a 10 percent increase in sales for the month. In totality, sales of compact crossovers or SUVs rose roughly 14.8 percent, to about 285,000 vehicles, easily making it the largest segment in the market.

Overall, the average vehicle price for the month was $35,541, according to Cox Automotive, up 1.8 percent from a year prior.

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