Gas and Go 

With gas prices on the rise, national SUV sales slip.

Memphian Megan Harrison recently considered trading in her 2006 Ford Explorer for something a little more economical.

"When I went to the dealership, I was told that the trade-in value on my truck would only be around $12,000 or $13,000. At the time, I owed $22,000," Harrison says. "I was shocked."

Harrison decided to keep the Explorer but is still faced with filling up the gas tank twice a week, at about $70 a pop.

"With my note plus gas, it's like paying for a small apartment each month," she says. "But I can't get out of it. I'm stuck."

Harrison isn't the only one stuck. With oil nearing a staggering $126 a barrel for June — and gas at an average $3.50 a gallon in Memphis — data suggests that the American love affair with sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and large cars may be over.

National SUV sales for April fell more than 32 percent from last year, and small-car sales rose almost 19 percent. Locally, some dealerships claim that Southerners will always want larger vehicles for hunting and fishing, but other dealerships say they've already noticed a change in sales.

Chuck Palmore, vice president and general manager of Chuck Hutton Auto Group in Memphis, says that sales of smaller, fuel-efficient models have increased notably. At the same time, car manufacturers are offering more incentives on larger vehicles.

"We have seen a move away from the less fuel-efficient vehicles and into fuel-efficient cars and smaller SUVs, like the RAV4," says Palmore. "The hybrid models — Camry, Highlander, and Prius — are selling as fast as they come in."

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Crime, I-240, & #ThanksgivingInJail

      New crime figures are out, the flyover is open, and many spent the holiday behind bars.
    • Makers Marked

      New study maps makers and their needs.

Blogs

Tiger Blue

Ole Miss 85, Tigers 77

Fly On The Wall Blog

Tony Allen's Big D Beats Stiff Competition

Intermission Impossible

Naughty & Nice: What's on Stage this Christmas?

News Blog

Etsy Declares Memphis an "Official Maker City"

Politics Beat Blog

Rep. Ellison, Frontrunner in DNC Race, to be Honored Here

Politics Beat Blog

Cohen Introduces Amendment to Scrap Electoral College

Hungry Memphis

Long Road Cider Opening this Weekend

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Shara Clark

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation