In recovery? High gas prices keep SUV sales at slow pace

— Car shoppers today are hesitant to buy a vehicle that will cost them even more at the gas pump.

"You just don't see the guys coming in for toy trucks anymore," said Manny Lorenzo, sales manager at Germain Toyota of Naples.

Even with a rebounding economy, Toyota and other local car dealerships said sales have fallen off for gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks. Dealerships said memories of the recession and fluctuating gas prices are making car-buyers more conservative and money-conscious.

"People learned a lesson from the past few years," Lorenzo said. "They're not going to repeat that mistake again."

Both Tamiami Ford and Bob Taylor Chevrolet of Naples have had steady sales in 2012 of more fuel-efficient SUVS, like the Ford Edge, Ford Escape and the Chevrolet Equinox. Those SUVs boast an average of 25 to 30 miles per gallon on the highway. Whereas others, like the Chevy Suburban, get an average of 15 to 20 miles per gallon on the highway.

Jim Ellis, sales manager for Tamiami Ford, said his customers are more cautious.

"A lot of people held out for quite awhile," he said. "Then there comes a time when they'll buy."

He said those wanting to save money won't get the sunroof or the built-in navigational system.

"People will buy what they want and within their budget," he said.

Jim Loucy, the sales manager with Bob Taylor Chevrolet, said truck sales have tailed off. He attributes that to a "truck fad" in the mid-2000s. Like Lorenzo, Loucy said he doesn't see customers buying a truck anymore just because they want one.

"I've seen those people trade back out of them and get something more economical," he said.

But customers who own small landscaping or construction businesses are still buying trucks. Sales managers said these customers will still buy the larger vehicles for functional reasons.

"The SUVs and trucks aren't going to go away," Lorenzo said. "Manufacturers will just have to come up with better fuel efficiency."

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 3

paul_vincent_zecchino writes:

"Energy gut kos' mo' money. Kos' lot mo' money energy. Want more money gas, oil. Gut oil kos' more money, make people buy solar wind from us...'

"Boxcar" gyorgi schwartz, aka soros
performing his impression of a
bordello ticket-taker from the
lower east side

This isn't about automakers who need to produce hi-mileage trucks. This is about a regime stuffed with aging 60s drug-blown-mind control freaks and criminals. They have this hare brained notion that if they spike oil prices, they'll force us to buy their solar and wind scams.

Isn't it ashame their enlightened progressive parents called them budding Picassos instead of disciplined them, when they fingerpainted their nursery walls with feces?

During the late 60s, their sole achievement was busting into the ivy league college presidents' office, lighting his wastebasket on fire, and relieving themselves on his desk.

Forty years later, having forgotten nothing and learned nothing, they're doing the same to America and her citizens whom they hold in contempt.

Why? Because when they look in the mirror, these badly aging drug-sodden children of the lie see nothing.

This regime did not come into existence by happenstance. The rats have been at this for decades.

Paul Vincent Zecchino
Manasoviet Key, Florida
03 May, 2012

volochine writes:

Simply put, I got a feeling of "deja vu" while reading this article.

Sane_in_Florida (Inactive) writes:

I just bought a Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer and got it for a steal on the East Coast but I only drive 4 miles to work.

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