While new car sales took a dive during September, SUV sales held on to the 4.4 percent market share they had in August. The August market share was a jump from July, when SUVs made up just 3.5 percent of the market, according to MSNBC.
Heavy incentives and lowering gas prices are behind this rise in sales according to Jesse Toprak, executive director of industry analysis for Edmunds.com. Toprak said the market probably won’t swing back to the way it was in the late 1990s though, when truck and SUV sales dominated the market.
Randa Fahmy Hudome, a consultant on energy and a former Energy Department official, says that gas prices will continue to drop. “I think we’re going to see $2 gas again,” Hudome told MSNBC.
If gas prices drop and a shift occurs back toward large SUVs, it could actually be bad news for U.S. automakers, who have dominated the market historically. The $25 billion loan secured last month will be used for developing hybrid, electric, and fuel efficient cars. GM is betting that its new Chevy Volt plug-in and other small cars will save the company, and has been cutting its SUV production in anticipation.