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Strong SUV and Crossover Demand Rips Into Sedan Sales


New SUVs and crossovers are in hot demand, while sedans are likely to be languishing on car dealer lots.

According to data compiled by Cox Automotive, compact SUVs and crossovers saw sales in the United States increase by a hefty 58% during the first quarter of 2021. Mid-size sedans and high-end luxury sedans were down nearly 16 and 20%, respectively. Cox Automotive is the parent of Autotrader.

Overall, vehicle sales grew by a substantial 11.4 percent during the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year. Those figures come with a huge asterisk attached, though, since the American economy came to a screeching halt in early March last year as pandemic restrictions saw car dealers temporarily close shop.

Electric vehicle sales grew at the fastest pace with a roughly 43 percent gain in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the year prior, though at around 95,000 EVs sold the segment still substantially trailed the 647,000 compact SUV/crossover models delivered during the same period.

The best-selling compact SUV or crossover was the Toyota RAV4, followed by the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Chevrolet Equinox.

Among individual brands, nearly every showroom saw a healthy increase in vehicle sales. Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury brand, saw sales nearly double thanks largely to its new GV80 SUV. Porsche, Volvo, Buick, and Audi all saw increases over 30 percent during the first quarter, too.

Only a handful of brands saw sales slip, including Dodge, Fiat, Mitsubishi, and Chevrolet. Find a new car for sale

Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz is an author specializing in helping in-market consumers get the most bang for their buck -- and the best car, while they're at it. When not virtually shopping for new and used cars, Andrew can probably be found under the hood of a vintage classic that's rapidly losing fluids.

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