Americans Downsizing, Statistical Methodology Notwithstanding

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Like us, keeps an eye on monthly car sales. And by God they have noticed a trend! Or, a "Seismic Shift," as they demurely put it. Yes folks, its true: Americans are *gasp* buying fewer trucks and SUV's in favor of *gasp* more fuel efficient crossovers and compact cars. But don't ask the year-to-date sales numbers or blame four dollar gas, because Edmunds has analysis. "The (seismic) shift" writes Edmunds scribe Dale Buss "has occurred both in actual transactions and in shopping trends measured on the site. Until March, this pattern of segment migration had been accelerating markedly but rather gradually. But a 10 percent increase in U.S. gasoline prices in March and April alone, to an average of $3.44 a gallon, appears to have provided the catalyst for a shift that is bigger and faster than any ever tracked by" Wait, did he just say "shopping trends on the website"? To be fair, you could learn a thing or two from Edmunds. Take their insistence on categorizing the Honda Accord and Chevy Malibu as "compact" cars. Sure, the EPA calls the Accord a "large car" and the Malibu a "midsize"… but they only base that off of the actual interior volume. Jamming these cars into the "compact" category and then calling it a statistical "seismic shift" is a pretty laughable ploy. Ultimately, the facts of auto sales trends speak pretty well for themselves. And yes, by facts I do mean actual transactions.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Buick61 Buick61 on May 30, 2008

    Compact? That rivals the Rental Car industries insane categorizations of cars. How is a Dodge Neon a compact but a Toyota Corolla an intermediate? And why was the Chevy HHR I rented a full-size? And why is the full-size Taurus considered midsize but the mid-size Impala considered full-size?

  • Kevin Kevin on May 30, 2008

    Don't quite understand what you are complaining about. They're in the business of writing about cars; do you expect them NOT to say anything about the decline in sales of trucks & SUVs? I think them reporting the traffic patterns on their own website is worthy information that we're not going to get elsewhere. Anyway my new Civic is government-classified as a "sub-compact" and it's by far the largest car I've ever owned.

  • Mikey610 Mikey610 on May 30, 2008

    Note that minivans - a 'dead segment' according to 2 of the Detroit 2.8, are STILL a larger segment of the market than large SUVs (4.9% compared to 4.1%)....