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Old 01-25-2014, 06:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Seems like you guys are going more quant these days, so here's a hypothesis: "Bad Winters" (especially south of I-70) in areas in the Mid-Atlantic, Lower Midwest, and "South" drive people to panic and buy a car they don't need like an SUV.
* Should be able to at least show a correlation if not a causal relationship if you look over the last 30 years of data. Though I was young at the time, the Blizzard of 1993 seemed to drive (or at least ignite) the SUV craze through the 1990's. *I wonder if this year's winter will do the same?
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes and no, if anything if someone was considering any type of CUV /SUV a winter such as this would definitely push someone into an AWD/4X4 option as opposed to 2WD. If someone was not considering a CUV/SUV prior to this winter I doubt it would change anything.

One thing that will probably change, people will probably buy more snow tires then in years past
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would think Mr. Lang would be most knowledgable about this, but what I hear from the car dealers I know in the South is that the bad weather has been miserable for business this season.*
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Autoblog reported that Subaru and Audi had some of the highest conquest sales in the 2013 calendar year, obviously we can conclude that most of those were AWD. Especially since there is only ONE Subaru sold with 2WD and that is the BRZ.

With cars it is hard to tell if a bad winter will drive AWD sales because some have come to see AWD as a "luxury item" like heated seats, parking sensors, and other electronic gee-haws. With SUVs it seems like for certain brands and size classes the factory cranks out more 4WD/AWD models than 2wd models. Even here in New Mexico it would be hard to find a 2WD Tahoe/Yukon on the dealers lot, on the other hand it seems that the entire production of FWD Patriots was sent down here and it is rare to see 4x4 badges on one when looking in traffic.

I think ultimately it comes down to the region you live in. Subaru's are the unofficial vehicle of Santa Fe, NM even though winters have been poor the last several years and AWD vehicles have always sold well in Colorado (according to Murilee Martin.) Honestly there has been a surge in AWD vehicles being sold period.

Steve Lang could comment on the # of local AWD/4WD vehicles he sees at his southern auctions among vehicles were AWD/4WD was an option.
Owner 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible: 289V8, Cruise-o-matic transmission, vintage burgundy exterior, black interior and top, MSD Ignition, true dual 2.5 in exhaust system, Ford 9in rear. Owned since July 2013, in family since 1967.

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Old 01-28-2014, 08:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ironically, atleast here in the midwest, if someone stops on a car lot when its snowing, 9/10 they're buying whatever they drive.*

In this part of the country, there are usually 3 or 4 times in a winter you "need" AWD and probably 1 *or 2 days where you truly need it. and everythign shuts down for those days. People still buy their CUV's/SUV's/Trucks with the 4x4/AWD because "we might need it in the winter"

and the dealers and manufacturers are happy to upsell a 2k+ option that people will never use
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