Americans are beginning to wake up to the new financial reality and starting to adjust their lifestyles. We can see this in the new American automotive trend towards compact cars. In results from consumer surveys, more people are planning to buy compacts within the next 6 months. General Motors, Hyundai, Toyota, and Ford are all adding overtime shifts to their compact car productions lines.
Scott Fink, the president of the New Port Richey Hyundai dealership near Tampa Florida said, “As the Elantras come in, 9 out of 10 of them are pre-sold.” According to Fink, customers who are buying compact cars are trying to lower their debts and to improve their cash flow.
The price of a new compact starts at $16,500 and they can get between 30-40 miles per gallon. The best selling cars are the Chevrolet Cruze, the Toyota Corolla and the Hyundai Elantra.
Genral Motors Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Joel Ewanick said that “the buyers are completely different than the ones we have seen before.” They are more interested in economy. GM has sold 147,620 compacts from January to the end of July. Toyota has sold 154,324 Corolla’s in the same 7 months.
In May, Chevrolet four cylinder cars including Malibu, Equinox and Cruze comprised over half (fifty one percent) of all Chevrolet retail sales. This is a raise of thirty six percent over last year’s May compact car retail sales.
The recession is here to stay for at least a few years and money-wise people are starting to be more conservative with their budgets, in order to keep solvent in these financially tough times.