SUVs And Pickups Are Dominating Sales Thanks To Low Oil Prices

Pickup and SUV sales

Americans love their Pickup Trucks and SUVs, but they tend to only buy them in droves when gas prices are low. With oil falling below $40 per barrel this week, and prices at the pump remaining below $2.50 in most parts of the country, sales are skyrocketing.

Sales of both jumped 10% this year, according to sales tracker Autodata. That’s almost twice the increase in overall vehicle sales.

At the same time, fuel-efficient vehicles such as the Toyota Prius, have declined by 12% in 2015.

Sales of the Chevrolet Volt, one of the first mass-market plug-in electric cars, are down 23%.

With a massive increase in pickup and SUV sales, the average mileage of all vehicles took a steep decline in 2015. The average in November was 25 mpg, down about 1 mpg from the record high reached in August 2014, right before gas prices started on their historic slide.

Autotrader says the steep decline in gas prices has also led many Americans to spend their saved cash on more expensive sedans than they were purchasing last year.