Sure, we all know that sales of big SUVs have been driven down by higher gas prices, but Autobytel's latest "Consumer Choice" report shows that we've only seen the beginning of a fuel price-driven restructuring of the automotive landscape. Based on online purchase requests for the second quarter of 2006 compared to the first quarter, here are some losers:
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee: -58 percent
  • Dodge Ram: -47 percent
  • Ford F-150: -40 percent
  • Hummer H3: -39 percent
  • Dodge Charger: -29 percent
  • Chrysler 300: -13 percent

As you might expect, just about every small car on the market showed a surge in demand in the same period.

According to Autobytel, Q2 was the first quarter where trucks really felt the impact of higher fuel prices, with year-over-year purchase requests way down for the Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram.

Autobytel's current "Hot List" for the second quarter:
  • Toyota Yaris
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser (style trumps fuel economy)
  • Honda Fit
  • Lexus ES 350
  • Toyota RAV4 (a fuel-efficient big SUV replacement?)
  • Honda Civic
  • Dodge Caliber
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Ford Escape Hybrid (fuel-efficient, with incentive pricing)
[Source: Autobytel Inc.]

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