That upswing we saw just over a week ago in customer interest in large pickups and SUVs is real. While last week the numbers came from the types of cars people were searching for online, news out yesterday from J.D. Power and Associates finds that sales of large pickups and SUVs has increased. The increase (J.D. doesn't say how much of an increase, but the Big Three must be thrilled at any number that doesn't feature a minus sign) started just as the national average gas price dropped to $2.66 a gallon in the seven weeks from the middle of August to the beginning of October, down from $3.04 a gallon in the seven week period before that. J.D.'s numbers looked at "owner retention", which means finding out if a customer traded in his or her vehicle for a new one in the same size category. J.D. tells us that "four of six high-volume large pickup models, four of five large utilities and seven midsize utilities all have experienced increases in owner retention during the same time period (mid-August to early October)."

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[Source: J.D. Power and Associates]


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