It was only a few years ago that General Motors was bullish on the U.S. market for full-size, body-on-frame sport utility vehicles. Today? Not so much. These days, the bottom has fallen out of the big truck market, as even the once untouchable Ford F-150 has seen its perch atop the sales charts come to an abrupt halt. While there will always be a certain number of people who truly need the vast capabilities of the largest of trucks, that demographic is shrinking alarmingly quickly. In lieu of this fact, General Motors may begin phasing out its full-size SUVs. Because this may point to new SUVs from the General using unibody architecture, the future of family stalwarts such as the Suburban and flavor-of-the-day models such as the Cadillac Escalade are in doubt.
We don't expect GM to abandon the market totally, as sales, though down, are still strong enough to warrant the models' place on dealer lots. We do, however, expect that more fuel efficient gasoline engines, diesels and hybrids will join a lighter-weight structure as the long-term future unfolds.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]