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Survey Finds SUVs, Pickups, Still Popular Vehicles, Despite Fuel Prices

Pickup trucks accounted for 20.57% of all vehicles in operation. SUVs accounted for 11.42%.

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Despite a year of surging gas prices and increased public focus on smaller and hybrid vehicles,  the number of pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles on American roads remained relatively constant, according to analysis by Experian Automotive of its AutoCount Vehicles in Operation database.

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Pickup trucks accounted for 20.57% of all vehicles in operation. SUVs accounted for 11.42%.

“As fuel prices rose throughout the summer, conventional wisdom predicted sharp declines in the SUV and pickup truck markets,” said Scott Waldron, president of Experian Automotive.

“Yes, sales of new vehicles in these categories have dropped, but when you look at the total vehicle population of new and used vehicles, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles have remained consistently strong as a leading category of vehicles on the road.”

Waldron noted that there are several regional differences in vehicle class along with other areas of a vehicle’s makeup that are particularly important for businesses that produce products and services for specific vehicles.

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When looking at the top 10 states in terms of vehicle population as of June 30, 2008, Experian Automotive found some interesting statistics within each state:

•    Texas has the highest proportion of 8-, 10- and 12-cylinder vehicles (29.37%), while New York has the lowest proportion of these vehicles (15.93%);
•    More than one in four vehicles (26.91%) in Texas are pickup trucks;
•    Texas has the highest proportion of rear-wheel drive vehicles (36.86%), while Pennsylvania has the lowest (9.51%);
•    Pennsylvania has the highest proportion of four-wheel drive vehicles (33.54 %), while Florida has the lowest (10.30%);
•    California has the lowest proportion of Flex Fuel vehicles (1.26%), while Michigan has the highest proportion (3.84%).

For more information on Experian Automotive’s products and services for the aftermarket and other areas in the automotive industry, visit www.experianautomotive.com.

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