Rate Of U.S. Consumers Dumping Sedans In Favor Of SUVs Is Rising

Consumer preferences for SUVs continue to rise and at a faster pace than five years ago, according to new loyalty and defection analysis from IHS Markit. Between April 2017 and March 2018, over 35 percent of U.S. households with a sedan in the garage returned to the market for a new vehicle and acquired an SUV — up from just 24 percent five years ago.

The propensity to defect from a sedan to an SUV was much higher among Asians than African American or Hispanic consumers, according to IHS Markit. Nearly 40 percent of Asian sedan owners who returned to the market for a new vehicle defected from a sedan to an SUV, compared to 31.9 percent for Hispanics and 31 percent for African Americans.

According to the study, 55.7 percent of African American sedan owners opted to stay with a sedan for their next vehicle purchase, compared to 49.6 percent of Hispanics and 43.5 percent of Asians.

Additionally, the propensity to defect from sedans to SUVs decreased as age increasedLoyalty to sedans was extremely high among older consumers and varied by nearly 20 percentage points from the youngest consumers to the oldest. And, as incomes rose, consumers were more likely to defect from a sedan to an SUV. Conversely, the propensity of sedan owners to choose another sedan declined as income levels increased.