American Automakers Put the Focus on Trucks, SUVs and Crossovers

Now that trucks, SUVs and crossovers deliver about the same fuel economy as a sedan did just a few years ago, why not go instead for a vehicle with a bed or fold-flat back seats for hauling cargo?

At GM, growth in truck and crossover models have been offsetting its losses in sedan sales. A total refresh on GM’s top selling crossovers across all of its brands last year assures that these segments will continue to bolster the bottom line.  At Chevrolet, the sales leaders have been the Silverado pickup, followed by the Chevrolet Equinox small SUV.  GM’s premium brand, Buick, reports that 40 percent of its sales can be attributed to its small SUV, the Enclave.  In Spring Hill, Tennessee, home of the GMC Acadia, a third shift was added at the factory to meet increased demand. 

Chevrolet’s Teen Driver software allows parents to set limits and track driving behaviors. 
Buick says 35 percent of Enclave buyers opt for the top level Avenir, designed to put the Enclave neck-and-neck with the best luxury CUVs in tech, safety and comfort features.

latest Chevy Equinox is smaller and 400 pounds lighter with improved fuel economy from the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Inside, you’ll still find the Equinox spacious with expressive styling.  How about Chevy’s Teen Driver reporting feature?  Parents can set radio volume limits and limit top speed to 85 mph. An in-vehicle report card reports the distance driven, maximum speed reached, overspeed warnings issued and wide-open throttle events.  This is one of many advanced safety features, and Chevy also pleases with abundant tech features, including a touchscreen display that techies rank among the best.

The Enclave moves quicker than its predecessor thanks to a more powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine plus the fact that it is significantly lighter.  But it’s also longer, too–something second and third-row passengers will appreciate.  The Enclave is touted by Buick as smart, social and stylish SUV for families who need its class-leading space. It even has an available air ionizer that eliminates odors and provides higher cabin air quality.  The updated Enclave earned a “Ward’s 10 Best User Experiences” award recognizing technologies that are smart, safe and connected. 

GMC’s Acadia All Terrain handles well, on or off the road.
Over 90 percent of Ford’s profits come from its F-Series truck line (mostly from the F-150)

GMC’s midsize Acadia also got smaller and lighter with improved fuel economy after its redesign.  The Acadia remains a comfortable and easy-to-drive three-row crossover SUV that handles well on the road.  It comes in choice of four-cylinder or 3.6L V-6 engine. Adventure seekers will appreciate the option to add an All Terrain package on SLE and SLT models.  It includes the V6 engine, distinct exterior treatments, hill descent control, a more advanced all-wheel-drive system.

GM is not alone in feeling the decline of traditional car sales.  Last year, Ford announced that it was dropping most of its cars while expanding its truck and SUV line and investing in electrification. 

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