Autotrader: Demand for SUVs is leaving sedans in the dust; EV sales grew fastest


New SUVs and crossovers are in hot demand, while sedans are likely to be languishing on car dealer lots.

According to data compiled by Cox Automotive, compact SUVs and crossovers saw sales in the U.S. increase by a hefty 58% during the first quarter of 2021. Midsize sedans and high-end luxury sedans were down nearly 16 and 20%, respectively. (Cox Automotive is the parent of Autotrader.)

See: The best 3-row SUVs for less than $40k in 2021

Overall, vehicle sales grew by a substantial 11.4% during the first quarter of 2021 compared with the same period last year. Those figures come with a huge asterisk attached, though, since the American economy came to a screeching halt in early March last year as pandemic restrictions saw car dealers temporarily close shop.

Electric vehicle sales grew at the fastest pace with a roughly 43% gain in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the year prior, though at around 95,000 EVs sold the segment still substantially trailed the 647,000 compact SUV/crossover models delivered during the same period.

The bestselling compact SUV or crossover was the Toyota

RAV4, followed by the Honda

CR-V, Nissan

Rogue, and Chevrolet Equinox.

Among individual brands, nearly every showroom saw a healthy increase in vehicle sales. Genesis, Hyundai’s

luxury brand, saw sales nearly double thanks largely to its new GV80 SUV. Porsche
Buick, and Audi all saw increases over 30% during the first quarter, too.

See: The 12 best new cars of the year

Only a handful of brands saw sales slip, including Dodge, Fiat, Mitsubishi
and Chevrolet. 

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