The Crossover Takeover

Recently, Ford announced they will be significantly decreasing the amount of sedans they will produce. They have fully stopped national advertisements for their sedans, marking the end of a prolific era. Many were shocked to hear that Ford would be phasing out their storied line of sedans. After all, this is very same Ford that pioneered the American family sedan in the 1930’s. Now, it seems the crossover has fully replaced the sedan as America’s family vehicle of choice. So how did we get here, and what does it mean for the future of automotive advertising?

Trending sales and trending searches

Over the past few years, crossover and SUV sales have started to eclipse sedan sales in a big way. According to the automotive sales reporting site, GoodCarBadCar.net, sedan sales are down across the board, while crossover and SUV sales saw a significant increase. As of July of this year, midsized cars only saw 76% of the sales midsized crossovers and SUVs did.

So why are sedan sales floundering as of late? There are a few simple reasons that brought us here. A recent Bloomburg article notes that the increase in crossover and SUV sales correlates with lowering gas prices. Furthermore, the difference in fuel efficiency is not nearly as dramatic as it once was. For example, a 2018 Ford Focus with a 2.0L I4 engine and automatic transmission engine gets up to 28 MPG Combined. Meanwhile, a 2018 Ford Escape with a 1.5L EcoBoost® I4 engine achieves up to 26 MPG Combined.

The Ford Escape is more convenient, more capable, just as affordable, and almost equally efficient. All things considered, it seems that the Escape represents a far better consumer value than a comparably priced sedan. The Ford Escape vs. Ford example is just one of dozens all across every major auto manufacturer. There just isn’t a major incentive for customers to continue seeking out a sedan over a crossover or SUV.

Taking advantage of changing tides

As car buyers quickly shift towards purchasing SUVs and crossovers instead of sedans, their searching habits also reflect this change. A quick look at Google Trends reveals that searches for crossovers and SUVs regularly outnumber searches for comparable sedans.

Furthermore, general searches for sedans are greatly outnumbered by searches for crossovers and SUVs. While it seems like search volume for may crossovers seem low, it’s important to remember that the term “crossover” is still very new to the automotive lexicon. Users are more familiar with the term SUV, so it’s likely they will search for the term they are more comfortable using.

To capitalize on this trend, it will be more important to focus content strategy on these crossovers and SUVs over sedans. It will also be important to incorporate SUV-related keywords into articles about crossovers in order to capture more searches.

Stay on top of automotive trends and watch your site performance follow suit

At Aronson Advertising, our team closely follows market and search trends to help create a marketing strategy that works for your business. If you have any questions about how Aronson Advertising can help your business increase leads and fully utilize your online presence, get in touch with us by calling (847) 297-1700 or by using our online contact form.

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