SUV sales surge as gas prices fall in Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

SUV sales surge as gas prices fall in Hawaii

Dave Rolf Dave Rolf
Mark Benson Mark Benson
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As gas prices plunge, sales of trucks and SUVs are surging in Hawaii. New car sales have increased by 4.9% while sales of larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs have jumped more than 13%, according to the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association.

"With gas prices going down, people are saving around $750 a year. That's about $60 a month so those who are buying new cars are putting that into bumping up their car to an SUV or light truck or maybe a van," said executive director Dave Rolf.

At Honolulu Ford, the F-150 is the top seller.

"We do probably have some folks that might come in and buy a larger SUV that might have been interested in a medium size SUV, but perhaps they're buying a larger one now cause the gas is a little more economical," said Mark Benson, president of Honolulu Ford.

Many modern vehicles are also more fuel efficient.

"In 2007, the average gas mileage across the fleet of all the cars in America was 20 miles a gallon. Now it's 25 miles per gallon so it has increased dramatically," said Rolf.

But it's not all good news for auto dealers. As fuel prices have dropped, so have sales of hybrid and electric vehicles.

"We anticipated about 800 electric vehicles to sell in 2015. With gas prices going down it hurt that a little bit, probably down to 700 vehicles," Rolf said.

Still, with annual sales of new vehicles expected to rise for a fifth straight year, many are already looking forward to 2015.

"Nobody likes pulling up to a gas pump and spending $80 to fill up their vehicle so anytime we get some relief in that area it's fantastic," Benson said.




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