Dealers selling fewer trucks because of high gas prices

Knoxville (WVLT) - With no end in sight for elevated gas prices , truck and SUV sales take a huge hit.

It's the first time since 1992 trucks are no longer the top selling vehicle in the united states.

Volunteer TV's Heather Haley has more on how local dealerships are trying entice customers to buy.

Local dealerships say as the price at the pump has risen over the years, their sales have been going down.

The focus for Jerry McCrary is the price at the pump when purchasing a new car.

"I bought an '08 Ford Focus because of gas mileage and the price of gas is going up, and up, and up," McCrary said.

But Jerry is not alone at the Lance Cunningham Ford dealership. They say their sales for larger vehicles have been dropping over the years as the pain at the pump has gone up.

"SUV's, people still need them because they have capabilities to carry their big families but the fuel economy, they'd rather have a car," said Ben Traywick, the sales manager for Lance Cunningham Ford.

Ben says some people have found a happy medium in the crossover utility vehicle.

"It's more of a car with 7 passenger capabilities, yet sits up high enough to give you an SUV feel yet still saves the fuel," Traywick said.

Now even General Motors is thinking small actually closing 4 plants and cutting production of SUV's and pickups, but sales manager Ben Traywick says they're offering huge incentives to get people to buy their larger vehicles.

"Ford has announced right now employee pricing so you can buy these trucks thousands less than you've ever been able to plus you get all the rebates on top of it," Traywick said.

If you're shopping for a larger vehicle despite the miles per gallon, Ben says to check out the preowned selection because a lot of people are trading the SUV's and trucks in.

"Everybody is trying to get into a smaller car, better fuel economy," Traywick said.

Jerry says he decided to not trade in his large conversion van that gets 12 miles to the gallon.

"How's that on you financially?" Heather asked.
"I don't drive it unless I just have to," McCrary said.

Jerry says his new new car will pay for it's self when he goes to fill up.

So while the SUV's and trucks may cost you at the pump. All the deals from rebates or preowned discounts may be worth it if you need one for work or your family.

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