In the late 1990s, the car industry started focusing their lineups on large Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV's), and they really were a hit with the consumers then, and they are now, but the segment is entirely different today. The SUV segment had a low point following the soaring of gas prices in the late 2000s, but they are now the best selling segment in the market. General Motors reported that over 80% of their sales were comprised of SUV's, crossovers, and pickup trucks. With new technologies that include blind spot monitoring, hybrid engines, and smart car assists, like lane keep assist and park assist, SUV's are less of a hassle to drive than ever before. These technologies are now becoming standard features with almost all brands. The U.S. now even requires all new cars to have backup cameras, not just as an option, but as a standard feature.
SUV's are also becoming more luxurious, yet sportier than before with less plastic material being used and increased horsepower and precision steering. Most SUV models now have LED headlights, high end exterior cosmetic options, and leather seating. Even the U.S. federal government's vehicle of choice is the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Suburban, or GMC Tahoe (all the same car under different names with different tiers of luxury), and the police use the Ford Expedition, or the Ford Explorer, along with other sedans. Sedans used to be the luxury vehicle of choice, but now big-name luxury brands have hopped in the crossover/SUV segment. Rolls Royce recently released the new Cullinan, Lamborghini recently released the Urus, Bently released the Bentayga, Tesla released the Model X, and Ferrari may release a new crossover called the Purosangue.
Although these new cars may sound exiting, automakers have to be aware of the global impact these cars may bring with them, and most of them have. Tesla has made a whole company comprised of all-electric vehicles, and a lot more automakers have announced they will make a move to fully electric or almost fully electric in the next five to ten years. Hopefully, large gas guzzlers will be cars of the past, and clean electric vehicles will be the cars of the future.
|Infiniti QX80 interior. (Caricos.com)|
|Tesla Model X|
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