Facing ballooning gas prices, many Americans are turning to smaller cars, with about one in five vehicles sold in April a compact or subcompact, the New York Times reports. That compares to one in eight 10 years ago. “It’s easily the most dramatic segment shift I have witnessed in the market in my 31 years here,” said Ford’s chief sales analyst.
SUV sales fell 25% this year; meanwhile, four-cylinder engines outsold six-cylinders for the first time last month. The trend has put a big dent in the profits of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, now scrambling to catch up with Honda and Toyota's smaller vehicles. “The era of the truck-based large SUV’s is over,” said an industry watcher.