As should come to no surprise to anyone who follows the auto-market, smaller cars are gaining in popularity with buyers from all walks of life. As the industry rebounds from the worst recession in decades, small-cars hold a 20% market share, up 50% from just 6 years ago.
Of course people love to boast about fuel-economy, but manufacturers are paying more attention than ever to the interiors, engines, and cabin space offered in these vehicles, thus drawing a larger market. The market also now offers more compacts than ever before; about 40, compared to 31 in 2005, and the trend is expected to continue.
With interior space and features on small-cars being what they are, people no longer feel that they are sacrificing by downsizing. Today”s Civic even has roughly the same dimensions as the Accord of ten years ago. A study by consulting firm AutoPacific reveals that 47% of consumers today are “˜completely satisfied” with their small-cars; up 4% from 2001. Scores for the mid-sized segment remain generally unchanged.
There are still drawbacks to driving a compact however; safety in collisions isn”t as good as with other cars, they can be noisy and rough-driving, and resale value is not too strong considering the vamped production numbers.
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Wall Street Journal