Super car

Substantial internal migration within the utility space

Nearly three-quarters of households with a sport-utility vehicle
acquired another utility when they returned to market, according to
S&P Global Mobility loyalty data from January 2023.

If January’s 73% loyalty to the SUV body style holds in February
and March, the Q1 2023 rate would be a record high for any quarter.
It is also noteworthy that this metric now has exceeded 70% for 11
consecutive quarters (including Q1 2023).

Not only are utility owners very loyal, but they are also
substantially more loyal to their body style than are sedan or
pickup owners; the percentages of pickup and sedan owners who
returned to market and acquired the same body style in January 2023
were just 48.8% and 35.6%, respectively.

The high loyalty to the utility body style is even more
interesting when one looks at households’ loyalty to the utility
segments (sub-compact through full size in each of the mainstream
and luxury categories); this metric measures a household’s
propensity to acquire another utility in the same segment as the
garage vehicle.

As illustrated below, the segment loyalties for four of the
largest utility segments never reach 50%, implying that less than
half of utility households stay with the same size/price utility
vehicle when they return to market.

The combination of high utility body style loyalty but lower
segment loyalty implies that while the American public certainly
has taken to the utility concept, there is substantial migration to
new and untried utility segments.

As a result, automotive brands must offer a wide array of
sport-utility vehicles, so that when a household with a utility in
the garage migrates to a larger/smaller utility, the brand has an
entry to satisfy the needs of that household.


Top 10 Industry Trends Report

This automotive insight is part of our monthly Top 10
Industry Trends Report
. The report findings are taken from
new and used registration and loyalty data.

The March report is now available, incorporating January 2022
CFI and LAT data. To download the report, please click below.


This article was published by S&P Global Mobility and not by S&P Global Ratings, which is a separately managed division of S&P Global.

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