Crossovers Gaining Steam

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Sales of car-based crossover utility vehicles like the Ford Escape and Honda C-R-V will surpass sales of traditional SUVs in 2006.

Ford's top sales analyst George Pipas says it's a trend that has
been accelerated by high gas prices.

Pipas says the C-U-V will be the "vehicle of this decade."

Ford currently has the top-selling crossover -- the Ford Escape.

But the trend is troublesome for Ford and other U-S automakers,
who have relied more heavily on S-U-Vs for their profits than
foreign automakers.

There are 41 crossover models on the market this year, compared
with 14 in 2000 and none in 1995. Pipas said there could be close
to 50 models by the end of next year, the same number of S-U-Vs
offered when S-U-V sales were peaking in 2000.

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