6 Vehicles That Went from “Hot” to “Not”

The world is full of people, items, and trends that were once “hot” but have since fallen out of favor. The Atkins Diet. MySpace. Charlie Sheen.

The same type of plunge often occurs in the automotive world. A few years ago, everyone seemed to be purchasing SUVs and luxury cars. But today, wallets are tighter and buyers are changing their habits as a result. Remember the more expensive the car, the more expensive the auto insurance, too. This is clearly illustrated by the new vehicle sales numbers for June of 2011.

Here are six of today’s “hot-to-not” vehicles.

Toyota Camry – You read that right: the top-selling car in America slipped off its perch. Though it still posted strong sales in June, the Camry was supplanted by the Chevrolet Cruze, which shot up to #1. It’s all part of a trend that shows increased buyer interest in smaller vehicles, at the expense of mid-sized sedans like the Camry and the Honda Accord.

Ford F-150 V8 – It’s true that the F-150 retained its dominance in the pickup truck industry, which it has ruled for over a decade. But what was interesting among the June sales numbers is that more buyers chose the V6 engine in the F-150 over the V8; marking the first time that has happened since way back in the 1980s. In addition to increased gas mileage, the improved design of the Ford V6 gives drivers the feeling of brawny horsepower, which at one time could only be found with the V8.

GMC Yukon XL – The sister vehicle of the popular Chevrolet Suburban took a huge hit in June. GMC reported that sales of the sport utility vehicle plummeted 32% from the numbers reported in June of 2010. Experts cite reasons for the drop that range from poor fuel economy to vehicle buyers eschewing higher-priced SUVs due to tough financial times.

Cadillac CTS – Speaking of the sluggish economy, the luxury car class was hit particularly hard in June. Though the most popular U.S. luxury car brand didn’t post drastically lower June sales numbers, it didn’t set the industry on fire either. The CTS sedan posted June sales that were almost identical to year-over-year figures, suggesting that the model has reached a “sales plateau” of sorts.

Lexus HS – On the other hand, Japanese luxury carmaker Lexus took a huge nosedive in June. Almost every single Lexus model reported sharply lower sales numbers when compared to the sixth month of 2010. But the HS was the worst of the worst, with sales freefalling a mind-boggling 75%.

Jaguar XFR – Things are no better for this European luxury vehicle maker. Overall, Jaguar saw sales plunge 14% year-over-year in June, which followed the pattern of lethargic high-end car sales in the U.S. for the month. But across all vehicle makes and models, the XFR (and its convertible version) are among the cars which spend the longest time on dealer lots before being sold: between seven and nine months.

It should be noted that American car buyers are a fickle bunch. Depending on what happens with the economy, sales trends could completely reverse themselves in a year’s time and the figures for June 2012 may reveal a rebound in popularity for the abovementioned models. But for now, these “falling stars” have been relegated to the “not” category in the battle for vehicle supremacy.

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