SUV Sales Spike as Gas Prices Drop

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DICKSON CITY -- Cheaper gas prices are to thank for a boost in sales at local car dealerships. Dealers are seeing more people buying a particular type of car.

Salespeople at Gibbons Ford in Dickson City say most buyers come through their doors with a top 10 list of priorities. They've noticed the items on that list change over the past year.

Fuel economy has taken a dip.

"At one time, it was probably in the top three of their concerns. I would probably say now, it more gets into the top 5. It's really not as important to them as it once was," said Darryl Jayne, Gibbons Ford.

The result can be seen in the lot in Dickson City. SUVs and trucks outnumber the sedans and compact cars. Car makers are making more of them.

Gibbons Ford general manager Darryl Jayne says that's because that's what most buyers want.

"We had a little bit of a lull period, but with the fuel now being where it's at, we've seen a spike in the SUV sales which has been very helpful."

Dealers say the SUV upswing has affected hybrid sales.

"The larger, any of the sport utilities with the V-8 engines people became very leery of having them, and were all thinking about all these different technologies, hybrids and plug ins. And frankly, that's off of their radar right now," said Tony Domiano of Domiano Jeep.

Domiano says his dealership in Eynon has seen the same trend. He says from 2008 until this year, trucks and SUVs carried a sort of stigma; buyers were scared off by their gas mileage.

But as gas prices lower closer and closer to $2 a gallon, gas guzzlers are gaining popularity.

"A good ol' gas engine is still a good thing to go with."

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