SUVS ON A ROLL

ACCORDING to research by US industry analyst IHS Automotive, SUVs increased sales by 88 per cent between 2008 and 2013, and is expected to account for almost a third of global vehicle sales by 2020.

Australian SUV (and ute) sales are also continuing to take an increasing chunk of the sales pie. In the first four months this year, VFACTS figures show SUV sales are up 7.1 per cent over the same period last year, and account for 37.6 per cent of all vehicles sold in Australia (up from 34.8 per cent in 2015). Keep in mind that what VFACTS calls SUVs mainly includes mainly soft roaders and 2WD things that are barely hatchbacks with stick-on plastic flares.

Meanwhile, 4x4 utes sales are up 11.5 per cent over the same period last year, and account for more than one in 10 new vehicles sold so far this year. In April, the Ford Ranger 4x4 was the third most popular new vehicle in Australia, after the Hyundai i30 and Toyota Corolla, with 2534 examples sold.