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Why have Americans grown disenchanted with sedans?




Volkswagen sedan in Brooklyn, NY
Volkswagen sedan in Brooklyn, NY
(Photo by Jonathan Fickies/Getty Images)

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Just five years ago, American car sales were split between passenger cars and light trucks, but now sales for sedans have dropped to about a third, and are expected to shrink beyond that.

According to the Wall Street Journal, one factor is that SUVs have become smaller while still offering all the perks that attract consumers: higher seating, improved handling and more room. They’re also using less fuel, so the cost differential is shrinking. But there’s also a shift in how Americans are relating to cars – perhaps caring less about the machinery and more about what a car can functionally provide.

Have you experienced a shift in what you look for in a car? Are you still an owner of a sedan? Or if you made the switch over to an SUV, why?

Guests:

Mike Colias, reporter for The Wall Street Journal covering the automotive industry, who has written about how the relationship between people and their cars is changing; he tweets @MikeColias

John Heitmann, history professor and former chair of the History Department at the University of Dayton in Ohio, who focuses on science, technology and the history of automobile; author of the book, "The Automobile and American Life" (McFarland, 2018)