SUV Sales Surge Nationwide During Pandemic

CBS4's Hank Tester reports that in Miami it's sporty and luxurious cars flying off lots.

Video Transcript

- Now to the pandemic one year later and we turn the focus to car and SUV sales. Many families are trading up. That's because folks are taking to the highways rather than flying. And for one car dealership, business has been pretty brisk. CBS4's Hank Tester takes a closer look.

HANK TESTER: So what's up with the auto dealers in the time of COVID?

NESTOR MENA: COVID has changed our business quite a bit. SUVs for families have really skyrocketed for us, full-sized pickup trucks as well.

HANK TESTER: Sure, travelers are beginning to show up at the airport, but more than a few folks still are leery of flying and hence have taken to the highways for family getaways.

NESTOR MENA: People are taking longer trips and actually utilizing these vehicles for that rather than flying. Seven-passenger vehicles, the SUVs, and the vans are performing very well for us.

HANK TESTER: At Midway Ford and other Ford dealerships, another COVID impact.

NESTOR MENA: We've seen an uptick in food delivery. Amazon has actually-- has bought hundreds of vans for in-home delivery and touch-free delivery because of COVID, food delivery services, whether it's DoorDash or some of the other companies that are out there.

HANK TESTER: No surprise to auto analyst Karl Brauer that SUVs are big sellers in the time of COVID.

KARL BRAUER: I think when maybe there's a little more turmoil and upheaval in the world, I think people feel more secure when they've got a larger, kind of stronger, and more flexible vehicle they can do more things with, whether it's carry a lot of people, carry a lot of cargo, or tow something.

HANK TESTER: So you would think in Miami-Dade County the big rigs would be selling fast. Well, guess again. This is Miami. And remember, we are talking how fast they sell, not volume.

KARL BRAUER: We see this heavy skew in Miami toward fun, sporty, luxurious, more premium cars versus this hardcore functionality.

HANK TESTER: What are the fast sellers in Miami? Number one, the Lexus IS 350. Number two, Toyota RAV4. Number three, Chevrolet Corvette. Number four, GMC Canyon. And number five, Subaru Forester.

Well, at least there's a couple of SUVs on that Miami list of fast sellers. Kevin Bauer tells me nationally fast sellers are those big SUVs. Obviously Miami is Miami. I'm Hank Tester, CBS4 News.