Known for big trucks and SUV’s, Texas is starting to appreciate the smaller things in life. The Wall Street Journal looks at the rise of subcompacts in the Lone Star state.
Subcompacts, as the smallest cars are known, are taking up a growing share of the Texas car market, the nation’s second largest after California. They made up 4.5% of about 910,000 total vehicle sales last year, up from 2.7% in 2007, according to Edmunds.com, the auto-shopping firm. As of Tuesday, Fiat of Austin sold more 500s this year than any other Fiat dealership in the country.
Sales of small cars had been paltry for decades as lackluster choices and cheap gas helped affordable trucks and SUVs dominate the market. And while fully a fifth of 2011 Texas vehicle sales were of big trucks—far more such vehicles were registered in Texas than in any other state—sales were down from 25% in 2007.