Sales of mid-size SUVs plummet, crossovers gain ground

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Sales through May of mid-size SUVs were down nearly 18%, or some 86,000 units, from the first five months of 2006, according to a recent J.D. Power and Associates report.

"Loyalty for the segment is also down considerably, as the percentage of mid-size (SUV) owners who trade in their vehicle for another of the same type has decreased from 29% in May 2004 to 17% in May 2007," say J.D. Power officials.

Mid-size SUV owners "are increasingly migrating over to crossover vehicles."

The percentage of mid-size SUV owners who traded their vehicles for a crossover increased from 6% in May 2004 to 11% last month.

"We can see the decline in this segment by looking at specific models like the Ford Explorer, which was the third most popular model in 1995, 1996 and 1998 in the United States," says Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis for the Power Information Network, a division of J.D. Power.

"But now the Explorer ranks 46th through the first five months of this year."

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