New small cars unveiled at auto show but will anyone buy?

January 16, 2018 - 1:19 pm

DETROIT (AP) — Among the many shiny models vying for attention at Detroit's North American International Auto Show are the revamped Volkswagen Jetta, Hyundai Veloster and Kia Forte.

But cars — particularly small ones — are having a tough time getting buyers to look their way as SUVs grow in popularity.

Car sales are expected to hit a record low this year after steadily declining for several years. SUVs surpassed cars for the first time in 2016, and the gap only widens.

Reasons are plenty, including relatively low gas prices, growing millennial families and small, attractive SUV models that are becoming more fuel efficient and affordable.

Analysts and auto executives say there's still demand for small cars and cite popularity for them overseas. Consumer sentiment could also flip and automakers must be ready.

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