Severe weather increasing vehicle purchases

CLEVELAND - Sick of sliding around in your front wheel drive vehicle?  Certain auto reports say so are a lot of people which is why dealerships are seeing a spike in SUV purchases. 

Nowhere is a better place to talk about this than at the Cleveland Auto Show.  President of the Cleveland Auto Dealers Association and the Cleveland Auto Show,  Lou Vitantonio said Saturday, "We've had a pretty rough winter,  I don't know if it's absolutely done yet but the four-wheel drive vehicles, some of the crossovers and the SUV's are selling very well basically in the North because of the elements."

The elements is what Randi Sussman said the weather last year made her purchase an SUV, let alone this year.

"Even though last year's winter was mild, I was pretty much scared to drive my mini van so I brought a 4-wheel, all wheel drive vehicle last - this summer,  in anticipation of this winter and boy am I happy!" she said.

At the auto show Sussman was checking out SUV's for her son, but more specifically looking at the Crossover SUV's.

"Good Car Bad Car" says Crossover SUV sales jumped 5% this January compared to around this time last year.  Showing some numbers they described the Toyota RAV4 selling 5,270 more units this year than January 2013 and Nissan selling a little over 4,800 from around his time last year as well.

What makes the Crossover SUV so popular?

"This one has great miles-per-gallon so I thought it's time to switch from a car," Carol Clark said.

Barb Parmele was also shopping for a Crossover. She said what's in the back is very important, "Some of them have the wheel that's actually in the trunk and so we like that as opposed to some that actually have the wheel under the trunk.  In Northeast Ohio, I think the ones under the vehicle would just get so rusted out."

Tired of driving her husband's truck in the snow, Tina Gilme said, "I would like to have something that could be - that would handle well in the snow and the rain and the mud," later showing us her notes highlight what she liked best about each Crossover.

Of course having great safety ratings and more space for perhaps a family is always important but one on of the top priorities remained to be the handling on Northeast Ohio's snowy and slick roads ... don't forget pothole ridden roads!

"It just feels a little more secure.  If God forbid you're in an accident, you don't feel you're in a little car," said Sussman. "No offense to tiny cars!  But I just want to be driving one around here in the winter!" she added, laughing.

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