Did Ford Motor Co., maker of the iconic Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle, just say the SUV is dead?

Not exactly.

But Ford’s lead sales analyst George Pipas did say that the SUV may soon become a niche product at best.

“Our view is that gas prices aren’t likely to go down and, more importantly, consumers have moved on. We believe that the [SUV] segment has merit for certain consumers, but is not likely to rebound at any point,” he said during the company’s June sales announcement.

At any point.

Apparently that’s Ford-speak for “the SUV is dead,” said Charlie Vogelheim, chief auto industry analyst with J.D. Power and Associates.

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