Honda's big bet on a small SUV is paying off

Honda HR-vDavid McNew/GettyThe Honda HR-V makes its debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

Honda’s brand-new small SUV is having a huge impact on the US auto market.

The HR-V, as its known, is smaller than its cousin, the CR-V. But the micro-ute is likely on track to be just as popular, Bloomberg News’ Craig Trudell reports:

Even before starting an advertising campaign, Honda has sold 6,381 of its new HR-V crossover in two weeks, triple what any other automaker has managed in the first month with a new model in the segment. That has led the company to weigh its options to meet the better-than-expected demand.

Honda’s bigger CR-V is the best-selling sport utility vehicle in the U.S. through May, a beneficiary of lower gasoline prices that have fuelled the auto market to its fastest sales pace in a decade. With the HR-V, a taller twin to the Fit subcompact, Honda is betting that smaller models will withstand a slowdown the next time pump prices rebound.

Honda isn’t the only car maker seeing increased demand for crossovers and SUV’s. Ford announced in June that it would shorten its factories’ summer break in order to meet demand for trucks and SUV’s.

And any automaker who’s currently selling a compact SUV in the market is doing well. The success of the CR-V is proof of that. But now car companies are exploring smaller platforms for these popular vehicles, as consumers shift away from buying small cars.

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