The rise and fall of the SUV
Ford Explorer -- High: 445,157 units in 2000, Low: 137,817 units in 2007. Fall: 69% (*Includes Bronco II sales) Back in the day, the Ford Explorer was to SUVs what Kleenex is to tissue. It remains a popular brand name thanks to the Explorer Hybrid (which was not factored into this analysis). From 1997 to 2007, SUV sales went on quite a roller-coaster ride. The vehicles took off for a number of reasons, including a $6,000 small-business tax break on cars that weighed above 6,000 pounds and the move by soccer/hockey moms to abandon minivans for big, tall and seemingly safe SUVs.