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Surprise, SUV Sales Are Increasing - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.With increasing gas prices and a heightening environmental awareness, who would’ve thought that SUV sales would be remaining steady, or even increasing? According to CNN, on the US, about one out of every three vehicles sold is an SUV today compared to one in five few years back. In 2011, China’s SUV sales were over 20 percent higher than the previous year, more than tripling the increase seen in passenger cars.Automotive developments in sport utility vehicles such as a higher fuel economy, and electronic stability control have made recent SUV models a safer and more attractive choice for consumers. These changes in design and functionality are in response to consumer research reports showing that while towing capacity and off road capabilities are important to SUV owners, the vast majority of them never drove off road, or towed anything. 90 percent of SUVs sold on the market are not the large truck size gas guzzlers that were all the rage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Toyota reported a 4 percent increase in sales over April 2011 in their compact SUV RAV4 models, which are capable of an estimated 23 miles per gallon. The miles per gallon of this compact SUV matches the average fuel economy for all vehicles sold in April 2012.