【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. previous / ˈpri vi əs / (adj.) – relating to something that has happened or existed before
Example: I was the previous owner of my cousin’s car.
2. upsurge / ˈʌpˌsɜrdʒ / (n.) – an increase in something
Example: The decreasing oil supply caused an upsurge in fuel prices.
3. shift / ʃɪft / (v.) – to change from one thing to another
Example: People are shifting from using cars to motorcycles.
4. purchase / ˈpɜr tʃəs / (v.) – to buy something by paying money
Example: Emily’s father purchased a new car after he got promoted.
5. efficient / ɪˈfɪʃ ənt / (adj.) – performing in the best way without wasting too much energy, time, or money
Example: I need to buy a more fuel-efficient car.
Read the text below.
The sales of sports utility vehicles (SUV) and pickup trucks in the United States have significantly increased in April.
Autodata, a research firm, reported that the auto industry sold 1.45 million vehicles in April, showing a 4.6% increase from the previous year’s sales. During the same month, General Motors, the biggest automaker in the United States, had a 13% increase in its sales of trucks and a 25% increase in its crossover SUV sales. Other companies that also experienced an upsurge in their sales of SUVs and pickup trucks include Ford, Chrysler [KRAHYS-ler], Toyota, and Hyundai.
This increase can be associated with how the Americans shifted from using cars to using SUVs and pickups. Jessica Caldwell [KAWLD-wel], a senior analyst at Edmunds.com, reported that many Americans purchase SUVs and pickup trucks because they are more fuel-efficient than other cars. Also, compact SUVs have become more affordable nowadays, allowing more buyers to purchase them.
While SUVs and pickup trucks are experiencing an increase in sales, an analyst from the banking company Barclays [BAHRK-lees] predicts that the overall auto sales in the United States will fall by 40% in the next 25 years. Analyst Brian Johnson said that this possible decline may be due to the development of driverless or autonomous cars. This type of car can navigate or drive by itself by using its built-in sensors.
According to an article from CNET, there are several advantages of using autonomous cars instead of normal cars. One of which is its very low risk of accidents, which is due to its 36o-degree sensors. And because the car requires no driver, passengers can utilize their travel time by doing productive things such as checking e-mails and making important phone calls.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Are SUVs and pickup trucks also gaining more popularity in your country? Why is that so?
· Would you be interested to buy an autonomous car? Why?
· If you could buy any type of vehicle, what would it be and why?
· How can technology further improve the specifications of today’s cars?