SUV sales and gas prices

Guest post from Amy:

At what point does the price of gasoline affect the purchase of a vehicle? For me, I took notice when gas hit $2/gallon.  At that time, I expected that sales of gas guzzlers would slow down. I was wrong. SUV sales stayed strong. Many people bought them without looking at the fuel efficiency, so much so that SUVs outsold regular cars. The question in my mind was, at what price do gas prices affect car purchasing. The answer seems to be about $3.50/gallon.

Today, the AP reports that:
Dealers see SUV glut as drivers trade in gas guzzlers

My question is, what took so long? In the past two years, our extended family has bought four new cars. All four have been hybrids. We have seen friends go from SUVs to hybrids as well. The choice to purchase a hybrid was mostly because of increasing fuel costs, not environmental impact (although both were factors for us.)

High gas prices are not new. They have been creeping steadily higher for a decade. The reduced value for SUV trade-ins should not be a surprise to anyone. With increased fuel costs comes decreased demand for gas hungry vehicles. Maybe the US automakers will take notes, and start creating fuel efficient vehicles that we really need.

All I can say is “It’s about time.”

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One Comment on “SUV sales and gas prices”

  1. Thomas Says:

    With respect to the issues around gas prices and FUVs, I think we are missing the point entirely. My mom did fine hauling the 5 of us around in her Buick station wagon that got pretty decent mileage 30 years ago when gas was cheap.

    The broader issue is the availability of fossil fuels and the fact that they are a limited resource. I continually see people writing or hear people talking about the cost of gas and that they will continue to drive their low mileage FUVs irrespective of the cost. I’m glad to know there are so many people out there with that much disposable income, I’d rather see people put that money into charity than their gas tank. Someone wants to keep their FUV because she doesn’t want to drive a mini-van and be labeled as a soccer mom?? Give me a break! “I’d rather continue to waste resources that my grandchildren will need because of what people may say about me”.

    Some folks made the valid point that their vehicle is paid for and they don’t want to incur the cost of purchasing another vehicle. Sounds plausible, but again, the issue isn’t about the COST of gas, it’s the AVAILABILITY and SUSTAINABILITY of this limited resource.

    In Montana, many of my neighbors like to race around the woods on 4 wheelers, they say the cost of gas hasn’t impacted them enough to stop. To me to proudly make the statement, in essence, “I don’t care about limited resources, I can afford to waste them recreationally (also include NASCAR)” is most egregious and ego centered.


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