Photo © Bloomberg News

It looks like the SUV “bubble” has popped. According to a recent article in the New York Times, SUV sales are down 32 percent for the year, and 43 percent for July.

“Just like hapless homeowners, countless car owners are now ‘underwater,’ driving vehicles that are worth less than the balance on their car loans. And just like desperate homeowners, the sellers of SUV’s are having to painfully cut asking prices.”

“Dealers are going through the same pain, only multiplied. They normally spend this time of year raking in some of their biggest profits and breathlessly promoting Detroit’s newest models. Instead, they almost cannot give S.U.V.’s away.”

That’s a real bummer for folks trying to sell their SUVs. The upside is that there’s never been more interest in fuel efficient cars, with lead times on some models running into the months.

“Sales of Toyota’s subcompact Yaris increased 46 percent, and Honda’s tiny Fit had a record month. Ford’s compact Focus model jumped 32 percent in April from a year earlier. All those models are rated at more than 30 miles per gallon for highway driving.”

The bicycle—the most fuel efficient vehicle on Earth—wasn’t mentioned in the article.

5 Responses to “Pop!”

  • andy parmentier says:

    i call them “SOB’s”..song of bloating, a fart-like tune of methane. i am one to talk

  • Dave Kee says:

    The free market is handling the issue of higher gas prices just fine. In retrospect the owners of gas guzzling SUV’s made unwise investments, and are appropriately paying for their bad judgment. What the free market is not handling and cannot handle since societal costs are outside the market (thus aptly called externalities) are the emissions of greenhouse gases that are quite literally threatening the environmental end of the world. Until we incorporate these costs into our market economy we will continue down an ever narrowing path whose end point is far more devastating than being “upside down” on some car payments.

  • Nanda says:

    The Big 3 need to quickly import/crash test/rebadge their Euro compacts (hopefully diesels) as fast as they can. The trick will be to ramp up their US small car line-up’s while not creating a shortage in the markets where these cars originated. But with all the freed up capacity (skilled workers, and advanced assembly lines) from slow selling large vehicle transition and retooling locally could happen fairly quickly. With the average vehicle life cycle running 14yrs on average, it’ll still be awhile before we purge the big beasts from the national fleet.

  • andy parmentier says:

    an acidic sea, and a methane bubble waiting to pop as well. methane is far more greehousier than garden variety carbon dioxide/monoxide

  • janfrid says:

    To my chagrin, I have been having to do a lot of commuting by motor vehicle lately. I see all kinds of really big brand spanking new SUVs all up and down the freeways. It occurred to me that the primary design intent of those “trucks” was effectively fuel inefficiency. They are not used for ‘work’.
    We were set-up, manipulated, deceived, misled and bought right into it. These things exist because of cunning exploitation of legitimate exemptions to allow for working vehicles, and then they got bigger and bigger. One manufacturer after another started to produce them. What destructive, anti-social, wasteful folly.

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