Huh. Did you know that Chrysler has a business plan, let alone a business plan based on a return to higher gas prices? If you believe everything you read, it does! “As a company, we are looking at a future of high gasoline prices,” Yvonne Malmgren, manager of global sales and incentive communications for Chrysler told Automotive News [AN, sub]. “That is what we expect, and we’re aligning our business plans with that idea in mind.” Don’t pass out, but GM spinmeister John McDonald is singing the same song. “GM is basing its product planning on higher fuel prices, not lower.” Ah, if only we’d heard those words ten years ago. Anyway, the media meme: the return of lower gas prices is stimulating sales of big rigs. In other words, stupid Americans! To be fair, AN is reporting this one fairly; pointing out that a) the rise represents a bigger slice of a MUCH smaller market b) profit-killing incentives have stimulated truck sales and c) the numbers aren’t actually out. (What’s the bet the nets don’t parse this one quite so well?) And just in case you gave ANY credibility to the story… “Says Joel Baker, owner of Baker Cadillac in Leominster, Mass.: ‘When gas was at $4 a gallon, we went for probably a 50-day period when we didn’t show any Escalades. When it hit $3.50, we started seeing some traffic again.’” Some traffic (not quantified), show (not sell). Works for me.
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