By on October 28, 2008

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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10 Comments on “U.S. SUV and Truck Sales Recover. Ish....”

  • avatar

    RF: Rising gas prices usually shock the market into petrol palsy , then after a while, people get used to it. Pent-up demand is unleashed and whopee. Been around long enough to have seen that several times in Europe. There, gas costs roughly twice as much as stateside. Did not stop them from driving. And 250 km/h on the Autobahn ain’t easy on your wallet.

    Car sales crash due to a confluence of gas prices, credit unavailability, and, most of all, consumer desperation. That makes for a big pile of pent up demand. Unless all goes to hell, next year, the car market could explode. One way or the other.

  • avatar

    With the exception of die-hard Southerners (and I speak from experience living here in South Carolina), Americans have a very short memory. With gas now down to $2.45 here, I fully expect the ‘Lades to start rollin’ again. And when gas shoots up to over $3.00 (as it surely will), those same morons will be the first to complain about their sub 20-MPG and astronomical fill-ups.

  • avatar

    threeer :

    And expect us to bail out their low-interest loans.

  • avatar

    Unless all goes to hell, next year, the car market could explode. One way or the other.

    I’d rather bet on the other. It suddenly dawned on the whole world that buying (if you’re American)/selling (if you’re from anywhere else) new cars every 3 years, including to people to don’t make enough money to afford anything remotely close to a new car, may not have been such a good idea.

    Even if gas prices remain low for the next 2-3 years, credit will not be as easy to obtain for at least 5-6 years (more or less the time it takes to people to forget the last crisis and become stupid again).

    For those with high credit, good times will come soon. For the others, get ready to pay cash and live within your means.

  • avatar

    gas broke under $2/gal in Indy today
    dropping faster than the stock market
    filled up my Saturn with a $20 bill

  • avatar

    It’s not good long term for the United States, but this could provide the window for a Big Three Automaker with better management than before (you know which one) to survive the recession on improved sales. Those extra sales will give it time to bring out good compacts from Europe for when gas prices go back up again.

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    Gasoline prices will go up in time as well as our Dollar here in Canada, we always have paid higher Gas prices that in the USA, thats why GM and others made vehicles here, not only Gas but production here too! The whole World is in a mess these days isn’t it?

  • avatar

    I was able to fill up my Caddy earlier this week for less than $50. I haven’t been able to do that for a while.

    Those rising gas prices really didn’t affect me that much – granted, I bought a Mazda3, but I probably would have done that anyway (my other car was truly on its last legs, I sold it to a coworker and am honestly surprised it hasn’t died yet). I never was ‘burdened’ with a bulky SUV. Even if I did, it would be my own choice and I’d have to shrug and take it when gas prices went up.

    If you buy an SUV, you forfeit any right to complain about the price of gas. Those complaints irked me more than the high price of gas itself.

  • avatar

    Gas is $1.97 in Kansas City, MO. Just 3 weeks ago it was $2.99. I can’t believe how fast it’s dropped.

  • avatar

    Still higher than it was this time last year, and now we’re in a major economic recession. I.e. less vehicle miles being traveled.

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