U.S. SUV and Truck Sales Recover. Ish.

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
u s suv and truck sales recover ish

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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  • Geo. Levecque Geo. Levecque on Oct 28, 2008

    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?

  • Billc83 Billc83 on Oct 28, 2008

    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.

  • Liger Liger on Oct 28, 2008

    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.

  • Fallout11 Fallout11 on Oct 31, 2008

    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.