Saturday, November 11, 2006

SUV Sales Up, Hybrids Down

Glenn makes a good point about why the figures are as they are, even though gas prices are still over $2 per gallon in most places. He also notes that people who own an SUV often also own a hybrid. Here is his reasoning:
That's not really a surprise. People like SUVs because they're good at carrying kids and stuff over distances and in bad weather. People like hybrids because they're efficient at commuting and they're cool. Commuting in your hybrid, while using an SUV for family trips or to take kids to football practice, makes sense. (Of course, my own compromise was to buy a hybrid SUV, but . . . ). I notice more and more people have multiple cars, a trend that's likely to expand as Americans get richer. Perhaps the notion of a one-size-fits-all car will become passe as a result.
However, I wonder if the trend isn't so much as a compromise as it is "keeping up with the Jones's." You see a neighbor flaunting their new SUV with chrome rims, and leather seats, and you've got to get one. Then when you go to fill the tank your other neighbor is snickering at your $60 tank compared to their $30 tank, so you get another car to keep up.

My solution, the Toyota Camry. There's 15 cubic feet of trunk space, and it gets over 30 miles per gallon on the highway. I've had my '94 Camry for the past 6 years or so, and with over 212,000 miles, it's still kicking strong.