Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Decline and Fall of the SUV

I've read a lot about how gas prices and fashion changes have sent SUV sales off a cliff. I saw what I think is a metaphor for that decline at the mall here. A raffle was set up with the grand prize of a choice of $25,000 in cash or a brand-new GMC Yukon with a dealer sticker in the window showing a price of $53,000. That disparity struck me, along with the fact that in the past, were I to win that drawing, I might have been tempted to take the GMC with the expectation of selling it for more than $25,000. Today I'm not too sure. The fact that the dealer offered it up as a prize instead of a smaller,cheaper vehicle says something about his sales expectations as well.

That said, I have also heard that pickup sales haven't been doing too badly here due to higher commodity prices helping farmers. Of course, pickups have a working-truck use (although frequently it's a matter of buying a new one for personal/road use and turning the old one into a field pickup) that SUVs lack.

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