Quotes of the Day: On SUVs, History, and the Volt

What is the best selling vehicle in America this month? The Ford F-150. Edmunds says:

"Despite all the public discussion of fuel efficiency, SUVs and trucks are the industry's biggest sellers right now as a remarkable number of buyers seem to be compelled by three factors: great deals, low gas prices and winter weather"

George Santayana said:
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
The New York Times editorialized:

Americans did not buy enormous gas guzzlers just because Detroit marketed them relentlessly. They bought them because they wanted big cars — and because gas was cheap. If gas stays cheap, Americans would be less inclined to squeeze their families into a lithe fuel-efficient alternative.

Bob Lutz, when asked about what might kill the Volt, said to Tyler Hamilton and me in September:

Let us say that over the next 18 months the world goes into a major recession, car sales and fuel use drop dramatically, the steel companies produce less steel and therefore use less energy, China finds it main export markets drying up, so they are into a contraction and use less steel and aluminum and plastic. And at the same time Canadian tar sands come onstream, and coal-to-liquids come onstream. All of a sudden there is a reduction in primary demand in petroleum plus all these additional new supply sources… And the oil barrel drops to $25 a barrel and we’re looking at gas pump prices at $1.25 a gallon. I personally don’t think that’s going to happen, but that would be a dramatic event for the Volt because everybody would say, ‘Ha!, why should I bother?’

And he is right, with gas where it is now, why should anyone bother?

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American Gas Pains

Tags: Economics | Taxes

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