Stupid carbuyers pile back into SUVs

As our elected officials look for ways to dig us out of the current economic mess, there's one factor that isn't getting enough attention: If Americans continue to be stupid, no amount of economic stimuli will solve anything.

Case in point: The USA Today reports that now that gas prices have come back down, people are showing a preference for bigger cars. Chrysler President Jim Press says that the full-size Dodge Durango SUV is the company's most in-demand car and AutoNation has been canceling orders for small cars and stocking up on big trucks instead.

The problem is that gas prices could -- and according to most experts, will -- go up again, maybe even soon. But by picking cars with all the foresight of a 3-year old in the grocery store toy aisle, consumers are making it difficult for car companies to deliver the products that will meet demand. Predicting the short-term gyrations of the commodities market is essentially impossible, but that seems to be the major factor in how Americans buy cars.

Last summer when gas prices were over $4 per gallon, everyone was trading in their SUVs and pledging a new lifestyle of green friendliness. Now we know what those people really were: posers trading down because they couldn't afford gas.

For now, environmentally-friendly driving appears to have gone the way of the Hula Hoop. But when gas prices are back over $3 per gallon, today's SUV buyers will be back looking for a new Prius -- and they'll really mean it this time, they swear.

Learn about investing from the comfort of your own home.

Portfolio Basics

Take the first steps to building your portfolio.

View Course »

Investment Strategies

Learn the strategies you need to build a winning portfolio

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum