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Thread: Happy Death of the SUV Neurosis

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    Happy Death of the SUV Neurosis

    Looks more and more like the days of the gas hog are numbered:
    http://www.citistates.com/2003_01_01....html#90163442
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
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    "What Would Jane Jacobs Do?"

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Don't miss the real reason for the alleged decline:

    Market Forces!


    Full disclosure: I owned a 2000 Izuzu Trooper LS and loved it. It cost me just about $120.00 per month in gas. For me, just too much.

    My gas costs are not down to say $80.00. Thats big savings.

    But no government or environmentalist or anti-personal choice group made that decision for me. I did.

    Thats why the free market, warts and all, is the only way.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Originally posted by gkmo62u
    Thats why the free market, warts and all, is the only way.
    Agreed. The government is not stronger than the market.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    All praise the glorious market!*






    *I still want an FDA and USDA

  5. #5

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    Come on. Its not "Just the Market."

    Many SUVers bought 'em cause they were RUGGED and COOL and three times a year they might need to carry five adults somewhere.

    Evil LIBERALS and ENVIRONMENTALISTS made them less "COOL." I guess that is the "Market" at work, but its also a case of moralistic (admittedly annoying) hectoring as well. Based on income, most luxury SUV drivers CAN afford the extra gas, so that's not going to change things that dramatically.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by BKM
    Come on. Its not "Just the Market."

    Many SUVers bought 'em cause they were RUGGED and COOL and three times a year they might need to carry five adults somewhere.
    SO?!

    You're probably anti - skateboard too.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    Originally posted by BKM
    Come on. Its not "Just the Market."

    Many SUVers bought 'em cause they were RUGGED and COOL
    I might argue that this was effective marketing that sold this illusion and that marketing is one part of the market.
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
    _____________________________
    WWJJD
    "What Would Jane Jacobs Do?"

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Defining Market

    The market place theoretically satisfies the buyers needs when the consumer acts in "rational self interest". Someone acting in a vain way by purchasing an SUV is in fact meeting their need to find some sense of self satisfaction. Essentially, I buy an SUV and guzzle gas because I can. And not everyone can, so this makes me superior and I feel good about that. In fact I am superior enough that I don't care if I kill you in an accident because I'm also paying for the false sense of security I get with such a massive vehicle. After all we do live in a "ME" society.

    Obviously, there are many other reasons people buy SUV's, such as cargo room, although you'd be amazed at how much baby equipment and children will fit into a Ford Windstar.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    I can't wait to trade in my little whimpy Ford Ranger for my Hummer H2 ....now that's rugged!

  10. #10

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    Mike:

    And, you could carry your entire racing team and all of their equipment!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    Re: Mike:

    Originally posted by BKM
    And, you could carry your entire racing team and all of their equipment!
    Hate to argue with you BKM because I really think we are on the same side of this issue. However, an H2 is surprisingly cramped on the inside given its external size. Seems to me a Volvo wagon (where are you El Guapo) is almost similar in internal usable space.
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
    _____________________________
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    "What Would Jane Jacobs Do?"

  12. #12
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Re: Defining Market

    Originally posted by Budgie
    Someone acting in a vain way by purchasing an SUV is in fact meeting their need to find some sense of self satisfaction. Essentially, I buy an SUV and guzzle gas because I can. And not everyone can, so this makes me superior and I feel good about that. .... After all we do live in a "ME" society.
    Agreed - This also explains jewelry, furs, yachts, box seats at the opera and so much about our society. It is also part of the engine that spurs innovation. In my marketing campaign I'm making my SUV just a little cooler by adding the Lenny Kravitz tune and a nifty cargo rack I smite my rivals and make money. I'd rather live in this world than the one of the Great Leader where all colors are gray.

    If you want to save the world you guys are going to have to get more market savvy. Running rubber boats at whaleing boats is so 90's.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    Re: Re: Defining Market

    Originally posted by El Guapo
    Running rubber boats at whaleing boats is so 90's.
    Oh kewl, this is the 21st century and we are at war, how about a thermite grenade set on the hood?

    But seriously, I think as the articles point out market forces are lining up against the gas hogs. Now smaller hybrid Ford Escapes and the like may find a nitch, but overall I think the SUV fad is going to start petering out. Seems to me Ford has already decided to end production of the worst of the worst (Excursion).

    A jolt to the oil markets would even speed up the end.
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
    _____________________________
    WWJJD
    "What Would Jane Jacobs Do?"

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    The H2 really isn't much bigger than a Ford Explorer...just boxier. BTW, I'm not getting one. I was just playing around. I can't justify spending over half the appraised value of my house on a vehicle.

    I hear they are coming out with pickups in a year or so, that may be something I'd consider.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I've got to add that the Hummer is an awful thing to drive. Admittedly, I have only driven the military model, but they are far from comfortable and have very poor visibility. At the same time, they are great for difficult terrain.

    I think it is a bit much to talk of the demise of the SUV. They are always going to be around. The question is whether other vehicles may begin to be more appealing. It would be interesting to see a comeback of the station wagon. When so many automakers virtually eliminated them, people needing room for family or cargo had little choice but to go the SUV route. I also suspect that aging boomers will find cars more appealing, although these will not be Honda Civics. They will go for the big cars.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    let me say that the SUV rage isn't just American, it's here too. And damn it bothers... you can see soccer moms going back and forth from school in a ford explorer or a hyundai galloper. sure, they're 4x4, but when the hell do you think they USE the 4WD? Here it rarely snows so chart that out. So the only time they use it (if they actually use it) is when they go on vacations to the mountains or some not so accesible place.
    They just buy those monsters to feel safe, but actually they're far from it.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Gas Prices

    I think all this talk of the "market place" is useless without mentioning that we are not talking about unadulterated supply and demand forces. When gas prices start reflecting their true costs, then we will see how attractive SUV's are. Subsidies in various forms (often competing against each other) make the rise of wasteful consumerism possible. Would anyone like to fathom a guess at the amount of money spent on transportation infrastructure, gas price subsidies, policing and public safety related to automobile use, administrative overhead to maintain our glutonous oil policy. Our energy consumption will catch up with us both economically and politically. I have no idea why Britain still claims to be an ally, when the typical brit pays over 3 times as much for petrol.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Re: Gas Prices

    Originally posted by Budgie
    I think all this talk of the "market place" is useless without mentioning that we are not talking about unadulterated supply and demand forces. When gas prices start reflecting their true costs, then we will see how attractive SUV's are. Subsidies in various forms (often competing against each other) make the rise of wasteful consumerism possible. Would anyone like to fathom a guess at the amount of money spent on transportation infrastructure, gas price subsidies, policing and public safety related to automobile use, administrative overhead to maintain our glutonous oil policy. Our energy consumption will catch up with us both economically and politically. I have no idea why Britain still claims to be an ally, when the typical brit pays over 3 times as much for petrol.
    Yes when those gas taxes disappear - holy dead dinosaur will the market encourage SUVs. What are these true costs? I hear this all over the place, but other than some "eco" math I have yet to see these "True Costs."

    What does the UK's internal taxation policy have to do with our relations with them?

    It was you feel good types that effectively killed Nuclear power in the US. Now we see coal's zenith. Its killing more people than nuclear would have. Nuclear is Re-New-Able. That's a word you guys like. Why aren't you for it? Did Tom Hayden tell you no?

    Kill the SUV at your peril. You may not like what comes after it.

    I will agree that corporate welfare subsidies are wrong-period, but the free market is going to have what you believe are excesses. That is one of its costs. Nope, no getting around that fact.

    PS - There are English speaking socialist-lite counties - why aren't you posting from there? Why kill the last bastion of capitolism - besides the PRC?

  19. #19
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Originally posted by Michael Stumpf
    I've got to add that the Hummer is an awful thing to drive. Admittedly, I have only driven the military model, but they are far from comfortable and have very poor visibility. At the same time, they are great for difficult terrain.

    I think it is a bit much to talk of the demise of the SUV. They are always going to be around. The question is whether other vehicles may begin to be more appealing. It would be interesting to see a comeback of the station wagon. When so many automakers virtually eliminated them, people needing room for family or cargo had little choice but to go the SUV route. I also suspect that aging boomers will find cars more appealing, although these will not be Honda Civics. They will go for the big cars.
    I recently sold my 1978 (very reliable) SUV and am in the market for a station wagon. I just think it is silly to pay $29,000 for a new station wagon. I want safety, reliabilty and durablity and I have decided an old Volvo Wagon fits the bill. Finding one in the Midwest is hard because the people that own them keep them until they die or the car dies.

    When you quit worrying about what your neighbors and friends will think and accept that you are a SW man it gets easier. SWPRIDE!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    El Guapo !!!

    El Guapo:

    I am shocked at the personal attacks. I dare you to find one of my posts where I ever mention "nuclear" anything. If you find one, it's clearly fabricated by the host of this chat.

    I suggest you read a little about economics. Do the terms "negative externatities" or "market failures" ring a bell? In fact, the entire notion of zoning is based on negative externalities that exist between conflicting land uses, which appear to me to be less tangible than the costs to society. The effects of these negative externalities are reflected in the sacred "property values" that come up at every public hearing.

    Yes, there are gas taxes, but they don't come close to meeting the true costs of gasoline usage. That's why we have the plethora of Federal regulations to counter our lack of political will to mitigate the harmful effects of gasoline use.

    I'm not a psychotic tree hugger. And "yes" there will always be those who can prescribe to "excessive consumerism" but the number of those who can entire that market is reduced when price is reflective of true costs.

    El Guapo, I have always loved your witty style, but I'm disappointed that you would single me out for treatment. Might I remind you, that opinions are like ***holes, everyone's got one. So let me bear mine as you bear your's.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Capitalism

    Capitalism only truly exists where there are no subsidies, it's called economic anarchy.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Re: El Guapo !!!

    Whoa _ Didn't mean to go personal Let me re-read. If I did let me appologize right now.

    Ok - I have re-read my post. I should have been clearer in my use of "you." I meant to address all rage-against choice positions. But it was truly not a personal attack. I enjoy your perspective. Please accept this as an offer of good will out of respect. But I stand by my arguments and I have yet to see these "true costs."

    I know what negative externalities are and there are some involved in having human life above the surface. We could grow hemp, make blankets, and live in harmony with mother earth, but a damn sight fewer people would survive infancy.

    Budgie - you personally enjoy the luxury of being able to live in harmony with mother earth to a ripe old age here in NA and promote these good ideas. However, it took a huge logistics train of negative externalities to put you there. Kemina in Mogadishu doesn't have that option.

    Yes, Brian I am trying to grow.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by El Guapo

    When you quit worrying about what your neighbors and frineds will think and accept that you are a SW man it gets easier.
    That has many applications innlife beyong station wagons, my friend.

    And Budgie - I read it as not being an attack on you, but I can see how you got that impression from EG's post.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    You Guys ?

    El Guapo:

    Who are the "you guys" you are referring to? You lost me here? Who is Tom Hayden? Maybe I don't watch enough sitcoms to know what this means.

    Need I remind you that your very livelihood is based in part on regulating and subsidizing as is your salary. Let's just drop the "free market" and "democracy" references because they don't exist.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Choice ?

    At what point is choice being threatened in my comments? Please enlighten me !!!!!

    Making a choice implies that full knowledge of the options exists. Price is part of knowledge and if the price is not representative of the true costs, an educated choice can not be made. Freedom of choice is central to my argument and might I say of the entire economic thought of capitalism. Central to capitalism is "knowledge" reflected in price. Did those owning Enron Stock have full knowledge? NO !!!!!!!!!!! Are SUV and gas purchasers being given knowledge of the true costs? I don't think so. What would happen if tomorrow all farm subsidies were taken out of the "fair market"? You'd have to shift you resources from excessive automobiles to food, that's assuming you didn't get laid off due to the shock the economy would go through when the subsidies are yanked out from under you.

    Rebuttal, please !!!

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