July 04, 2006

Gas prices hammer sales of inefficient vehicles

High gas prices are once again driving a shift to fuel-efficient vehicles, and away from gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs. The automakers who rode the addiction to big, inefficient vehicles are now seeing drops in their profits. Meanwhile, Toyota, maker of the Prius and Camry hybrids, had a record month, with sales up 14.4% "Fuel-efficient products continue to drive the market, even as consumers are likely becoming acclimated to today's fuel prices," Jim Lentz, Toyota executive vice president said in a statement. "Buyers are turning to hybrids and smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles as a hedge against future uncertainty." Pickup truck sales latest victim of high US gasoline prices - Yahoo! News

Sales of Ford's best selling SUV, the Explorer, dropped 36% in June. Expedition sales were off 46%. "There's no question that higher gas prices have hurt demand for these products," said Ford sales analyst George Pipas, Ford, Chrysler June auto sales down - Yahoo! News

AP story with details on 22 automakers sales comparisons June 2005 to June 2006: June 2006 U.S. Auto Sales: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Like a junkie hooked on heroin, auto makers addicted to the big profits selling what Harry Pearce, vice chairman of GM, called "pigs" as he was leaving a press conference in August 2000: "If pigs are big and popular, I guess we'll make pigs." High and Mighty: SUVs -- The World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way

Will it be long before they are looking for a bailout from the American taxpayer? Senator Obama and others want a commitment to more efficient vehicles if they do. Unintended Consequences: Senator Obama on Health Care for Hybrids


Posted by dougsimpson at July 4, 2006 05:51 PM