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The America SUV Myth

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posted on Jun, 8 2008 @ 11:12 AM
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Time and again I see comments made on ATS and on the internet in general about Americans and their SUVs. There seems to be this foolish notion back up by zero facts that all or most of the US citizens own SUVs. And yet when presented with the truth, people continue to ignore the facts. And my question is why? It takes very little searching on the internet to prove the SUV myth to be not only be false but in fact far from the truth. In my opinion its time to set down some facts on ATS once and for all. It is time for people outside of the US to do a little fact finding. Everyone is obviously free to have their own opinions but it is important to back up such views with facts.

The US is made up of a variety of environments unlike many countries in Europe. So the need for a variety of vehicles is also important. I live in the Midwest where the bigger cities tend to be spread out over large distances. My town is a farming community where trucks are a must and going to town means driving a half hour or longer. Many streets in my town are dirt roads and there is one traffic light used only for the schools. I live in tornado alley which means the weather can get pretty rough with hail the size of golf balls and yes even baseballs. You can image the damage that is done to cars and homes. In the big cities generally on the either coasts smaller cars tend to rule the streets like in Europe. That's not to say there aren't any trucks or SUVs they just tend to be in the minority. In the snow belt near the great lakes the winter weather can get pretty rough so you are better off driving some kind of all wheel drive or four wheel drive vehicle other wise you tend to get stuck. The same goes for the various mountainous regions.

With all that being said, let's list the top 10 vehicles sold in the US for years, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. Notice that SUVs are not the top vehicles sold in the US. In fact SUVs only show up in tenth place for the years of 2005 and 2007.


2004:

Car First-half 2004 sales Base price
• Ford F-Series 432,969 $19,920
• Chevrolet Silverado 322,907 $19,485
• Dodge Ram pickup 223,609 $20,365
• Toyota Camry 213,625 $19,560
• Honda Accord 192,106 $16,390
• Ford Explorer 168,059 $23,690
• Honda Civic 162,483 $13,500
• Ford Taurus 144,035 $20,320
• Chevrolet Impala 139,460 $22,395
• Dodge Caravan 131,367 $18,995

2005:

1. Ford F-Series (includes F-150, F-250 Super Duty and F-350 Super Duty) — 901,463
2. Chevrolet Silverado (includes 1500, 1500 Classic, 1500 SS, 1500 SS Classic, 1500HD, 1500HD Classic, 2500HD, 2500HD Classic, 3500, 3500 Classic) — 705,891
3. Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid and Camry Solara — 433,703
4. Dodge Ram (includes 1500, 1500 SRT-10, 2500 and 3500) — 400,453
5. Honda Accord — 369,293
6. Honda Civic — 308,415
7. Nissan Altima — 255,371
8. Chevrolet Impala — 246,481
9. Chevrolet Malibu — 245,861
10. Chevrolet TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer EXT — 244,150

2006:

1. Ford F-Series (includes F-150, F-250 Super Duty and F-350 Super Duty) — 796,039
2. Chevrolet Silverado (includes 1500, 1500 Classic, 1500 SS Classic, 1500HD Classic, 2500HD, 2500HD Classic, 3500HD, 3500 Classic — 636,069
3. Toyota Camry and Camry Solara — 448,445
4. Dodge Ram (includes 1500, 2500 and 3500) — 364,177
5. Honda Accord — 354,441
6. Toyota Corolla — 318,123
7. Honda Civic — 316,638
8. Chevrolet Impala — 289,868
9. Nissan Altima — 232,457
10. Chevrolet Cobalt — 211,449

2007:

1. Ford F-150 (588,952 models) - DOWN 12.5% from last year
2. Chevrolet Silverado (526,575) - DOWN 2.4%
3. Toyota Camry (398,868) - UP 6.4%
4. Honda Accord (332,815) - UP 10.2%
5. Toyota Corolla/Matrix (317,796) - DOWN 4.0%
6. Honda Civic (278,764) - UP 2.2%
7. Chevrolet Impala (270,504) - UP 12.6%
8. Nissan Altima (239.800) - UP 26.6%
9. Dodge Ram (214,569) - DOWN 29.3%
10. Honda CR-V (184,003) - UP 34.9%




posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:30 AM
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reply to post by EndOfFile
 


Good thread. I think "SUV-driving" is just one of a long list of anti-American adjectives that roll off of some peoples' tongues. It really is quite stupid.

Whether people like it or not, the US (and Canada) are huge countries with sprawling communities and it's just not feasible to walk, bike, or even take transit for most people, unlike in Europe. So even if people don't drive a gas guzzler, they still have to drive for some minutes and it's ridiculous to expect someone to commute more than 5 seconds in a Smart fortwo. If you have to be stuck in traffic with the other jerks commuting or driving down a rutted gravel road just to make a living, don't you deserve to do so in at least the modest comfort of a mid-sized car?



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:40 AM
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reply to post by sc2099
 


No one doubts you need certain cars for certain terrains/lifestyles.

Too often though you see a city street packed with these fuel guzzlers...

Hell its even happening here in Perth,

Our city is tiny, yet American Hummers, Ford F250's are common.

This is another example of someone bad said about America's worldy habbits taken in the wrong context meaning EVERY American must do this.

Wrong, there's American's driving SUV's in CITIES, chowing down copious amounts of Mcdonalds while parading the ''Bush/Cheney'' election stickets STILL on their bumpers.

I think the figure's around 30%?

I like to look at it this way

America started a war for Oil, because it needed more and more like a junkie.
There's many types of people in this country

one type, '' what i described above '' reflects badly on the rest.
Yet, no one bothers to do a damn thing about it, thus it becomes a
'' either to ignorant to see the problem, or to cowardly to change it ''

issue...



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:43 AM
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I own an SUV actually and live in America. A Suburban I am ashamed to say. The next step above a Hummer.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:47 AM
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haha The only vehicles I see in NM are trucks and SUVs.

I think most people use the SUV term to refer to the American attitude. It's true us Americans always gotta get the bigger better thing.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:02 AM
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My take on the (former) SUV explosion is the psychological change in the drivers in general. Back in the 60's and 70's life was slower. Less cars on the road. People were 'friendlier' in general and road rage was not a common adjective. As people became more and more aggressive and unforgiving out on the roads, soccer Moms and short white guys
everywhere had to have an suv. It is safer in general. Except for the explorer blowout tire thing. And the roll over thing. Any suvs made should be mandated anti stupid system. Vehicle stabilization control. It's extra on many.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:05 AM
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Originally posted by jpm1602
soccer Moms and short white guys
everywhere had to have an suv.


Lol! That was great.


I got my Suburban when gas was only $1.50 a gallon and I got it because I needed something big to haul my studio and sound equipment around in for shows. So its not just having one just to have one, ya see.

[edit on 6/9/2008 by Mad_Hatter]



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:07 AM
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Yeah, thats our general impression too theendisnear69,

'' bigger is better, yes it may be worse for all other inhabitants of this world for me to drive a petrol guzzling, air polluting MUSCLE CAR, but screw em, i like it big ''

I laugh when i see those same fools unable to afford drinks with friends, unable to eat nice food, or being abused by their girl because theyd rather fill up the tank of this muscle car, than take them to dinner.


hehehe, ahh its the small things!



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:13 AM
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Sorry Hatter. Not calling you short. Of course some have larger vehicles for necessity. Although (dare I say it) a nice 6cyl windstar might suffice. Truth is you see a lot of people carrying their little three bags out of the mall and jump into hummers etc. I am probably being a heretic here. I bought a 99 gs 400 lexus in 2002 at a good deal. Now where the heck am I going 187 mph? No where. You know how much those z rated tires they always try to talk me into? Almost 3 bills apiece.
But it does get 22/30 mph.


[edit on 6/9/2008 by jpm1602]



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:17 AM
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Originally posted by jpm1602
Sorry Hatter. Not calling you short. Of course some have larger vehicles for necessity. Although (dare I say it) a nice 6cyl windstar might suffice. Truth is you see a lot of people carrying their little three bags out of the mall and jump into hummers etc.


Oh I'm totally lookin to trade the Suburban. Don't get me wrong. I just don't really know what to get because I like the size cuz it's big enough to fit all of my equipment and sometimes my artists.
I just don't know what there is that is around the same size and uses less gas.

Oh and your tires woes don't compare to mine. My tires cost $400 a piece. 24 inch tires are NOT cheap my friend. So I definitely know how you feel there.

[edit on 6/9/2008 by Mad_Hatter]



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:19 AM
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reply to post by jpm1602
 


Back in the 60s and 70s most cars on the road were frickin huge, so why would any manufacturer make an SUV when cars already fulfilled the need for a vehicle big enough to haul your family, your family's luggage, and your pets while making you feel safe at the same time? Cars started to get smaller in the 70s with the gas shortage and then just got microscopic from there (in general, not to say there aren't still big cars). So SUVs were manufactured to replace the defunct huge sedan, station wagon, and (not mini) van.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:21 AM
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reply to post by Mad_Hatter
 


Yeah if you hurry a dealer will give you a bag of wampum and some rotten apples for that suburban.
If it's paid for your best bet is to swap in an engine that gets better mileage, like a cummins turbodiesel.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:22 AM
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You look like a Cali guy. Just wondering. The suburban has a 40? gallon tank. What's a fill up for you? It's got to be killing you!



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:24 AM
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reply to post by Agit8dChop
 


So what do you want people to "do about it"?

Plus, I really don't see what someone's political leanings have to do with their car of choice. Plenty of Liberal Democrat soccer moms drive Yukon Denalis too to haul the brats around.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:24 AM
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Originally posted by Agit8dChop
reply to post by sc2099
 



Yet, no one bothers to do a damn thing about it, thus it becomes a
'' either to ignorant to see the problem, or to cowardly to change it ''

issue...



This isn't a jab but a legitimate question.
What do you propose we do?
I know people are pushing for laws and regulations requiring more fuel efficient vehicles but that doesn't happen overnight. Is there something else that can be done? Defacing someone else's property isn't right or legal...not gonna do that. Other than the slow process of changing laws and regulations I don't see how else to do much. Also, how do we exempt people who truly need larger more durable vehicles?



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:26 AM
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45 gallon tank...and right about now it costs me around $150 to fill up completely. But I never fill it completely, just half way. Gas is way to expensive to fill up all the way.


A big bag of wampum...lol... it's paid for, I can still get a good deal for a trade in because believe it or not, I AM in America. There are still those short dudes that need their humongous trucks to drive around in.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:38 AM
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reply to post by Mad_Hatter
 


Yeah I just read a news story that said residual trade in value for pickups and suvs was down 15% this year from the year before. So lots of people are now upside down in their car loans because dealers won't give them much of anything. So it's a good thing it's paid off. Even if people still need them, they may or may not be able to afford to drive them next week. Haha those moms are going to have to pile those kids into the accord.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:44 AM
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reply to post by mysterychicken
 


That's exactly what I'm saying. What do people propose be done? If it's acknowledged that people do need a certain vehicle for a certain lifestyle then it's hardly fair to curtail their right to own it. And even if someone only wants a vehicle because it's safer or more comfortable, how is it moral to curtail their right to buy whatever they can afford?

Ahh, some will say that pollution infringes on others' rights, and it does, but what truly can be done about it? What can be done about some factory in China dumping crap into the rivers which feed into the ocean and poison fish I want to eat. Conversely, what can be done about the batteries from my cellphone polluting the groundwater when I'm done with it? To abolish factories and cell phones would undeniably be a step backward.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 02:09 AM
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Strike!
If 10% of the American population didnt go to work, and instead walked the streets refusing to move demanding open and fair enquiries into the Bush ADMIN, it would cause a panic.

Hell, get 10% of the population to DC and become a gridlocked people jam

do something, anything is better than following this fool into oblivion.

Its merely 2 men, 2 mortal men who pretend they are invincible, and until you stop being cowards and take on your leaders they will be.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 02:51 AM
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Well, the truckers already took to the WH. We stared at the tv chomping at fritos and shrugged. Then people are eating mac and cheese and not buying meat. Now people can't afford to drive to work!!!
I think the revol is coming. And coming soon. Tipping point needle is at 60 percent dropping fast.
Just remembered, my phd brother and I was talking about this months ago.
His thoughts were new near zero point is either here or close. OPEC is trying to bleed everyone while the getting is good.

[edit on 6/9/2008 by jpm1602]



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