Goodbye Trucks and SUVs; Hello Gas Saving… Geo Metro?

Geo GM Ford MashupCould it be that Americans are finally warming up to the idea that life doesn’t revolve around how good your car looks and that putting food on the table is more important than driving an SUV? I mean really, it’s about time, no? The pundits have been saying it for the past year, but it looks like the prediction that the average American would rather eat than spend money on fuel is finally coming true. Not only that, it’s coming in droves.

Last week Ford announced that sales of its pickups and SUVs have plummeted to the point that they will be cutting production of these vehicles a total of 32-43% by the fourth quarter of this year. This comes after a similar announcement by GM at the beginning of the month to cut 138,000 units of pickups and SUVs from their production through the end of the year. Holy cow, maybe the free market does work? Meanwhile, sales of the Ford Focus have risen 29% in the first four months of this year, used SUVs are sitting around rusting, and 12-year-old Geo Metros are selling on eBay for $7,300. Not only that, sales of hybrids now account for more than 3% of all vehicles sold in the US. Although that number may seem tiny, it’s huge compared to where it was just a couple years ago.

Not only does this news bode well for the future resale value of my 2007 Toyota Yaris (aw heck, I’ll put it out there now — red Yaris sedan for sale: $40,000 — already loaded with dings), it could indicate that the US is at a threshold where, in the future, a car like this might actually be considered the pinnacle of cool by Joe Schmoe down at the local diner. Unlikely, I know, but then again, eight years ago I thought the US would destroy the world under the unbearable weight of an SUV crazed populace. I was more of an idealist then for sure, but these days idealism has become a more realistic proposition and I think the US is finally headed in the right direction.

Related Posts:

Image credits: 1989geometro.com, GM, Ford, the thumbs down is from desi.italy under Creative Commons

 

Nick Chambers

Not your traditional car guy.