Need proof that America is weening itself off conspicuous oil consumption? Look no further than your local GM dealer. Once there, you’ll find the Buick brand enjoying something of a revival, and – over at the Chevy dealer – you’ll find that GM’s Volt is selling out across the country, and Chevy’s 40 mpg Cruze is selling in huge numbers (the car topped US sales in June), but GM’s trucks? Not so much.
Mark Frost, general manager of Jim Ellis Chevrolet in Atlanta, explained that dealers “thought that this year would bring back the kind of economic activity that would translate into us selling more trucks.” Now, however, dealerships like Frost’s are sitting with over 122 days of inventory, which translates to over 280,000 unsold Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups parked on dealers’ lots – enough (even by GM’s projections) to last through November. Full-sized SUVs don’t look much better. “It’s not happening,” he said.
So, what do you think? Are we seeing a real, honest-to-goodness tuning point in American car-buying habits? Are Americans finally evolving beyond our obsession with oversized vehicles and equating size with status and wealth, or is this just a temporary sign of the $4-per-gallon times?
Let us know what you think, in the comments.