Editors Note: This guest post was contributed by Charley Territo, spokesperson for the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers, in an effort encourage better dialogue between the auto industry and the environmental movement. Charley also contributed a guest post on Grist on May 20. I asked him to weigh in on a question I’ve had for a long time: How can automakers like GM complain that consumers only want to buy big cars when they spend hundreds of thousands advertising brands like Hummer? Here is his response. Feel free to weigh in with your own comments below.
For years it’s been assumed that, using their superior marketing skills, automakers have the ability to trick consumers into buying SUVs and pickup trucks…when, in reality, the consumers really only
wanted to buy compact cars. While that’s probably quite flattering to the marketing departments, it doesn’t have the important benefit of actually being correct.
Current events are now allowing people to see more clearly the greater force at work driving consumer demand: Gas prices.