How Much Is $2,000 Worth To You?

 Lo and behold, the sales of big SUV's are dropping. People are considering the price of gas when making vehicle purchases, yet overall, SUV sales continue to rise. People are just choosing smaller SUV's, or opting for a V6 instead of a V8. What I find interesting about this article is what some people consider a "gas guzzler.

 The first example is someone who wanted a big SUV, then settled for a Toyota 4Runner. Not exactly the most efficient vehicle out there. Then there's the guy who wanted a Toyota Sequoia, but decided on a Toyota Sienna. Why? "It's not a gas guzzler" was the response, and yet the Sienna gets 19 MPG in city driving.

 Somehow I think the SUV is going to survive our "fuel crisis", stronger than ever.

$2.00 Gas Is No Big Deal

$nbsp;While the price of gasoline continues to climb, it could be worse. Consider what drivers in Japan have to contend with...

>Average cost of mandatory driving school is $3,000.

>It is mandatory to obtain a garage or a space to park your car and register that space with the local police station. Average cost id $300 a month.

>Every 2 years your car must undergo a mandatory inspection process that can cost upwards of $3,000.

>Car taxes are due every year and are based on either the weight of the vehicle or the engine displacement. Cost varies from $500-$1,000.

It's The End Of The World

 There's a Mitsubishi Montero that inhabits one of the parking spaces close to my apartment. It's a damn fine looking vehicle, brutish and big, and it has a presence that many a sedan lacks. You notice the Montero, a predator among the sheepish Camrys and Accords that mull around the parking lot.

 It will probably never venture off the paved highways and romp through the wildlands of Tennessee, and logocally a mini-van would have fulfilled the owner's needs better, but logic always fails when it comes to the defining characteristic of the American consumer, passion.

 There's a lot of buzz going around about the rising cost of gasoline, and how that's going to impact the automotive world. It's having an effect, but cruising around the auto internet gives you the impression that America's love affair with SUV's is about to collapse and we're all going to start driving Honda Insights and Toyota Prius'. It ain't gonna happen.

 Passion has to be thrown into the mix, otherwise we would be in the middle of a mini-van craze rather than an SUV craze. People have been buying SUV's because that is what they want, what they desire. Yes, large SUV's are going to take a hit with rising fuel costs, but to say that the dominance of SUV's has already come to an end is jumping the gun. Smaller, more fuel-efficint models will gain in popularity, the process of basing models off car vs. truck platforms will continue, and mileage across the board will increase.

 SUV's are at a bump in the road, not a roadblock.

No So Titan?

 The sales results for the Nissan Titan are out, and it has not met sales expectations. Instead of capturing 5% of the market, it now stands at about 2.6%. So is the Titan a failure? Absolutely not.

 Like anything worth doing, it's going to take time for the Titan to hit it's stride. The truck is supremely capable, and unlike the Toyota Tundra, it's out the gate full-sized and with a V8. So why the weak start?

 There's a reason that full-size trucks are the last bastion of the domestic automakers. For a long time there were no other choices. While full-size truck customers seem to be lmore loyal than car buyers, I believe that's more from a lack of choices in the market.

 There's nowhere left for the domestic's to hide. The Titan is here, and a new, larger Tundra is on the way. It's not going to be a dramatic changing of fates, but change is on it's way. If the big three think that the loyalty of their customers are going to keep them competitive, then they haven't been paying attention the last thirty years.
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