A month of gasoline prices near $4 a gallon was enough to sour Americans’ long love affair with trucks and sport utility vehicles, pushing them back into sedans — and driving Detroit’s automakers into deeper trouble.
U.S. sales results released Tuesday showed cars outselling gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs by almost 200,000 in May — the biggest margin since 1996. That was bad news for U.S. automakers, whose lineups are heavily skewed toward large, inefficient vehicles, but a boon to their car-focused Asian rivals.
General Motors posted a sales drop of about 27% from a year earlier and said it would close four truck plants, prepare its Hummer brand for a possible sale and focus on making smaller cars. Chrysler’s 25.4% sales decline put it behind Honda in monthly sales for the first time.
And, after 17 years, Ford’s F-Series trucks were dethroned from the top sales position, falling to No. 5 behind the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
“I think it’s a watershed moment,” said Jim Farley, head of marketing at Ford.
For the month, overall vehicle sales in the U.S. were 1.4 million, down 8.4% from a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp. Based on the May sales rate, the industry is on pace to sell just 14.3 million vehicles this year in the U.S. In 2007, total sales were 16.1 million.
For nearly a decade, Americans bought more light trucks — a segment that includes pickups, SUVs and minivans — than cars. But starting in March, cars edged ahead. The gap widened in April, and in May, 193,559 more cars than light trucks were sold.
Now, I know this isn’t good news for the U.S. auto industry. But really, can these folks see the handwriting on the wall? It’s been writing for a while now and the trend towards more fuel efficient vehicles started a long, long time ago. (Granted, GM has finally gotten the message.) Even government subsidies via tax breaks haven’t been able to help SUV sales, which have been falling for over a year already. And even members of the House have to chose fuel efficient, low-emissions vehicles when they’re leasing them on the taxpayer’s dime.
This probably won’t change much. People will still be pissed off at Prius owners. (After all, if those hybrid-driving yuppies had bought SUVs like good Americans, then demand would be up and they’d make even more of them.) And those guys who have something to prove with their choice of cars can moan about the demise of manly vehicles and the feminization of American auto culture.
Think I’m kidding? Let me refresh your memory.
From the title that blared “castration” to the invocation of Charlton Heston as a symbol of masculinity, I could almost see the writer crossing his legs with anxiety as he wrote.
I am old enough to remember when the word “Cadillac” was synonymous with success. It was the ultimate masculine status symbol.
A recent Cadillac commercial sells cars to feminists as a symbol of their success in degrading and humiliating men.
It’s part of an ongoing Psychological Operation waged by the London-based central banking cartel designed to destroy heterosexuality and the family. The bankers perceive real men as a threat to their plan for world government tyranny. General Motors and other multinationals are all singing from the banker’s homosexual/lesbian songbook. The commercial (entitled “Khakis”) depicts white males scurrying like mice at the appearance of the office cat. To a chorus of “Here Comes Success” a young woman strides confidently through the office intimidating the young slackers who are in various states of idleness.
In one office, a man smells his armpit. Another man is doing Tai Chi. Another takes his feet off his desk. Another is eating. Another throws up his arms in submission. There is no way to impress her; she is unattainable. While they include minorities, there is not one women in the ranks of these slackers!
The young goddess finds herself alone in an elevator with a male co-worker. When she says, “Hi Chris,” the pen in his pocket spurts ink, suggesting he cannot contain his excitement. Premature ejaculation = impotence.
The goddess notices and smirks. In the next scene, she is driving away in her Cadillac. She thinks about Chris and laughs triumphantly. It is not enough that she is “successful”; the satisfaction is in lording it over men.
Anyway, for guys mourning the loss of all of the above. Here’s something to remember it all by.
Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself.