Gas prices have fallen so folks are back to buying SUVs.

I recently wondered aloud in another thread if the suddenly lower gas prices we’ve been experiencing—I just paid $1.95 a gallon to fill up yesterday—would cause the idiots in our populace to start buying gas guzzlers again. It was a stupid thing to question because it was pretty much a given that it would:

Despite the down economy, falling gas prices have driven consumers back to the sport utility vehicles they once gave the cold shoulder.

Workers at General Motor’s Arlington, Texas, SUV assembly plant began working overtime this month and are scheduled to remain on overtime for the rest of the year.

The plant, which employs 2,500 workers, is now the only GM factory building full-size sport utility vehicles like the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade.

Although sales of the vehicles are still down overall, they have rebounded in recent weeks as gas prices have fallen and cash-strapped automakers have slashed prices. The vehicles have proven to be a solid source of revenue for GM.

“We’re still on overtime,” plant spokeswoman Wendi Sabo told The Dallas Morning News. “Nothing has changed.”

While that’s certainly good news for General Motors, as they’re in dire enough straits at the moment that they’ll be lucky to survive through next summer, it’s still a pretty disheartening thing to see happen. It just backs up my cynical side’s viewpoint that too many people are idiots. I’m not sure why gas prices are this low at the moment, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them rebound by the time next summer rolls around, if not sooner. A lot of people will be kicking themselves in the ass when that happens.

12 thoughts on “Gas prices have fallen so folks are back to buying SUVs.

  1. And in fifty summers or so, a lot of people will be wanting to kick those SUV owners in the ass too, for having done their part to screw up the world, but it will be too late.

  2. Buying an SUV now means betting on a prolonged and severe global recession, if not depression. In other words, the sooner the global economy recovers, the sooner we’ll see gas prices to meet or exceed the pre-“bailout” levels.

    Or perhaps Americans are just plain stupid and can’t think more than a day or two ahead.

  3. Or perhaps Americans are just plain stupid and can’t think more than a day or two ahead.

    I think you’re dead on.

    These morons who snap up the gas guzzlers are either too stupid or too insecure (“a big car will make me feel like a big person!”)—or both—to see what’s coming.

    Mark my words, they will be the first to cry when the prices start going up.

    I will enjoy drinking their sweet, sweet tears.

  4. I will never understand the thoughts behind buying a gas guzzling SUV (especially since there are smaller models not much bigger than a car with gas mileage comparable to a smaller car in some cases)…I mean…to me it doesn’t matter if the gas is $.10 a gallon, I don’t want to waste my money on gasoline!  I have bills to pay!

    On a related note, a few years back when I lived in GA my housemate had a Durango…she spent about $40 a WEEK in gas just doing normal stuff like work.  God forbid she actually have to drive somewhere else…I decided then that I wasn’t going to waste my money.  That is why we still have our paid of tiny Saturn even though it is almost too small for all 4 of us…just not worth buying a bigger car and wasting money.

  5. larger cars (not trucks) tend to be safer (in crashes) than smaller cars. otherwise larger vehicles are a loss. anyone who buys suvs now should buy one of the used ones that have been idled by higher fuel costs.
    i guess gm won’t need that bailout grin

    and hmm, where in the USA is gas 1.90/gal??
    a few years ago a guy at the gas pumps said he was paying $60 to partly fill his suburban. gassed up twice a week. couldn’t stand to shoot more money in one shot.

  6. Gas was $2.27 a gallon when I started work this morning.  I can’t help but feel pity for whoever it is that’s buying these cars. They’re either delusional in thinking that these gas prices are going to stay like this or their desperate.  What I can’t figure out is who is buying new SUV’s.  There are so many sitting on used car lots what on earth could GM be thinking in building new ones?

  7. Too many people with the attention-spans of gnats. How quickly we have forgotten the $4 we paid just a few months ago. All it takes is for someone to blow up a pipeline in Nigeria, or a new skirmish to flare up in an oil-producing region to hoist the prices back up.

    And those are just the economic factors.

  8. The global economic down turn will have the effect of reducing global demand and thereby keeping the cost of gas lower for longer, however in the medium to long term there isn’t much doubt which direction gas prices are going.

    [url=http://www.energybulletin.net/node/32721]A revolutionary report on the future of oil[/email].

    A person can only hope that Mr Obama’s policies will have an impact:

    I’ll help our auto companies retool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. And I’ll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars.

    not only for the health of the US auto market but for the well being of the environment too.

  9. I’d have to call bullshit.  Gas prices haven’t been down long enough for Ford or GM to notice people are buying SUVs more at all much less blame low gas prices for it.

    Both companies have been dissing hybrids from day 1 even when Toyota began selling more than they could build.  They’ll jump at any excuse to say “Told you so”

    The fact is, both Ford and GM are still circling the drain.  I’d need some more evidence before I’ll be willing to say people are going back to the gas guzzlers.  More likely, the culprit is that auto-makers are making more fuel efficient SUVs and people are willing to buy those rather than the old ones that got 12 and 14mpg.

    In any case, gas prices aren’t going to be this low for long.  Oil prices are down because the economy is tanking.  When the economy turns around, look for oil to go back through the roof, probably faster than it did the first time.  I plan to make a bundle of money when that happens too.

  10. In other words, the sooner the global economy recovers, the sooner we’ll see gas prices to meet or exceed the pre-“bailout” levels.

    Interesting nugget I gleaned from somwhere – because oil prices are currently so low, exploration efforts to find new sources have also fallen off massively too. So once the demand picks up again, there may be a double-whammy waiting in the wings, because even successful exploration takes years and years before it actually leads to more oil on the market.

  11. Personally, I hope gas prices (and oil prices) go up and severely out of control.  We’ve only gotten this far because of the economic impact of high gas prices.  The environmental issue has had almost no impact.  The auto-makers have been fighting regulation ever since the 80’s and until last year, they were winning.

    From now on, anything that raises the price of gas is my friend.

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