Malcom Gladwell on the SUV Phenomenon

This post was written by jd on June 13, 2007
Posted Under: Environment

Malcom Gladwell is one of the funnier and more interesting writers of our time. His book “The Tipping Point” is one of my favorites. His recent article from the New Yorker, “Big and Bad” is a fascinating look at the history and marketing of SUVs, why people like them, and what the auto manufacturers have learned about how to make and sell them, to satisfy our craving for them.

When John wrote the article below, Gas Prices Too High? it brought home that, in a roomy and comfortable Prius, a 3,500 mile drive he took on his recent vacation cost him all of $249 in gas (at an average $3.35 gallon).

In an area where many people (my wife included) commute to Roseville or Sacramento, or beyond to get those perpetually necessary paychecks, the result is quite a financial squeeze if you don’t own efficient vehicles. What’s the point of getting a higher paycheck if it is eaten up by the commute to work?

There are plenty of reasons for big powerful vehicles. Towing and hauling is a real requirement for many people. But you should really read Gladwell’s article to see why people REALLY buy SUVs.

It’s a hoot. 

This article posted by Richard Webster

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