SUV Fever Reaches the Point of Idiocy in the US

(posted 9/17/2004) - Many thought the GM-Hummer SUV was the height of conspicious consumption, but Navistar has trumped GM with a new Sport Utility that gets 7-miles per gallon diesel -- the 8-ton CXT shows once again that in the US too much is never enough.

Here's the quote from an Associated Press article out of Dallas: International Truck and Engine Corp. is producing what it calls the world's biggest production pickup, a 14,500-pound monster capable of towing 20 tons. 'It's a super head-turner,' said Ken Wallace, an International dealer in Fort Myers, Fla., who has been driving one for about two weeks. 'Other motorists hang out of their cars to take pictures of it.'

But does anybody really need a vehicle that is nine feet tall, eight feet wide, 21 1/2 feet long and gets about seven miles on a gallon of diesel?

You know everything seems to revolve around extremes in the US. Now that the marketplace is seeing 8+ foot wide by 21+ foot long SUVs while we pay $45 per barrel of crude oil, I predict that the whole super-powerful SUV thing will collapse into itself and self destruct within 2 years.

The public will come to see these beasts not as status symbols and freedom machines, but as an indication of a sheeplike following of fashion for greater horsepower and size bragging rights.

At this point only Ford Motor Company has actually gone in the right direction, producing a hybrid version of their small Escape SUV that gets 36 MPG on regular gas. I suspect the market place will reward them over the next couple of years.