Friday, June 20, 2008

Winds of change motoring down Main Street

The model of car that my Wife drives is considered sporty.

At least, that's what the manufacturer labeled it. And by bolting on some aero body kits parts, front air dam, a rear spoiler and a few well placed and colorful badges, the car company was able to jack up the price in an attempt to capture both the youth market as well as the buyers who wanted an econo import sedan that didn't look so much like an Avis rental.

My Wife bought this car off the lot when we needed to replace our old family truckster that met it's demise at the hands of a 16-year old on Easter Sunday a few years back.

She's been giggly over the 42-mpg (highway) mileage she gets on her 100 mile-a-day commute, with her only complaint being the increasing number of people who almost daily ask her if she was interested in selling her car.

When gas prices started climbing in earnest a year or two ago, we even started seeing a few more of these sporty little sedans around our small town. The elementary school principal's wife bought one (California transplants, like us). The mother of PK's 4th grade reader/mentor at her school bought one (again, California transplants). Recently, another one showed up in the parking lot of the church 2 blocks down and around the corner from us...with Washington state plates on it.

Three years ago when we moved to our small town, I could count on my fingers and toes the number of small, econo boxes that I'd see buzzing around town...most of which were either Dodge Neons, Chevy Cavaliers or Pontiac Grand Am (2-doors). Trucks and SUV's outnumbered the small sedans by such a significant margin that it wasn't even worth mentioning.

That has slowly begun to change and I'm wondering what, oh what pray tell, could be the cause of such a transition.

Just this morning, an acquaintance of ours that works at one of the large Toyota dealerships in the city was telling us in confidence (so of course, I blog about it), that the local mandate from Toyota corporate has stated in no uncertain terms, that they are not, repeat, NOT to take in any domestic SUVs or Trucks as trade-ins.

Which may explain why we're seeing a lot more Trucks and SUVs with "For Sale" signs on them, parked in the "Off-Off-Broadway Used Car Lot" that is our now abandoned old school WalMart.

Heck, I even saw a couple Prius' motoring down Main Street...very quietly.


Malaise Inc said...

I love my deisel pickup, but $4.50 a gallon and 18 mpg, is just too painful. I drive the truck when I need it to haul something. Beyond that, I've taken to using my wife's former car, a 93 Civic with a broken air conditioner and a dodgy suspension, for pretty much all my driving needs.

Gone Green said...

I myself purchased a used 07 Prius a mere week ago. Had a hardy $26,500 price tag on it. That is $3,000 above the MSRP of a new one. There is a 3-6 month wait list and a hearty deposit required for a new one.It has saved me nearly $500 a month on my 200 mile round trip daily commute for a mere $200 more a month in car payments.

route66news said...

Pretty soon, you'll see sales such as this one:

"Buy one SUV, get one free!"

OKDad said...

Saw an H2 Hummer on the side of the highway the other day with "19 MPG" painted on the windshield in bold yellow letters, next to the For Sale sign.

Guess the Toyota dealer wouldn't teke it as a trade-in.