Thursday, May 22, 2008

SUVs bite the dust

First the news told us that there were now a lot of Americans who owed more on their homes than they are worth in today’s market. Well, the bewildering financial news doesn’t end there.

Yesterday I heard a report on TV that said a lot of Americans who have purchased the big gas guzzling SUVs are in the same boat with many home owners. With gas prices rising daily, these SUV owners are trying to dump their gasoline addicted giants as quickly as possible. There is a glut of used and new SUVs on the market now and no one wants them. The prices are dropping rapidly and one dealership has stated he will no longer take an SUV as a trade in. The once status oriented wheels are now automotive albatrosses around their owners neck.

So while some home owners owe more on their homes than they are worth, many SUV owners also owe more on their monsters than they are worth and they can’t afford the gas to keep them running.

In my opinion way too many people traded in common sense for extreme credit and now they have it all but cannot afford to keep or get rid of any of it.


Blogger Fixer said...

Most certainly.

May 22, 2008 3:26 AM  
Blogger fallenmonk said...

I saw the writing on the wall 4 years ago or so and dumped my big car and now have a more economical Hyundai. I miss the big one only on occasion when I have a big load of stuff from Home Depot to get home. I still own a small SUV that Madam drives around town but she maybe puts 30 miles a week on it. It is long ago paid for so it will probably be around for a while. I sure am glad I don't have to keep gas in that Expedition any more.

May 22, 2008 4:05 AM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

I have a friend who has a giant SUV and we have had so many fights over it.

It infuriates me that she is so persistent about why she needs this giant vehicle.

We have not discussed it in awhile, since we don't really want to fight, but I wonder where she is at in terms of her car right now.

It is so selfish. I have a 10 year old paid for and in great condition Honda Civic, getting about 29 MPG city and 35 MPG highway.

And I don't have to drive that much in general.

May 22, 2008 4:14 AM  
Blogger Colonel Colonel said...

It costs how much too fill up that Hummer? $150? so very sad...

May 22, 2008 4:41 AM  
Blogger Mary said...


May 22, 2008 5:30 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

Prices keep rising we'll all be using horse and buggies.

May 22, 2008 5:41 AM  
Blogger niCk (Mem Beth) said...

I'm glad to see the price of gas rising. Time to break the American gas addiction that is destroying the world (enviromently, economically, politically). Now we are at the mercy of countries that supply the "juice" that give the U.S. it's power. We need to be free of those bonds.

May 22, 2008 6:02 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

It's not a good idea to be glad that gas is rising like it is, IMO. We're in uncharted waters and this looming crisis can get so out of control that it won't matter what we drive, because it's possible no one will afford the gas, or it might not be available.
And the cost of living hasn't even begun to reflect gas prices. That's yet to come.

May 22, 2008 6:24 AM  
Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

How can an SUV go down in price? I mean, the cupholder still works and everything!

May 22, 2008 6:53 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Economics. The new X-TREME sport!

The problem with rising gas costs (aside from the rising cost, ha ha) is that as we sort of maybe possibly might kinda wean ourselves off the stuff is that the poor get shafted. $6/gallon to Joe One-Bedroom Shack means a hell of a lot more to John Hedge Fund.

Of course, that's nothing new in human civilization. POP, another martini, please.

May 22, 2008 8:01 AM  
Blogger roger said...

there will be a ton of gas powered toys available soon. boats, rvs, atvs, motorcycles, and trailers to haul them. all the extra crap that people bought with equity loans.

May 22, 2008 8:18 AM  
Blogger Jazz said...


I've also noticed tons of Winnebago-type vehicules with for sale signs on them here in Quebec. I'm thinking not many of them will sell.

May 22, 2008 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm happy to jump on the scorn bandwagon for people who've bitten off more than they can chew, but before we get too busy picking at each other (and by we I mean the working classes and the middle classes), let's remember who the real enemy is. It's the people who are profiting from the high gas prices. They are the real bad guys.

Take, for example, us. We do not own an SUV, but two years ago, when gas prices started to rise, we ditched our minivan, but had to roll the remaining loan into the loan for the small car that I now drive. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do because where we live, we have to drive and gas prices were only increasing.

Now that car payment is killing me along with all the other rising prices.

I think we all make choices that we must live with, but I think it's important for us to realize that if anything is going to improve, it's going to be from the likes of us banding together, not from us enjoying the economic pain of people very much like us.

Sorry to be such a scold, but I think that divide and conquer is such a winning strategy, I hate to see us feed on each other. Let's not kid ourselves. We're the 99 percent. The 1 percent are the enemy.

This is not to say that I think anyone needs an SUV - I detest them and I hate getting stuck behind one, but I think we should remember that we're going to need those SUV drivers,too, to help us create change in this country.

May 22, 2008 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Joe the Troll said...

I looks like a lot of people owe John Edwards an apology. What happened to all those "conservatives" that were going to keep buying SUVs just for spite?

May 22, 2008 9:03 AM  
Blogger annie said...

too many americans think that "stuff" makes you happy. yeah, right.

although i can be considered one of the working poor, i agree that the higher gas costs may be the only way many will think about their driving habits, in gargantuan vehicles that they can't afford.

May 22, 2008 9:43 AM  
Anonymous via said...

Here in Tulsa we are wrangling over how to come up with the millions required to fix our pothole-ridden streets. I think that we should instead use the money to build up public transportation now, while we have the means to do so. I too worry that before long there won't be much fuel available, at any price. Petroleum is far too precious to be squandered on gasoline to power monster vehicles carrying one driver on trips back and forth to the mall or unnecessary plastic water bottles and bags that will clog our waterways forever. Dick Cheney is dead wrong (like he is on everything else) when he says that "the American way of life is non-negotiable". We, like every other living thing planet, are going in the very near future to be doing some hard bargaining with Mother Nature just to stay alive, much less have 3 cars in our driveways.

May 22, 2008 9:44 AM  
Blogger Dr. Know said...

I hate to bring this up, but the writing has been on the wall for 30 years concerning peak oil and our unending, ravinous appetite for the world's finite resources. I really have little mercy for those who chose to ignore these facts and instead bought into the lies propagated by the heinous crack dealers known as Big Oil. Yes, we are all victims, but these people are culpable due to their own short-sighted ignorance.

But cheer up, those huge-ass SUV's will make great housing for the new underclass -- which is all of us.

May 22, 2008 9:56 AM  
Blogger dguzman said...

I too worry about what will happen when it's too expensive to buy the gas to get to work. It's not that far away for low-wage-earners, you know?

May 22, 2008 10:16 AM  
Blogger niCk (Mem Beth) said...

As long as we are sucking on the oil filled tits of Saudi Arabia and other mid-east countries, we will never have true National Security. Its like a choke-hold on the U.S. by countries who don't agree with our way-of-life. We need to be weaned off of this shit. We need to go into oil/gas addicton rehab.

I hope for more expensive gas to get more of those inefficient bloated gas-guzzling vanity vehicles off the road.

Neccessity is the mother of invention. If people can't afford gas to get to work, than find another way. There are alternatives, yes even for the poor and handicapped. Look at Europe for a good example public forms of transport can work, even in rural areas. Lets get away this gas dependence, for our own good.

May 22, 2008 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Uncle Omar said...

A couple of things...first I have thought for a while that if people had to pay cash for gas, instead of putting it on the old credit card, there would be a lot less of it purchased for silly toys such as ATVs, boats, PWCs, etc.. Second, Bushonomics has given us this gift--the dollar is worth half of what it was against the euro at the euro's inception, which means that oil cost the same in euros that it did six years ago. The cost of gas is directly attributable to the deterioration of the dollar. But, don't worry McCain will make sure that the dollar continues to sag and the price of gas continues to go up.

May 22, 2008 1:46 PM  
Blogger an average patriot said...

Sadly this is just beginning! It hit me this morning about the SUV's but in a different regard. many are going to take a hit but my question was in regard to the glut of unsold new ones but you just added millions more. My next door neighbor has two.
What the hell is going to happen to all those vehicles? Can you just write a car off? What happens to them? I can see manufacturers scrapping them and writing them off.

May 22, 2008 3:42 PM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

Houses and SUVs are just the beginning. We will see food costs skyrocket even more than they have already done. We are reaping what George Bush has sown and it's not a very pretty garden. He has left the world a smoldering mess. I had no idea the damage one administration could do in eight years. I thought it would be bad, but not like this.

May 22, 2008 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, I own an SUV. A Jeep. It's paid for, but it's a pain in the ass to keep on the road. So I don't drive it all that much. I take the train to work every day and live only a block from the station, so the $60+ I pay to fill the tank lasts a few weeks. But as a local columnist wrote in our local paper here, Long Island was not designed for mass transportation. If one's destination is not New York City, one must drive. Guess I'll be spending lots more time in NYC with the family.

May 22, 2008 6:47 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

I never did understand SUVs. They're ugly as h*ll and completely unnecessary. They're basically trucks, with the towing capacity of trucks, and four-wheel drive. How many people actually need those things? I don't feel sorry for anyone who is stuck with a gas guzzling SUV. Serves them right!

May 22, 2008 10:40 PM  
Blogger the walking man said...

I had my Jeep Wrangler, did the great North American driving tour in '96 and got rid of it shortly thereafter.

Now we have a '92 Honda civic approaching 300k miles and still giving 30+ miles per when driven correctly and the second is a Honda Odyssey we got for a reasonable price a year ago. While it isn't as fuel efficient it still can give 25+ mile per when driven correctly.

That said, I think the only good thing coming out of the gas price is that people in Detroit are starting to drive less and drive slower. Maintaining better whatever car owned for fuel efficiency. Consistent oil changes and proper tire inflation for another.

But make no bones about it. This oil run up unabated is enriching the House of Saud, bush' true masters, as well as the speculators. Just yesterday the commodity investors took a profit and the cost of oil per bbl dropped three+ dollars. For every barrel Suad sells the profit is well over, I mean well over $100.

What bothers me, mainly because it shows the administrations indifference is that they are not openly or quietly even pushing conservation. Remember Carter in his sweaters telling us to turn the thermostat down and making 55 mph the rule of the highway? Where is the effort today?

No where, why? Even state governments are shirking their duty to lower speed limits. Why? Taxes, taxes! The more gas sold the more taxes into the general and road funds.

The strategy for the consumer is easy. Stop discretionary spending. Get out of debt even if it means walking away from it. My CC is paid off every month and my only open credit bill is my smallish motor home. So far it is not a burden and it sits ready should I choose to use it. But it is the first thing to go if times get to tough, the bank can eat it and I'll take the hit.

Now is not the time for fear, but rather quiet initiatives by the individual consumer.

Get your house in order and find others with the same bent, barter and trade. Get as far off the economic grid as you are able and comfortable with.

For example why spend money for double sewerage on your water bill? With a little effort you can recapture your laundry rinse water, turn the valve to your toilet off and manually flush it with the recaptured water.

Conservation in the small areas equals the investors " a million here, a million there and soon you are talking real money."

We CAN think our way through to the best possible outcome as our society transitions from the credit driven economy of today to the new order of it. Remember the market does not need to rule you, it is better when you, individually and as a collective rule the market.

Get out of debt.


May 23, 2008 2:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What business of yours is it if I want to own and drive an SUV?

May 23, 2008 5:41 AM  
Blogger fairlane said...

If these people had larger penises, there'd be no reason to purchase an SUV in the first place.

Instead of taking it out on the planet, they should blame their parents, and their tiny penis genes.

May 23, 2008 6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fairlane, excellent job of not answering my question in true liberal fashion, but instead resorting to name calling. as expected.
anon 5:41

May 23, 2008 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Joe the Troll said...

No one said anything about you in particular. How could we, when we don't know who you are? You have money to waste making the Saudis, and thus al queda, even richer than rich, go right ahead. You're stuck with it anyway, it seems.

Besides, what business is it of yours what she chooses to write about?

May 24, 2008 4:34 AM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

I agree with Nick on this. Rising gas prices will finally make people wake up and realize they can't keep buying huge gas guzzlers and expecting the supply to be unending and cheap. We didn't learn our lesson in the early 70's - as soon as gas became easily available again and remained relatively cheap, we went back to our old gas guzzling ways. We have had 30 year to get our act together and come up with alternative fuels and perhaps building more mass transit infrasctructure where it is appropriate, but no one did anything. Not Republicans - and not Democrats.

In Europe gas is still 4 times more than it is here. It was $4 a LITER when we were in Italy 7 years ago. Much of it is taxes, but whatever the reason, it has forced companies into developing fuel efficient cars (we had a very nice diesel sedan that would hold 5 people, and it got 50 miles to the gallon and had plenty of pep). And of course, there are the Smart cars that were all over Rome - tiny little cars that use little gas and fit into any parkinjg space - which are finally coming here.

There are many alternatives and it's time our nation had the will to do something about it.

And as for the less fortunate who can't afford gas, there could be some kind of program where, like food stamps, they got gas credits or something to help.

There has to be a better way and I don't think getting the price down will be it. We need to start to address the real problem here - which is Americans' inherent feeling of entitlement to fast cars and big engines forever.

May 25, 2008 9:45 AM  
Blogger fairlane said...

Golly, people with Tiny Penis Syndrome, or TPS, sure are sensitive.

I didn't realize I was offending tiny penis-ed, chickenshits who hide behind their anonymity in order to harass complete strangers (Now that's a demographic none of the candidates are targeting. Quick someone get Huckabee on the phone. He may have a chance yet).

May 25, 2008 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fairlane, I think you should get some help on this penis obsession of yours

May 26, 2008 12:24 PM  
Blogger two crows said...

I've got a paid-for toyota pickup truck. I've floated the idea in my community that just ONE of us keep a pickup for hauling and the rest get rid of the several filling up the driveways around here and buy putt-putt hybrids.
I've offered to sell mine to an llc for $1.00 then sell keys to cover taxes, maintenance and insurance costs. I even drew up bylaws for joining the llc.

THEN, I called my insurance and they wouldn't insure the truck under those circumstances. :(
I'm hoping, if things keep going as they have been, enough other people will make similar proposals that insurance companies will jump on board.
meanwhile, I use my golf cart for shopping [live a block from a huge shopping mall] and thumb my nose at the gas pump as I pass it.

I LUV driving a vehicle that needs a gallon of distilled water once every month or so. :)

May 31, 2008 6:08 PM  
Blogger two crows said...

was reading earlier comments:

yeah, gray water is great--
I have several gallon buckets that I put around my feet in the shower. I use those for flushing the john, watering the garden, washing the truck and cart, etc.

florida's been under drought conditions for 6 years now, so a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, ya know?

May 31, 2008 6:29 PM  
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