We Americans love our SUVs. We love the thought that we can go off-roading at a moment’s notice even if the only time our SUV has seen mud was when we hit that pothole on Tuesday. We love the room, we love the size, we love the power! America has always been a nation of manifest destiny; ever expanding, ever moving, ever exploring. We love the idea of being King of the Road! Our SUVs give us a view towering high over the little hybrids and small, dinky cars. We can look forward and see that the reason we’re stuck in traffic is because everyone is slowing down to rubberneck as someone gets a ticket (hint: he’s got someone pulled over already…so RUN! Slowing down to see him hand the poor sap a ticket is only screwing up traffic, so keep driving, rubbernecker!).
We love everything about our SUVs……except the cost. It costs a lot of money to buy an SUV and it cost a lot of money to fill the tank on those bad boys of the ecology. And so, when the economy tanked about four years ago and gas jumped to $4/gal, we got scared. We thought it was the mark of things to come. We were spiraling downward, out of control. MAYDAY! MAYDAY! SOS! America was headed to a Mad Max -esque future where the commodities of fuel, oil, and clean water were too expensive to have. And we dumped our SUVs like they yesterday’s cat litter. Americans sold their SUVs for reduced rates, some as low as half price. The dealerships couldn’t move them off their lots and GM was forced to close down their HUMMER division. Americans took their cash and bought hybrid cars and the tiny Prius became king of the road. Hollywood celebrities made it cool to drive a $20K foreign four cylinder ladybug of a car and gas guzzling roadhog SUVs were looked down upon (or up at, depending on if they were in traffic side-by-side lol) by the “green” people.
But the heart wants what the heart wants. We’re Americans. We love cheeseburgers, the NFL, cheerleaders, fireworks and apple pie. And we love our SUVs. Like trusty dogs, they’re there waiting for us. The Equinox, the Escapes, even the mighty Suburbans have been waiting patiently for us to come home. And according to the numbers, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. All across the nation, Americans are returning to our SUVs, coming back to the King of the Road status in our neighborhoods, returning for elbow room, loving that little 4X4 decal above the rear bumper.
Welcome back, America.