June 13th, 2008 19:23 EST
Will The SUV Soon Be Obsolete?
"Analysts expect that nearly half of General Motors Corp.`s and Ford`s North American truck plants could end production or be converted to car plants in the next couple of years, as the automakers adjust to fuel-economy regulations and rising consumer demand for more efficient vehicles.
Chrysler LLC is slated to close at least one of its truck plants. And Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to shift production at its underused Princeton, Ind., SUV and minivan plant to the popular Camry sedan, though Toyota says no decision has been made.
The category of light trucks includes pickups, SUVs, minivans and crossovers. Most of the cuts have come in the pickup and SUV segments.
GM last week announced plans to cut production of 700,000 trucks annually, or 40% of its truck capacity, by idling four North American truck plants by mid-2010."
The SUV is a paean to American excess; it`s a gas-guzzling behemoth that looks down with disdain at compacts and subcompacts.
It`s only in America that you see roads congested with SUV`s, small cars are the norm in the rest of the world. We seem to think that we have a constitutional right to leave giant carbon footprints.
Even a mild-mannered individual will transform into a psychopath on the verge of road rage as soon as he climbs into the captain`s seat of his SUV. Wimpy guys who wouldn`t dare meet my eyes on the street, have flipped me the bird when they are safely ensconced in their giant vehicles.
It`s ironic that people feel safe inside their SUV`s, when the reality is that they are more unsafe than regular cars because of the high risk of roll-overs.
Trucks have been supersized to the point of absurdity, you can load all your household belongings in the average truck bed. Even white collar professionals who never carry anything bigger than a laptop are cruising around in monster trucks worthy of a redneck.
It`s with joy that I read that the major automakers are closing or downsizing their SUV and truck plants. Aesthetically the SUV is an abomination, economically it makes no sense, and environmentally it`s a disaster.
I hope that soon the SUV will soon be as rare as a Pinto or a Yugo. We must set a good example for the rest of the world, and start building and buying gas-efficient vehicles.
And I pray that pickups will still be around, but not the supersized monstrosities that phallic-challenged men like to drive. The pickup is an essential part of Southern living, and they will forever be a part of the rural landscape.