LeftieBiker wrote: ↑Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:14 pmDon't discount the role of advertising in persuading people that they 'want' or 'need' bigger, heavier vehicles. The September 11 attacks caused a society-wide fear in the US that was then used to sell large SUVs. Driving large SUVs then became a norm, with the alternative becoming smaller SUVs and CUVs. People are dumb and impulsive, but auto manufacturers are, at best, amoral.
I wasn't suggesting that advertising has no effect, only pointing out that its effect, while sometimes large, is not overwhelming. When people are paying $600/month for fuel to commute, as was often the case concurrent with the mortgage meltdown in California, no amount of advertising could move the gas hogs off the lots.
We used to have an active topic on when gas would hit $5/gal. That topic died out a few years back, as fuel prices dropped radically and then stayed down. In California, we've been paying $4+ dollars a gallon for gas for the past month or so, but unless it stays there for at least six months we won't see a big shift in car buying patterns. Indeed, my corner station, which had been at $4,20/gal. for regular for several weeks, dropped to $4.00 around Monday.