American Drivers Can’t Complain About Gas Prices

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Gasoline prices get a much needed respite and guess what happens?

GM sells twice to three times as many Chevy Tahoes (17mpg), Suburbans (17mpg), and Cadillac Escalades (15mpg).

Ford Expedition (16mpg) and Lincoln Navigator (15mpg) sales increased 40% in October.

Chrysler sales of Jeeps (Wrangler, 18mpg) spiked 29%.

Sales of Chevy Aveos (30mpg) and Cobalts (28mpg) fell 31% and 43% respectively.

Toyota sold 8.6% fewer Priuses (sp?) (55mpg).

So, the next time Americans complain about gas prices, I’m going to complain about American stupidity.

Source: CNN Money

{ 41 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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41 Responses to “American Drivers Can’t Complain About Gas Prices”

  1. samerwriter says:

    I agree completely. When gas prices were $3.50 per gallon, I didn’t notice any fewer cars on the road than when it was $2.00 per gallon.

    My conclusion from that, since for most Americans there are viable transportation alternatives, is that the cost of gas isn’t particularly difficult for Americans to absorb.

  2. ~Dawn says:


  3. thatedeguy says:

    I’m not going to argue that your’re wrong, because there is definetely a bit of truth there. However, isn’t it also possible that the threat of winter and snowy/icy roads has something to do with it as well?

  4. dakboy says:

    In addition to the impending winter, there’s also this:

    The Wrangler redesign just came out. Same with the new GM full-size SUVs. Brand-new vehicle, sales increase.

  5. These are year-over-year numbers, so seasonality shouldn’t play a role (i.e., October 2006 is being compared to October 2005).

  6. Mike says:

    Hmm, I’m an American, and I don’t like paying high gas prices. My cars are Hondas (but not hybrids), which is reportedly one of the highest gas mileage producers, and I’ve never owned an SUV nor do I ever plan to buy one.

    I’m not ready to buy a hybrid, mostly because a) I’m not planning to buy any new car, I’d probably buy used if/when my current vehicles need to be replaced and b) I’m not convinced current hybrids will last long enough to make a used one worth buying.

    I’m interested to see what happens to a hybrid’s value when the batteries start failing. For people who buy or lease new cars and replace them every 3 years that might not matter, but I’m more the type that keeps a car for 10 years or more, and I don’t want my car to need a repair in year 7 that costs more than the car is worth.

    “for most Americans there are viable transportation alternatives”

    I don’t think that’s necessarily true, even in a general sense. I live near Chicago, and I take the train downtown when it will get me where I need to go, but there are a *lot* of places in and around Chicago that I can’t get to in any reasonable time frame unless I drive.

    Believe me, I’d rather commute on a train than sit in rush hour traffic, but if that means I walk a few blocks, take a bus, then a train, and then another bus and walk, and the trip will take 3-4 hours instead of 1 hour driving, I don’t call that a “viable” alternative. Even taking the train downtown for me takes probably twice as long as driving would at most times of the day, and I only live a few blocks from the station. 5 minute walk, 10 minute average wait, plus 20-30 minute ride, vs. a 15-20 minute and 5 minutes parking. I take the train to save money and enjoy the trip more, but if I was in a hurry, I’d drive.

    Time has value.

    I don’t think that’s atypical either–if you live anywhere except a dense urban area (and have a job and lifestyle that keeps you there), I think most people generally do need a car to get where they need to go. Most American cities were not designed to provide time-efficient and comprehensive public transportation, and as they expand outward it just gets worse.

  7. Robyn says:

    Okay I’ll admit to it…I bought a new Jeep Liberty in October. BUT the reason was not the lower gas price but the fact that Chrysler was the only loan company to offer me 0% interest and it was worth it for me over the gas prices. I’m also not in one of the areas of the country with prices that have gone as high.

  8. MoneyFwd says:

    Maybe it’s a good time to start looking into buying/leasing a hybrid. Those 6 month waits for the Prius were (are still?) kind of ridiculous.

  9. Leroy Brown says:

    I don’t think we can blame the Cobalt and Aveo sales dips on low gas prices. I think we can blame them on the fact that they are both horrid, atrocious vehicles. Compare either car to their Toyota or Honda counterparts – they are so far outclassed, they don’t even belong on the same playing field.
    I’m a domestic fan through and through, but vehicles like this are simply awful, and there is no excuse for them to be so bad.

    Case in point – the Honda Civic. Sales have been on fire since the 2006 redesign – they haven’t slowed down yet to my knowledge. Yes, gas prices are down, but this is a stylish, high quality, high value vehicle. It is immune to gas pricing issues. If Chevy could finally figure out how to make a similar vehicle, they could sell small cars in volume.

  10. Becki says:

    I’m waiting for a jeep hybrid, I need my cherokee for hauling things,mainly my 3 big dogs.I’ve had them most of my life, I like em(jeeps). I’d like to have a better mileage vehicle,but we don’t fit into a sardine can.Together,they weigh240lbs,and I don’t see it happening,BTW they are all rescues, not breeders,high dollar or anything.Just good old Bloodhound mix ,lab mixes.And I haul to and from my house I’m renovating. Anyone got any ideas? And,I agree with Mike, I keep a vehicle for at least 10 years,I don’t promote buying every 2.

  11. dan says:

    Get a diesel jeep. The 2007s are going to have a Mercedes Benz diesel in them that will be one of the cleanest ever.

  12. Foobarista says:

    Like I said on Nickel’s website, part of this is confusing market signals. After Katrina, there was a rush on econoboxes and hybrids, that naturally abated after it became clear that prices weren’t heading toward $10/gal, as some Chicken Little types suggested. And most people who buy fuel-efficient cars aren’t going anywhere near GM offerings when they can buy better Japanese cars.

    As for hybrids, they are up 10% YOY.

  13. Golbguru says:

    If lower gas prices are indeed the sole reason, then this is an ultimate example of short-sightedness. I will certainly back you up when you complain about American stupidity in buying 15 mpg vehicles.

  14. Foobarista says:

    For people buying $50K+ SUVs, gas prices are not much of an issue, unless they actually do go over $10/gal. Even the ones buying expensive hybrid SUVs are buying them more to show off their “green conscience” than to save money. With tax credits and things like free toll-crossings, some hybrids can make money over a few years, but most won’t.

  15. ambellamy says:

    I agree… most people just cut back on other items and kept driving the same amount…

    we are to blame ourselves

  16. CK says:

    I usually pour an extra gallon of gas on the ground when I’m filling up just to show my patriotism.

  17. Irene says:

    Note necessarily true. I’m pretty much locked into my long commute to work. Jobs are more difficult to find closer to home. I do 95% of my errands on my way home from work. I could cut out my 3 mile drive into town on Saturday and Sundays. Not much of a savings for me! Re-think your conclusions please! Thank you!

  18. Irene says:

    I don’t have a lot of room to cut back. I have a long drive to and from work — do 95% of my errands on my way home — and have little room to cut back on gas — I get about 38 mpg from my Saturn SL — NO MORE trips to Walmart!

    The cuts CAN’T come from my gas budget!

    dON’T TALK TO BE ABOUT BLAMING OURSELVES! Are you saying we should bleme outselves for going to work! Come on! You’ve GOT to be kidding!

    The only blame we have is by NOT complaining to our Senators and Congressmen. My salary goes up by 3% and my expenses go up by 35% — DO YOU CALL THAT FAIR?????
    Re-think your opinion please!

  19. Tracie says:

    Wake up America!!! It’s time to realize that complaining to each other here, at work or on the phone about high gas prices does absolutely no good. If enough people would complain to their Congressman and Senators with the threat of voting against them in the next election…this would most assuredly get them to take action. It is funny to me that the price of engine oil in the parts stores does not change on a daily basis as gas prices do. When it comes from the same barrel of oil that crude oil does. If you want action do as I am doing…contact your leaders and let them know that you are not happy and come election time you will be voting against them and helping their opponent as long as they will agree to do something about the gas prices!!! I too own an older SUV, but my family does not allow for me to have one of those LITTLE vehicles that get great gas mileage, therefore you think I don’t have the right to complain…WRONG. I work and pay taxes just like everyone else and it is just as unfair to me to have to pay high prices as it is for everyone else.


  20. Chad says:

    I agree with Tracie we need to contact our elected officials and do something about this. America is an apathetic nation and oil companies prey on that. Guess what? Gas prices going up are not just in your tank, it is on the shelf of your grocery store, it is on that rack at your clothing store, it is in that bag of dog food or through the door every time you drop off your child for daycare.

  21. Karen says:

    I’m tired of gas companies raising prices and acting as if they can’t build more refineries to produce more gas to meet the needs. Again, Exxon has the highest profit ever 40 (something) billion dollars. That is ridiculous!! Pockets are being lined and filled to the rim somewhere – gas prices could come down based on those earnings. We are going (or are already in) a recession because we don’t have the money to put into the economy. Why? Because what little extra money we did have to spend for extras or basic necessities is now spent on gas! Personally, for me I don’t buy my gas from Exxon or Citgo. But, regardless we have to buy it somewhere.

    When an opening comes available I’ll be trying to transfer my job to a different location, if prices don’t decline – that way I can carpool with my husband. I like my current job and the people there, it is a good atmosphere. The other location doesn’t have as good of a reputation. It is a difficult decision to make. But, if it comes down to it – I guess I’ll have to move over to high stress job just to save money on gas.

    Contact your congressman and let’s do something about this! It just isn’t right.

  22. James says:

    I don’t what everyone is thinking,but the gas prices continously going kind of scares me. I have a family to take care of. Fortunately, I make a good income, but if it reachs $6.00 a gallon I don’t know what we will do. Analyst say we will be coming out of this recession at the end of the year, but I think they are incorrect. The United States used to be one of the richest countries, but we are going to be the poorest in a couple of years. President Bush needs to focus on helping his own country rather than rebuilding another one.Analyst say to invest, but if the extra money isn’t there to invest how is that going to happen?

  23. Ralph says:

    Heck, it isn’t just the gas prices thats the problem, have you went to the grocery store lately. $5.00 for a gallon of milk is rediculous or $8.00 for coffee. Just think of the profit made on that.And to think the coffee growers in other countries don’t even make a dollar and hour. President Bush is going to cripple our country! Hey, he don’t care he just getting a fatter pocket from his dealings with the oil industry. The only choice we have is to pray with God to help us to survive through all of this.

  24. Pat says:

    Do think a bout this, gas prices go up – shipping charges go up (even the price of stamps – which will go up in May) – Shipping Charges go up – merchants raise prices of products they sell. Cost of living raises are unheard of and the cost to keep my children as a single parent has become over whelming. Should I trade them in for hybrids? They are not fuel efficient and the older they get the more the eat?

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