The Prius Tops the Explorer
Looks like people are beginning to respond to high gas prices:
The change of fortune, buried in U.S. vehicle-sales data for 2007 and unthinkable a few years ago, will find an echo at this year’s Detroit auto show, which starts Sunday.
While Americans’ love for powerful gas guzzlers remains strong, a slowing economy and high gasoline prices are forcing buyers to lower their sights.
While Prius sales soared 69% last year, demand for the Explorer was less than a third of its 2000 peak.
As I have said before, we have fuel-efficient vehicles available now. Consumers just have to be convinced to buy them. High gas prices are starting to convince them. I think this is a more effective approach than forcing car makers to produce more fuel efficient vehicles via CAFE standards. I am not against higher CAFE standards, I just think addressing the demand side is more effective.
My current plan is to buy a Prius when I go back to the U.S. It doesn’t seem that any other option is even close. Is there anything else that can compete with the Prius on a fuel efficiency basis in the U.S. market?