reasons for developing SUV

November 15th, 2004, 4:39 am

just curious...
what exactly were the reasons for developing the SUV in the U.S ? i mean, how many people actually need the size and power of an SUV ? was the target group created by the motor companies or were the particular 'drivers' already in existence and ready for this product ?

interested in your opinions..

November 15th, 2004, 6:03 am

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ufo
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only idiots buy suvs. so the japanese figured there're a lot of them in US.

November 15th, 2004, 10:09 am

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blaster701
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Uh, unless you actually USE what they were origionally designed to do.

Pull trailers
Pull boats
Go "off" pavement, ie need low gear 4x4
Pull stumps
and so on

I drive a 4x4 small truck, and I use it for what is was designer to do. Most of the US population does not need an SUV. They need station wagons, but that is not "cool".

November 15th, 2004, 10:43 am

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%99.9 of the suvs i see in california are not only empty of passengers they aren't pulling anything.

it's designed for american middle class that has some extra money they don't know what to do with.

funny thing is that %80 of the cars i see on highway travelling are normal passenger cars not suvs. the rest are trucks, big and small.

November 15th, 2004, 11:00 am

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blaster701
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[quote="ufo"]%99.9 of the suvs i see in california are not only empty of passengers they aren't pulling anything.

it's designed for american middle class that has some extra money they don't know what to do with.

funny thing is that %80 of the cars i see on highway travelling are normal passenger cars not suvs. the rest are trucks, big and small.[/quote]

True, and most of the time you will not see a boat behind mine. But 2-3 days a week it does. Does that mean I do not use it for what it is for? I have to own a truck to pull a 5,000lb trailer. Trust me, I drive my wife's car as much as I can. We take it everywhere. If I was not inton PWC and boating, I would have a car. They are more fun to drive.

But lets not get started on the three two stroke motors I own..... :shock:

November 15th, 2004, 11:08 am

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molested_cow
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Lack of self-confidence?

November 15th, 2004, 11:15 am

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ufo
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i'm not pushig for a guilt trip. just saying what suvs are from my own experience.

November 15th, 2004, 12:09 pm

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SUV's offer the sense of safety that many small cars lack. It is the whole I am bigger than you mentality. Thisnk about this, 75% of all interstate travel is conducted by Long Haul Rigs (Semi-tractor and trailer rigs) weighing in excess of 80,000 lbs. The addes size both height and weight increase the average commuters sence of security/serviveability when on the interstates. They also serve the perpose of allowing socer moms to drive "cool" cars and not be refined to the stationwagan or minivan. The makers of SUV's saw a desire, not a need. The capitalized on it, and it is here to stay like it or not.

Only problem is no they have become a status symbol, were people who have no need for these vehicals....single pop stars.

I might be a bit scewed in view though as I have a 03 Hemi powered Ram 1500 Quad cab (with 6 inch lift) in the parking lot. But it is covered nose to tail in good-old midwestern clay/mud, with two of my mountain bikes mounted to the custom rack. I guess you could say I use it as any Off-Road enthusiast would use thier truck...mine just happends to seat six adults comfortably.

November 15th, 2004, 1:42 pm

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Some good thoughts here. I hope everyone was able to see Frontline: The Persuaders last Tuesday, if not, watch it online.

The SUV tapped into alot of Ameriican emotions. One that has been discussed here is either a fear of accidents or the positive feeling of power that comes with driving a large vehicle. I think that also the feelings of independence, and adventure are high in an SUV. They look back to the tough covered wagons that were used to explore the vast American west. Note: SUVs are most popular in the Southwest and also that they use names like "navigator", "Explorer" and "Trailblazer" names which create images of adventure and also names like "Durango"...clearly linking an SUV with those American tradition of exploration and expansion.

Denial is another possible factor that comes into buying an SUV. We have been fed a constant stream of doomsday predictions about oil and pollution for 20-30 years. Many people today don't want to add an environmental doomsday in with all of the other problems of their life, so in order to prove that it won't happen, they drive something so polluting and inefficient in order to show this belief - as though to say, "if global warming or an oil shortage were really possible, how could I drive this thing?".

The simple thing to always keep in mind is that, other than Mr. Spock, no one buys something because of logic. The SUV is simply a reflection of their buyers needs + a healthy dose of their dreams and/or worries. See my other post:

http://boards.core77.com/viewtopic.php? ... hlight=suv

for more info.

November 15th, 2004, 1:47 pm

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My take on it is as follows:

Premise 1:
Americans like big cars. Even though 5 days a week it hauling air, they like it for that one Saturday a month they go camping/surfing/shopping.... whatever. Just a simple cultural obsevation, I have a very small car, but I am also not the average consumer, I doubt many of you are either, so it is logical that it is difficult for us to understand, none the less, this is premise 1.

Premise 2:
most passenger cars reduced in size, power, and for some odd reason design, after the oil crisis of the 1970's

Conclusion:

With a lack of vehicles that fit premise 1, the American car buyer addopted a vehicle that wasn't designed for their purposes but fit the premise (kind of like how indie artists wear chuck taylors: the origional ultimate on court performance basketball shoe), or how the urban consumer has adopted the timberland 6" feild boot - who'd duck hunting in NYC?). The consumer has adopted it and become comfortable with it, but recognizes it is not truly practical. My hypothesis is here is where a lot of rationalization comes in the form of "I feel safer" and other arguments, that are esily reutable with some simple math: 25oo extra lbs x 60mph = not safer)

So here's the thing, about 75% of people that buy SUV's don't buy another one when they trade it in. Hopefully most people will transition to a vehicle that meets their needs, say a Dodge Magnum wagon, or at least a car based CUV, leaving the SUV's to the people that want to haul cargo and gear off road.

I think it is an obvious case study for the huge market need for design and not just styling (or worse, not even good styling, just bad American engineering standards and brand marketing)

November 15th, 2004, 2:26 pm

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Autombile purchases are rarely based on need. Infact studies have proven that upwards of 90% of the descision making process involved in choosing a car, truck, or SUV if IMAGE based. That is why they have the largest $ amount spent on marketing to a speciffic demographic.

When you were 16 what did you want?.....Fast Flashy car the chicks would dig.

Its all about image, not practiclity. If it practicality fell into the equation there would be no Porche, Lambo, Ferrari, Vector, Salleen, Hummer,etc. So why even argue the point. The image factor will change in a few years, next should be hybird sports cars....watch and see

November 15th, 2004, 3:28 pm

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Anonymous wrote: Its all about image, not practiclity.
Have you checked to see what the best selling cars are lately? Same as they have been for over a decade: Camry, Accord, Carola, Tauras, yeah those babies are all image. :shock:

On the truck end you're looking at the F150, the Explorer, the Trail Blazer. Not much better than the car list. You're really working that image rolling up on the Starbucks in that creaking, weazing Chevy Blazer.

What people want isn't the same as what they buy, or what they say they would buy. Focus group 101. While a porsche may stir something in the collective unconcious of us all, few of us pony up at the dealer. A shame, if you are going to drop 30k on something you loath, why not pop 45k for something you'll love and get better resale from?

November 15th, 2004, 5:25 pm

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actully SUVs are all about hitting the loser in the prius and totalling his car in a 10mph collision

and of course the bitches

November 15th, 2004, 5:57 pm

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I think it's a bad cycle between designers, consumers and marketers. It's originally designed to tow stuff, etc. Some consumers see that it satisfies their egos in other ways and gets one for reasons it's not designed for. Marketers then see that there are people buying them that aren't towing etc and push the designers to make the new versions to cater to those "posers".

You see the same thing in athletic gear. Sweatsuits made to keep athletes warm so they can get back on the field. Bon-Bon Mom sees they're really comfortable so gets them to lounge around the house in. Marketers see increase in sales to that group. Then you end up with cheap sweatsuits designed out of crappy material that's not intended for athletes but for loafers. Same for popular tennis shoes, boots, all kinds of things.

But I don't think that just because other groups are misusing them and they're in greater numbers, that it should take away from the true users. It's just those damn marketing people always chasing the numbers that you end up with hot pink hummers and lexus suv's that aren't designed to see an ounce of mud.

November 15th, 2004, 8:39 pm

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ufo
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i don't think suvs will last long. i was in china few weeks ago and there wasn't even one suv in sight.if china is the next big car market the suv is an extinct species.
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