not a SUV owner but...

November 15th, 2004, 8:59 pm

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So SUV owners wish to project a certain image or lifestyle w/ the cars they drive - how's that different from everyone else? In Portland, OR everyone drives a Subaru wagon - you can say the Subaru is the SUV of Portland. And VW's are the SUVs for designers. And on and on...

November 15th, 2004, 10:07 pm

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blaster701
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China is an emerging car market, and should not have SUV's yet. It will eventuially. Tiawan has only recently started to catch the SUV buzz. China will also. Maybe not as much as here.

The SUV and Pickup truck have a place in the market. There ARE reseons to own them. Does a majority of the people in the US market need them, no. They need to buy station wagons. There are people that will always need trucks, that is life.

I think there is a bigger problem in the US. Everyone is concerned about fuel econmony. Why are there not more manual transmissions? They get a few mpg more by self shifting. Everyone drives slush box autos. No there is a quick and easy way to get better mpg. :shock:

November 15th, 2004, 10:19 pm

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blaster701 wrote:The SUV and Pickup truck have a place in the market. There ARE reseons to own them.
Totally agree with you man. Really I don't know where people get off judging other people's purchasing decisions. It's their choice to spend the money how they see fit, as designers I think its our job to provide people with options and solutions, not to dictate what people buy and how they should use it. As skinny pointed out, companies are responding to a market demand, if their was no intrest in it, they wouldn't be producing them. Somehow it became cool to bash people for driving them but the fact of the matter is SUV's will be around as long as people keep buying them. Simple economics. I'll keep driving small sports cars and rationalizing their speed and agility (and my driving) as the ability to avoid accidents.

What the industry, any freaking industry for that matter, should be focusing on is trying to figure out what the next thing is, instead of getting all wrapped up in facelifing the same tired concepts over and over (new grand cherokee) or coming to the party super late (buick raineer).

You got to love the old wood paneled grand wagoneer don't you?

November 15th, 2004, 11:43 pm

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Basic physics says that heavy objects have more inertia than lighter ones, therefore, human body goes through more stress during collision. What really ticks me off are the KEEP TAHOE BLUE stickers on SUVs - hypocrites!

November 15th, 2004, 11:56 pm

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In the US is the feelgood factor. First of all it's safety second of all it's the idea of a big adventure while you speed between your office and home. It's big and we are just in love with big things, look at the cars from the 50's. While Europeans were making cars half the size with the exception of Russia. So here we are 50 years later going back to fat cars for fat people so we can feel better about ourselves. I am not skinny nor fat but I checked and I am overweight. SUPERSIZE!!!!!!!!! That's the word of today! Oh by the way the new DURANGO... the ugliest SUV on the market it makes the AZTEC look good. No I take that back it makes it look better.

November 16th, 2004, 1:33 am

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some of the classics: where it all began.

Image

This could be an add from this year.

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November 16th, 2004, 9:03 am

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blaster701 wrote:China is an emerging car market, and should not have SUV's yet. It will eventuially. Tiawan has only recently started to catch the SUV buzz. China will also. Maybe not as much as here.

The SUV and Pickup truck have a place in the market. There ARE reseons to own them. Does a majority of the people in the US market need them, no. They need to buy station wagons. There are people that will always need trucks, that is life.

I think there is a bigger problem in the US. Everyone is concerned about fuel econmony. Why are there not more manual transmissions? They get a few mpg more by self shifting. Everyone drives slush box autos. No there is a quick and easy way to get better mpg. :shock:
chinese never buy suvs even if you give'em free tires for the rest of their lives, just like they don't have fortune cookies. if you ask chinese why don't you have fortune cookies they'll tell you it's an american invention and chinese have no interest in it. on the other hand they have mcdonalds but it's just a shitty restaurant compared to those who sell chinese food. i guess if you're chinese you understand these subtlties .

taiwan might be a different story because they feel like they have to be US copycats to have an image of confidence and freedom which is totally fake. in china their roads are real flat, wide and well designed. in beijing almost all the streets are 60-80 meters wide. i'd rather ride an f1 car there than an suv. another thing is that in china they don't tow boats or other things. it's very unusual, expensive and maybe even prohibited for traffic safety.

chinese culture is hard to analyze for americans specially those in marketing will have a difficult time dealing with chinese mentality if they want to use the same procedures as they do with their american consumers.

overall i think chinese have better taste than americans. most certainly they have better taste than me too otherwise they wouldn't be kicking ass in the world right now. that's the main reason why they won't buy suvs because only tasteless, illiterate people like stupid rappers buy those cars to pick up doffies. i have no idea why someone with children would consider those things safe after all the accidents we hear about!! those people are even more stupid than the former phenomenon.

so if as a designer you believe this is the reality of the market and consumer phenomenon, good for you. except personally i'm not that kind of a designer. infact even if bob lutz himself comes and tells me he wants a design for the next suv i'll tell him to go to taiwan.

November 16th, 2004, 10:40 am

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Did everyone notice the key phrases in those adds?

"You don't have to wait for the snow plow" = you have freedom

"Takes you off the beaten path where ordinary cars can't go" = more freedom

It is interesting that Jeep saw there might be a problem with rollovers and mentioned that the Wagoneer has a lower centre of gravity.

As for safety, you are less likely to die in a multiple vehicle crash in an SUV (because you are hitting a none-SUV most of the time). However the rates of fatal single vehicle accidents are so much higher in an SUV that the figures level out. You will either die when an SUV hits you or you'll die when you roll your SUV over...pick your preffered method.

YO! - where did you read 75% of people trade SUVs in for something else?

November 16th, 2004, 11:09 am

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I cant remember where I read it (I read a crap load of magazines, I think it might have been in Forbes), it was about a year or so ago. To paraphrase it said about 3/4ths of first time SUV buyers surveyed didn't or would not buy a SUV again.

My parents fell into that category. They got a big Chevy SUV in the late 90's, three years later they couldn't wait to get rid of the thing, they had no need for its abilities - back to the Accord.

I love how the International Scout add is all geared toward outdoor adventure and then the last paragaph reads "available with an automatic transmition, power stearing, and power brakes..." the more things change, the more they stay the same.

November 16th, 2004, 11:13 am

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[quote="ufo"][quote="blaster701"]China is an emerging car market, and should not have SUV's yet. It will eventuially. Tiawan has only recently started to catch the SUV buzz. China will also. Maybe not as much as here.

The SUV and Pickup truck have a place in the market. There ARE reseons to own them. Does a majority of the people in the US market need them, no. They need to buy station wagons. There are people that will always need trucks, that is life.

I think there is a bigger problem in the US. Everyone is concerned about fuel econmony. Why are there not more manual transmissions? They get a few mpg more by self shifting. Everyone drives slush box autos. No there is a quick and easy way to get better mpg. :shock:[/quote]

chinese never buy suvs even if you give'em free tires for the rest of their lives, just like they don't have fortune cookies. if you ask chinese why don't you have fortune cookies they'll tell you it's an american invention and chinese have no interest in it. on the other hand they have mcdonalds but it's just a shitty restaurant compared to those who sell chinese food. i guess if you're chinese you understand these subtlties .

taiwan might be a different story because they feel like they have to be US copycats to have an image of confidence and freedom which is totally fake. in china their roads are real flat, wide and well designed. in beijing almost all the streets are 60-80 meters wide. i'd rather ride an f1 car there than an suv. another thing is that in china they don't tow boats or other things. it's very unusual, expensive and maybe even prohibited for traffic safety.

chinese culture is hard to analyze for americans specially those in marketing will have a difficult time dealing with chinese mentality if they want to use the same procedures as they do with their american consumers.

overall i think chinese have better taste than americans. most certainly they have better taste than me too otherwise they wouldn't be kicking ass in the world right now. that's the main reason why they won't buy suvs because only tasteless, illiterate people like stupid rappers buy those cars to pick up doffies. i have no idea why someone with children would consider those things safe after all the accidents we hear about!! those people are even more stupid than the former phenomenon.

so if as a designer you believe this is the reality of the market and consumer phenomenon, good for you. except personally i'm not that kind of a designer. infact even if bob lutz himself comes and tells me he wants a design for the next suv i'll tell him to go to taiwan.[/quote]

??, uh, I agree, China is different. But 6-8 years ago you saw no SUVs in Taiwan. Over the last year or so, I have seen more and more SUVs there. Maybe China will not evolve into the US car market, but there will be some change. As more and more people purchase cars in China, you will see more SUVs there. Maybe they will not be traditional ones like here. Maybe they will be designed for that market. Maybe they will be more "van" based.

Either way, I think we are actually saying something similar. MOST people out there in the US do not need a 6,000 lb truck to run to the store. They need a nice Vibe/Matrix size wagon. Big enough to carry stuff and people. Fun enough to drive. I drive a two door small blazer, not a monster. It tows my trailer ( 5,000 lb ). I do not need a truck that can tow 11,000 lbs, I need one that can tow 5K, so I buy what I need. A car can not tow my trailer, so I can not own a car as my vehicle.

November 16th, 2004, 11:32 am

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Opps
Last edited by blaster701 on November 16th, 2004, 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

It all began innocently enough...

November 16th, 2004, 12:35 pm

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There are actually two parallel, evolutionary threads that led to the modern SUV.

As some of the ads showed the first path came from the US Army Jeep (post-WWII) a vehicle that was repackaged for the consumer/industrial market.

The second occurred on the west coast in the early 70's. As California was in the midst of a building boom, a lot of contractors began putting caps on their pickup trucks to use them as crude family camping vehicles on the weekends. Many of these pick up trucks with cubes were then modified by the contractors themselves - by poking a hole in the back of the cab so that the kids could ride/sleep in back.

The Japanese automakers noticed this and began to develop SUV's for the American market. THese were and are still, based on truck chassis.

As some in this thread have pointed out, a lot of the socio-cultural baggage around the MEANINGS of these vehicles have been added after the fact...I think it is not however, a coincidence that the real growth in SUV sales came almost directly after the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, and then gained momentum after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. They are a vehicle that plays to everyone's worst fears.

November 16th, 2004, 12:39 pm

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yo wrote:Americans like big cars.
Americans are "BIG" !!!! that's why they all like big cars! you think everyone can fit in a mini!?

November 16th, 2004, 1:07 pm

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Anonymous wrote:
yo wrote:Americans like big cars.
Americans are "BIG" !!!! that's why they all like big cars! you think everyone can fit in a mini!?
regardless the reason, they still like bigger cars. I don't think everyone could fit in a mini, but if you tried two or three at a time you should be OK.
ufo wrote: overall i think chinese have better taste than americans. most certainly they have better taste than me too otherwise they wouldn't be kicking ass in the world right now.... tasteless, illiterate people like stupid rappers buy those cars to pick up doffies.infact even if bob lutz himself comes and tells me he wants a design for the next suv i'll tell him to go to taiwan.
Uhm WOW, I guess thats why the Chinese are developing the newest, most innovative products, the cutting edge technologies no one else is trying, the hottest most origional styling, the most unique vehicle packaging and construction... oh, wait a second, they just copy everyone else. (kind of like that car they produce that has the front of a BMW 5series, and the back of a S-Class Mercedes, the Ford 500 has more origionality than anything I've seen out of China, and that is saying a lot) Dude, either you've never been to China, or you've been there too much, I can't tell yet.

Just because they built a huge state run design center this year doesn't mean, well anything really. Without individualism there can be no progress in design. Without the willingnes to take a risk and be diffrent there is only status quo. When China stops being the world's industrial park, they will begin to succede in pushing beyond what is allready in the market. I think it will hapen, it just takes time. Several generations have been drilled to conform and do as their told, it takes awhile to shake that kind of thinking. Give a few decades.

I'm not sure if you can generalize and say tha Chinese have better taste than yourself, but lets hope they have a better sense of tact.

November 16th, 2004, 1:14 pm

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A big part of car ownership in the US is the freedom it gives you. Since SUV's give you more freedom (to do more things,) it becomes the obvious "more bang for the buck" choice when shopping on features.

They're also way-cooler than the next best things: station-wagons or minivans.
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