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Mr-914
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It seems as though the American consumer is moving away from the all-out rugged truck-based SUVs to cars-on-stilts cross-overs.

This could represent a serious fundamental shift across US culture, or gas costs more.

What does everyone think?

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/200 ... usat_x.htm

May 6th, 2006, 9:08 pm

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Love it or hate it, the crossover's timing is right.

There's a ton of people that latched onto the "extreme thing" of the nineties. Fits the bill for that new family in Denial that "extreme" is over. Yet the crossover is not as tame as a Camry, and that crossover buyer would not be caught dead in a minivan----- not extreme enough!

It is pure generation shift more than culture shift or gas price influenced shift. Just like kids in the neighborhood trading the BMX out for a Mtn. Bike.

People are trading out of the SUV
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May 9th, 2006, 9:33 am

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no serious lifestyle shift until gas hits $5/gallon in the US. that's my thought.
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May 9th, 2006, 12:05 pm

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I think it signals some sort of shift already. The SUV was a sign of two trends in the US. The first, let's call aethletic escapism. People who wanted to get out to the country/forest/mountains. Note, there were also people who wanted to appear this way. The second group, let's call them the Bush-Truckers. They liked SUVs because of their perceived simplicity. Europeans drove refined vehicles, Americans drove tools. The SUV is the transportation Swiss Army knife.

The cross-over, to me, doesn't fit either of these trends. It's too refined to be confused with farm equipment-like SUVs. But, it hasn't sacraficed the overall-physical characteristics, such as, large size, high ground clearance and tall cabin.

The attraction to a vehicle like Nissan Xterra was clear to me. What's the attraction of the Nissan Murano?

May 9th, 2006, 1:39 pm

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Mr-914 wrote:The attraction to a vehicle like Nissan Xterra was clear to me. What's the attraction of the Nissan Murano?
As far as I can tell, it's a vehicle that's not as large and boxy as a minivan or SUV (and thus hard to control and park), but that keeps the enormous amount of space (fat) Americans are used to. As far as I can tell, the Crossover vehicle is the new average-size car in the USA. In India, a Toyota Corolla is a high-end, rather large car; in the states it's a very small econobox.

Americans are getting fatter, need more space, and won't tolerate the sort of automotive harshness they will in the rest of the world. Automatic sunroofs, heated seats and steering wheels, electromagnetic suspension -- outside of the first world it's basically unheard of.

For what it's worth, I'm glad that these crossovers are outselling SUVs. Gets some of the giant Navigators and Tahoes off the road. When they start outselling small sedans, I'll be concerned.
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May 9th, 2006, 3:43 pm

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the american public buys whatever is marketed the best to them. i.e. hybrid vehicles for example.

gas = $5/g

car sales = compact cars
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May 15th, 2006, 12:44 pm

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As a purchaser of cars, can you see yourself buying one?

People choose their car like they choose their clothing.

If you do not identify with the car you will never buy one. Posers and real deal people bought SUV's

The crossover is so vanilla, white bread, it may as well fall into the I am not a risk taker and would never wear clothing that might draw attention to myself category.
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