AKRON (April 6, 2011) — Kevin Costner built it…and they came. But consumers may not yet be ready to play ball with fuel-efficient vehicles while they still have pickups to tool around in.
In this week's TBlog, guest blogger Keith Crain notes that while it's amazing after years of saying they couldn't, the auto industry has so quickly developed and is offering—or soon will—so many gasoline-engine automobiles with a 40-mpg highway rating.
The trouble, he writes, “is that no one wants to buy them.
“Big pickups are still hot sellers in the marketplace. With gasoline hovering around $3.50 a gallon, the nation has not reached the point where prices at the pump will affect most purchasing decisions.”
With his bird's-eye view of the auto industry, Mr. Crain—chairman of Crain Communications Inc., parent company of Tire Business, and editor-in-chief of Detroit-based Automotive News—sees American consumers still wanting “to own and drive the biggest offerings.”
Pushing iron that gets high gas mileage may have its “green” benefits, but could become “the marketing nightmare of the decade” unless the price of gas goes up at least another buck a gallon, he adds.
What's a car company to do?
Check out the latest TBlog—along with an archive of previous Tire Business blogs—at If you build it, they will come or by clicking on the TBlog button at the top of the tirebusiness.com home page. Have a comment about this or other TBlog musings? Want to subscribe? There's a place to do that on the blog page, too.