Sunday, July 17, 2005

Situation Analysis: Gasoline is 4 dollars per gallon in the US

Let's imagine that gas goes to four bucks on average a gallon in this country. What then? That's a little less than double what is now.

Several things would occur. There would be a massize movement of lease escapes from SUV owners. If the price of gasoline gradually rises, it would be a gradual escape, if it rises exponentially, the leases would collapse faster than helium escaping from a ruptured balloon.

The lower classes would reduce, or completely stop using their vehicles. They would make use of the decrepit public transportation systems for work commutes, or carpool. Cars would be used only on the weekends, and there would be a long running effort to replace low gas mileage vehicles with high gas mileage vehicles.

The middle classes would reduce if they needed to. Those who bought hybrids, or diesel cars would be fine, crazy sports car eccentrics would stop feeding their children to maintain their hobby, families would exchange SUVs for full sized cars. Profits would collapse for GM, Ford would be hard hit as well though the Fusion would ease things, Chrysler would suffer too but Charger and 300C sales would climb.

The upper classes would react as well, but not as dramatically. As SUVs become a symbol of raw gluttony, only the most extravagant members of the illuminati would continue to use them. Most wealthy, ever fearful of the morlock masses rising up and either kidnapping them or siphoning ever more precious fuel from their tanks would downgrade to sipping sports which would cost less to maintain yet still be brash enough to express the classes' vulgar nature. Lotus Elise sales would skyrocket. Rockefeller types would buy even bigger SUVs, possibly small Mac Trucks to show their obstinancy.

Police would drive Ford Focii (Focus plural), motorcycles would become the all year norm for many living in the Southwest of the country, violent sociopathic street gangs wearing a motley collection of leather and metal would prey on hapless drivers in the far off desert portions of our nation, killing drivers and stealing their valuable petrol.

So there you have it, a well thought out predictor of the future. I may have gotten carried away towards the end, but I'm a passionate kind of guy.

As you may have noticed, now that you are in the UK, gas/petrol costs roughly four pounds per gallon, or about $7. But there still seem to be plenty of low-mpg vehicles on UK roads, particularly in London. There are more 4x4 SUVs than you can shake a stick at, low-mpg sports cars and BMWs all over the place, and even pick-ups seem to be catching on.
You'll also see plenty of beat-up old sedans/saloons driven by poorer people that don't have frugal common-rail diesels.
Fuel prices don't seem to change what people choose to drive.
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