Tom Brady received a Chevrolet Colorado as his Super Bowl MVP prize, a vehicle a lot of people thought was an odd choice for such a prestigious award. This makes some sense when you consider how much of a marketing push has surrounded Chevrolet’s resurrected midsize pickup, and the resulting publicity around the choice will certainly move some Colorados off Chevy lots. Last year, General Motors gave Malcolm Smith a Silverado High Country, straying away from the trend of giving performance sports cars in the handful of years Chevy has had the contract with the NFL.
There will be chrome.
The Cadillac Escalade is a vehicle that shouldn’t exist. It goes against all current rationale of what a car should be. It’s big, heavy, extravagant and laden in what the kids today call “bling.” The Escalade is expensive and gets horrid fuel economy. People who buy a new one are telling the world that they don’t care about money, the environment or a little thing called subtlety.
The Escalade might be the most in-your-face mass-produced vehicle on the market today. Common sense would say that it shouldn’t exist any longer.
Since General Motors has never been one to succumb to the pressures of common sense, not only will the Escalade live on, it’ll be re-imagined and introduced all over again in October.
The price of gas is rising to $5.00 and beyond, yet sales of large SUVs are up in the double digits.
In terms of increase, the Infiniti QX56 (above) has been leading the pack, with year-to-date sales up 29.6 percent! How do you figure that? It is easily the ugliest new car on the road; it’s a “dressed-up truck…ultimately assembled from Nissan’s mainline parts bin”; it handles like a pig and costs $75,000 as tested. The new Toyota Land Cruiser starts at $78,000.
The continued popularity of luxury SUVs never ceases to amaze. Sales of big trucks and SUVs were up about 15 percent in February, so the rising cost of gas doesn’t seem to be a factor.
The major reason, in my opinion: “The wealthiest 20% of Americans account for the major share of new vehicle spending, and are less affected by gas prices.” There is not only pent-up demand for these big cars; they are part of the American dream. They symbolize power and wealth. $5.00 gas may end the party for these cars, but don’t bet on it.
If you made a list of the seven worst new cars on the road, how many would be products of the U.S. Big Three?
If you’re Forbes Magazine, the answer is all seven.
That’s a pretty harsh assessment. It’s also an unfair one, considering at least four of the vehicles are scheduled to either end production or be replaced by all-new models. I’m not normally the guy who jumps to the defense of American automobile manufacturers, but this time they deserve a break.