Monday, November 15, 2004

Some Europeans see U.S. excesses in SUVs

From IHT -- Some Europeans see U.S. excesses in SUVs
"They're status markers because they're big and expensive and profligate with the earth's resources," said Steven Stradling, professor of transport psychology at the Transport Research Institute at Napier University in Edinburgh.

"They are a symbol of power without responsibility, and that's what we feel about you guys right now," he said.

In the United States, SUVs are no longer novelties, but until recently they had not made much impact in Europe, the land of old, narrow streets and $5-a-gallon, or $1.30-a-liter, gas.

Lately, however, SUV sales have soared, touching off bitter complaints about American cultural imperialism and a flurry of proposed anti-SUV legislation in several countries. So far, though, none of those proposals has passed, and, just as they did in the United States, SUVs are spreading steadily across the European landscape.

It is not a secret anymore that high gasoline prices will NOT stop the spread of SUVs around the world!

"I don't want to be like Freud, but SUVs are a projection, a compensating thing," Di Carlo said in an interview. "They're when you want to show how rich, how powerful, how tall, how big you are."

It has proved hard to enact anti-SUV legislation, partly because of the different ways of defining what exactly constitutes an SUV, and partly because of the influence of the automobile industry in places like Britain, Germany and Sweden.

I am reminded of the Anti-SUV humour post. Whether we love SUVs or hate them, the reality is that they are here, and we have to deal with them.


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