Recent drop to $2 gas just might help Detroit's SUV sales, Europe is immune

Yesterday I was out and about in town. I was biking – yes, through the snow – and about fell of my bike when I passed a gas station selling regular unleaded for $1.89. They not only had the price displayed on the corner sign like all gas stations, but they had a handwritten sign on the frozen lawn that included at least one exclamation point. They're right to hype this price; it's been a long time since gas sold for less than $2 a gallon here in Michigan.

Biking past a newspaper box, I saw the Detroit Free Press was saying this dip in prices won't last long. The big question is, will the dip be enough to revive SUV sales? Tim Higgins, writing in the Free Press, says that while the low gas prices may stick around for a few weeks, and some consumers are eyeing SUVs for purchase, the mindset in many potential buyers' minds is that these low gas prices won't stick around for long.

Over in Europe, where gas will never come close to $2 a gallon, sales of SUVs are about the same as they were last year, according to a new analysis released yesterday by EurotaxGlass. As things like congestion charges making driving an SUV much more expensive than a small car in Europe, EurotaxGlass sees this resulting in more diesel SUVs instead of a flight from these "Chelsea Tractors."

[Source: Tim Higgins / Detroit Free Press, EurotaxGlass]

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