As usual when the status quo changes, there are those who lose out during the transition. When the self-propelled automobile took hold in the early twentieth century, the buggy whip and saddle manufacturers felt the pain. However, where you find losers, there is usually someone who finds himself on the positive side as well. The numbers are often disproportionate in the early going, but over time industries and people invariably adjust. Right now, in this time of $4 gallons of gasoline, we are still deepiy into the serious pain phase and we're simply going to have to tough it out. Among the biggest losers right now are ordinary consumers and drivers. With so many Americans still driving trucks and SUVs, the cost of filling the fuel tanks is rapidly getting unbearable and even those trying to unload their guzzlers for more efficient vehicles are having a hard time with plummetting resale values. In spite of the economic pain a lot of people of feeling right now, higher gas prices
will likely have a positive long-term impact. Car buyers have long demonstrated a preference for buying the biggest, most powerful vehicles they could afford. This has meant that the U.S., with some of the lowest fuel prices in the world, has been dominated by those types of vehicles. On the positive side of the ledger are companies that helping bring along more efficient technology like Toyota
and A123 Systems. Interestingly, automotive components and systems suppliers fall on both sides depending on what they make. Suppliers like Dana and American Axle that produce parts like axles for full-size trucks are in serious trouble. Others - like Bosch, Continental
and Honeywell that make fuel systems and turbochargers that will be increasingly used over the next few years as engines are downsized - look set for a major boost. Forbes
has a look at some of the other winners and losers.