Monday, June 02, 2008

Why won't US car manufacturers learn?

Today, we filled up our car's gas tank; it cost $4/gallon for the first time. At Costco. No doubt, in the months and years to come, people may read those last two sentences and wonder briefly if I was bragging about how low the price was.

So, Dodge has release the new Challenger, with an SRT-8 model for 2008 and two down-line models planned for 2009. The car gets 13 miles per gallon (city)! With a 19 gallon gas tank, that means you'll be spending more than $75 every 250 miles to drive this thing. If you drive 12,000 miles per year, that's about $3,700 on gas.

Are US car executive idiots? Yes, I'm not surprised that the 2008 limited edition run of 6,400 cars sold out. But do they really expect this car to sell well over any reasonable model lifespan and production run, given likely future gas prices? And who wants to drive around in a car that looks 30 years old when brand new?

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