by Sally Applin
Sunbathing used to be encouraged as “healthy” — soaking up the rays to gain that glow. SUV’s were encouraged too–“Safer”! “Bigger”! etc.. but they soaked up the fuel as we used to soak up the rays and now the planet has less oil –and those of us who used to sunbathe have less healthy skin.
For sunbathing, the trend moved to spray and self-tanners, and sunscreens that block the rays.
For SUV’s, the trend is: over. People are giving up BIG cars. The new status must have car is the Prius. Besides being one of the choices for fuel efficiency, a side benefit is that they flatten the status hierarchy. All of a sudden those luxury and/or big car people, in an effort to save on the fuel, are buying the Prius, as well as those concerned about the environment. This could indicate the end of car/driver elitism.
However, its likely to be replaced with the smugness that goes along with the status of having one. Procuring a Prius these days is like finding cheap gas. Waiting lists are at least 50-100+ people long for about 10 car allocations every 2 weeks to the dealers. Cars are full price, or marked up a bit or a lot, and the used ones for sale, even a few years old are selling for what a new one does because they are available with no waiting list, and more exclusively, they have the “access” stickers that allow for a single person in the carpool lane, which is no longer available.
The trend: status is shifting. From brand values, to mobility and access.
It kind of makes me want to sun myself at the beach…if I only had a Prius to get me there….
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