The Paris show floor is full of shiny new SUVs. But the conversation and the gossip is full of stories of the whole SUV thing driving deeply into the mire.
One story goes that just 18 months ago one British car industry executive bought himself a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Feeling flush, he’d specced enough extras to take it towards £90,000.
Recently he got fed up with the fuel bills and tried to sell it back to the dealer. Who bare-facedly offered him 18 grand and not a penny more.
Meanwhile Ford people in the US watched SUV sales stay pretty robust as the petrol price climbed through $2.00, then $2.50, then $3.00 a gallon. Then it hit $3.50 and they were aghast to see the SUV business fall off a cliff.
They reckon it’s because suddenly the price of refuelling the average big SUV went past $100. And pumps have a $100 limit, so you have to swipe your card twice. A Ford big cheese told me, “That sure got everyone’s attention.”