Battling For America's 'Auto Soul'

In the battle for American's 'auto soul', the Prius is a surprising winner over the Hummer.
March 8, 2004, 2pm PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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In the last several months, sales of the Hummer have dropped noticably: "Combined year-over-year sales of the H1 and H2 have fallen for the past five months. When you compare the fortunes of the Hummer to those of its opposite—Toyota's hybrid Prius, which can get upwards of 50 miles per gallon—it looks like the market may be shifting... Those who buy Hummers and Priuses are symbolic, marginal buyers. But economists will tell you that behavior at the margins can influence entire markets. In the summer of 2002, the marginal buyers were pushing hard for the gas guzzlers. Today, more people are clamoring for fuel-efficient cars." Is there a hybrid version of the Hummer coming?

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Sunday, March 7, 2004 in Slate
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