SOME ANALYSTS SAY G-M JUST BUILT TOO MANY CARS IN THE FIRST PART OF THE YEAR. BUT COULD THE TEMPORARY CLOSURE BE A SIGN THAT HIGH GAS PRICES ARE BEGINNING TO STALL SALES FOR S-U-V'S?
KRISTA BRINKMEYER WANTS TO TRADE IN HER YUKON FOR A CHEAPER RIDE. SHE'S TRYING TO SAVE MONEY TO GO BACK TO COLLEGE AND PAYING UPWARDS OF 250 DOLLARS A WEEK ON GAS IS QUICKLY EMPTYING OUT HER POCKETBOOK.
"It's about 28-dollars a week to fill up my cutlass, but it's 50 to 60 dollars a week to fill [the Yukon] up," says Brinkmeyer, who’s had her SUV up for sale for about a few weeks.
SUVS ARE SITTING A LITTLE LONGER ON SOME LOCAL CAR LOTS AS WELL. AND DEALERS, TOO, POINT THEIR FINGERS AT GAS PRICES.
"Gas prices, an election year, just a lot of things holding us up right now," says Dennis Edwards, owner of Prestige Motors.
BUT CAR DEALERS SAY THEY'RE NOT WORRYING JUST YET. THEY SAY ONCE THE COLD WEATHER HITS, SUV'S LIKE THIS WON'T STAY ON THE LOT FOR LONG.
"When the snow flies we'll probably get rid of all of them in the first week, then you're trying to find them," adds Edwards.
SUV SALES ARE STILL UP ON THE YEAR, DESPITE A SLIGHT DECLINE A FEW MONTHS AGO. INCENTIVES, LIKE ZERO PERCENT FINANCING, ON SOME NEW MODELS MAY BE HELPING. AUTO MANUFACTURERS ARE ALSO COMING OUT WITH CHEAPER, LESS GAS-HUNGRY MODELS.
BUT IT WON'T BE ENOUGH TO ENTICE BRINKMEYER, WHO'S HOPING TO END HER GAS GUZZLING DAYS VERY SOON.
CAR DEALERS SAY SUV SALES SEEM TO BE FAIRLY SEASONAL. THEY'RE HOT IN THE SPRING, AS PEOPLE START TO HAUL CAMPING TRAILERS AND BOATS BACK INTO THE WATER, AS WELL AS IN THE WINTER, WHEN FOUR-WHEEL-DRIVE STARTS LOOKING GOOD AFTER THE FIRST SNOW FALL.