10 February 2007

Eco-Chic Didn't Last Long . . .

. . . at least in the music industry.

Because I know people who know stuff, I can tell you that big black Escalades are once again in high demand amongst local companies that rent out such vehicles.

There's a whole subset of the car rental industry hereabouts that handles luxury cars from top of the line Ferraris to the most outrageously 'pimped out' SUVs.

During awards season, they get real busy, a lot of folks fly in from NYC, and want to travel in luxury while tooling around L.A.. Also, there aren't a whole lot of quality hotel rooms in Downtown (yet, there are some massive projects in the pipeline that will change that), so the folks arriving for the Grammy's are most likely staying in either Beverly Hills or Santa Monica.

For the Oscars, there will be some uptick in Prius demand, no doubt (and yes, those are rentable hereabouts as well), especially with Gore being annointed as the prophet of our age during the ceremonies. Of the people that expect you to drive around in less car than you may want, know that few of them use their green econo-boxes as their sole mode of transport and will rent these buckets to arrive at events where big SUVs might be seen as obscene.

I'm no fan of SUVs personally, and I believe it was short-sighted and stupid policy when the government instituted the rule set that made building these things more desirable and profitable for car companies.

All those years of huge profits have dried up for GM and Ford (the biggest beneficiary of the less stringent 'truck' standards compared to 'car' standards, during the SUVs' hey-day). At the peak of the Navigator craze, Ford spent about $11,000 to make them and sold them wholesale at about $40,000. They went from making obscene per unit profits on hot sellers, to losing more money than any company in US history last quarter.

But with all that said, gasoline is the best fuel on many levels for powering cars, and folks should make the choices that make sense for themselves on an individual basis. Dreams of Hydrogen fuel cells, or full plug-in cars, are just that dreams, and if you study the numbers (as Popular Mechanics has done), don't make sense from both a cost and pollution stand point (with the cavaet that plug-in would be great, but only if we got most of our power from nuclear power instead of coal and natural gas as we do now).

But back to the original point, I'm glad folks will be rolling to the Grammys in big black Escalades, it's the American Way.

Do it with pride.

(also, this post should contain tons of links, but it's a lazy Saturday, so just pretend the links are there, you can find the PopMech article I refer to pretty easily your own damn self, and as far as the sorry state of Ford and the ridiculous profits they made in the 90s, that's pretty well documented, also)

UPDATE (14 FEB 07 4:15pm)

Welcome (?!?) Green Living Magazine visitors, stay around, or read this recent post, or these old post. Think of it as a cardiovascular work out (as your blood pressure may rise a bit).

Also, I know y'all probably just did a search for terms like 'eco-chic' and figurd this piece would fit in, but you may want to try and read what folks have to say before linking them, just a suggestion, don't want to seem ungrateful for the linkage.

Thanks for the link, next time I swig a Labatt's Blue, you'll be in my thoughts.

No comments: