"I hear 'ya Ralph." *long pause* "OK, how 'bout we try this: Why don't we pry off those little chrome stick-on things that say 'Vista Wagon Family Truckster' and re-badge them 'Sport Utility Vehicle'? Sounds sexy, huh? What....too long? OK then, SUV."
And thus was born the runaway bestseller Ford Explorer, the original SUV.
Never mind that Land Rover....
....and Jeep had them 40 years earlier. The difference? By the 1990's Ford was a master marketer and advertiser, while Jeep and Land Rover were still hawking theirs in Field and Stream and The Sheep Rancher's Gazette.
Yesterday I was sitting on my balcony watching the cars go by on Warren Parkway below me. What I noticed was a few soccer mom's in their minivans with the little stick figure window decals....you know, dad and mom, some old guy in a wheelchair, two kids, and a couple of pets....along with the bumper sticker that says "My child is an honor student at Betty Sue Shnurtner Middle School".
Then there were a few pickup trucks, the beds still holding a bunch of empty beer cans and a turned over cooler from the weekend, with their bumper stickers proudly proclaiming "My kid won early release from the Texas Department of Corrections".
Then aside from a few sedans, all the rest were Sport Utility Vehicles, or as they like to call them today, "crossover" vehicles. Seems like everyone wants a crossover, which I find odd as they're nothing more than old fashioned station wagons.
The car companies can't seem to make them fast enough. The funny thing to me is these same car companies have been telling us for years that they can't bring their cool European "hatchbacks" to the US because Americans won't buy hatchbacks. Oh really? Lemme think....hatchbacks have doors at the back that open up. Crossovers have doors at the back that open up. Hmmmm...
I think someone forgot to give Rolls Royce....
....and even Lamborghini, the bad news.
You think maybe we could convince them to call them "station wagons" again? Then the back pasture would fill up with them all over again and we could buy them at fire-sale prices. *Interest free financing for 200 months! But wait....there's more! The first 50 callers will get absolutely free....*
That's about the only way I could ever afford a Lambo. No, probably not even then. :(
Damn you Maury and Ralph!