Sales of cars – a category of autos that excludes SUVs, minivans and pickups – have been falling steadily for decades. They dropped 10% between 1990 and 2001, according to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which keeps track of this for the federal government. Worst hit in recent years have been subcompact cars. They saw sales cut in half in the past decade.
Sales of SUVs, meanwhile, climbed an eye-popping 312%
* * *
Despite all this, overall fuel economy of all the passenger vehicles on the road actually climbed 6.6% between 1990 and 2000, according to the Energy Information Administration. And the highway fatality rate dropped 27.4%.
Gee, people in big, heavy cars are safer in a crash? Whoda thunk it!