I found this yesterday on SUVs which was an interesting read. I love psychology and having a guy who actually worked in the car industry in this area is fairly eye opening. In there it says the auto industry's own research shows that between 1 and 13 percent of SUV owners use their car off road and that they count off road as flat dirt roads so they're essentially just ego purchases which I imagine is the same for a lot of trucks...Bill Fitzmaurice wrote: ↑Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:45 pmBe thankful, the damn things clog up the roads. What's worse is that today's uberpickups don't have more capacity or space than those of yore, they're just bigger for no good reason. Worse, I'd say half, if not more, are purchased as passenger vehicles, not working trucks. Conspicuous consumption is the American way.
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/m7q7 ... ly-selfish
Bradsher’s book is a thorough examination of how the auto industry convinced millions of Americans to buy vehicles that were more dangerous (for themselves and other people on the road), got worse gas mileage, were worse for the environment, and got them to pay a premium for the privilege of doing so.
Car companies managed this remarkable feat because they ran—and continue to run—quite possibly the most sophisticated marketing operations on the planet. They knew what people really wanted: to project an image of selfish superiority. And then they sold it to them at a markup.
The picture they painted of prospective SUV buyers was perhaps the most unflattering portrait of the American way of life ever devised. It doubled as a profound and lucid critique of the American ethos, one that has only gained sharper focus in the years since. And that portrait is largely the result of one consultant who worked for Chrysler, Ford, and GM during the SUV boom: Clotaire Rapaille.
Rapaille, a French emigree, believed the SUV appealed—at the time to mostly upper-middle class suburbanites—to a fundamental subconscious animalistic state, our “reptilian desire for survival,” as relayed by Bradsher. (“We don’t believe what people say,” the website for Rapaille’s consulting firm declares. Instead, they use “a unique blend of biology, cultural anthropology and psychology to discover the hidden cultural forces that pre-organize the way people behave towards a product, service or concept”). Americans were afraid, Rapaille found through his exhaustive market research, and they were mostly afraid of crime even though crime was actually falling and at near-record lows. As Bradsher wrote, “People buy SUVs, he tells auto executives, because they are trying to look as menacing as possible to allay their fears of crime and other violence.” They, quite literally, bought SUVs to run over “gang members” with, Rapaille found.
Perhaps this sounds farfetched, but the auto industry’s own studies agreed with this general portrait of SUV buyers. Bradsher described that portrait, comprised of marketing reports from the major automakers, as follows:
Who has been buying SUVs since automakers turned them into family vehicles? They tend to be people who are insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors or communities.