The gasoline price spike of only a few months ago left many gas guzzlers unsold on car lots. So you would expect the rapid decline in gas prices to help move the SUVs off the lot.

Yet three factories making SUVs have closed and their sales have dropped 40%. Apparently people fear that gas prices may rebound to their record levels and fear being stuck with the gas guzzling SUVs. Yet why do we assume that the spike up was normal and the new lower price is anything other than a return to normalcy?

Yet picks up trucks are holding up much better even though they get similar mileage. Why?

Because SUVs became symbolically uncool during the gas crunch and pick up trucks did not. Vans were always uncool so there is no change in their market perception because of the prices. Van sales volume may go up because of that.

From Steven D. Levitt at the New York Times Freakonomics Blog- see recommended sites.