Nobody Cares About Gas Mileage, Until They Do

Ford has exited the sedan market almost entirely, and even the Japanese car industry is having trouble selling its flagship product:

As Americans’ taste shifts toward sport-utility vehicles, Nissan’s U.S. sedan sales fell almost 35% in April from a year earlier, driving an overall decline of 28%. Honda’s overall sales fell 9.2%, while Toyota’s dropped 4.7%….Honda maintains that its Accord, which was named North American Car of the Year in January, still can recover although sales fell by nearly a fifth in April.

Henio Arcangeli, the company’s U.S. sales chief, said “growth opportunities still exist within the passenger car side of our business” because “not all customers in the market want a truck or SUV.”

We’ve all seen this movie before:

When gas prices go down, suddenly everyone wants a gas guzzler. Then they’ll all start moaning when the price of gas goes up and they have to pay full sticker for a Camry because they’re in such high demand that Toyota can’t keep up. We Americans are such idiots.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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