As I noted in my anti-anti-SUV column, Gregg Easterbrook and Keith Bradsher make much of auto industry market research which purports to show that SUV owners are “insecure and vain,” and “frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood.” This prompted a response from an NRO reader and former product planner with a major automaker who worked on the development of several successful SUV models. He found Bradsher’s characterization of the industry research suspect and implausible, and offered his own take:
If I had to describe with one phrase the motivation of an SUV buyer from my experience, I would borrow “Be Prepared” from the Boy Scouts. Consistently, our market research told us that SUV owners know that they may never use many of the features and attributes of their vehicles, but that they want them anyway, just in case.
What many anti-SUVers fail to accept is that many SUV owners place substantial value on such versatility, making SUVs the right vehicles for their wants and needs.