From politics, brand loyalties, and all the way to car options, for decades Americans have known what they like and have stuck with it. For many, a truck wasn’t a truck without a strong V-8, a sedan came with nothing less than a V-6, and four cylinders were something for people on a budget.
According to the Associated Press however, gas price increases since 2005 have forced stubborn American consumers to change their preferences somewhat. J.D. Power and Associates reports that smaller engine car sales are up 36 percent and V-6 truck sales are also becoming more popular. It has long been said that a problem sparks innovation and this instance is no different. Gas price hikes have led carmakers to develop vehicles with smaller engines but deliver the same if not more performance.
So what can we learn from this example? My take is that 21st century American consumers are as demanding as ever, requiring timely innovation and competitive pricing. However, with outside global forces like rising energy costs, the stubborn American consumer is learning to adapt their preferences in the face of world challenges.