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Who Buys Big SUVs?

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Aaron Gordon, writing for Vice on the return of the Hummer:

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.

I recently rented a Chevy Tahoe because we needed the storage capacity for a day trip. I can’t believe anyone chooses to drive these things daily. It’s like driving a car inside a car, no feel for the road at all.

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ktgeek
150 days ago
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we recently bought a SUV because we needed towing capacity for our camper. I find myself liking it much more than I thought I would... we went SUV over pickup because for the times we do need it for daily driving, we wanted more comfort and space. If I could get the towing capacity I need in something that wasn't a land barge, I'd be all for it, but that's not how it works right now.
Bartlett, IL
tingham
150 days ago
I've been driving a tacoma for years (mountain bikes, camping, always having "friends") and when my wife wanted out of the minivan we put her in a 4 runner because it's the same frame. Even the Sequoia is too big.
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kazriko
133 days ago
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"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." Yeah, right, and all of Freud's patients actually did want to sleep with their mothers.

If I were getting an SUV, it'd be entirely for the towing capacity and cargo capacity. Otherwise I'd just get a van. Of course, right now I have two cars instead.
Colorado Plateau
trekkie
133 days ago
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Six family members, we buy big SUVs to go anywhere. Minivans are cool and all if you don't need to bring stuff with you with that many people.
Wake Forest, North Carolina

Happy Halloween?

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ktgeek
248 days ago
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Bartlett, IL
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Homecoming 2019

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ktgeek
281 days ago
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Bartlett, IL
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Labor Day Camping 2019

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ktgeek
294 days ago
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Bartlett, IL
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Camping 2018

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ktgeek
352 days ago
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Bartlett, IL
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The New Dropbox Sucks

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Dropbox:

Today, we’re unveiling the new Dropbox. It’s the Dropbox you know and love, but better. It’s a single workspace to organize your content, connect your tools, and bring everyone together, wherever you are. The first thing you’ll notice is an all-new Dropbox desktop app that we’re introducing today through our early access program. It’s more than an app, though — it’s a completely new experience.

I don’t want any of this. All I want from Dropbox is a folder that syncs perfectly across my devices and allows sharing with friends and colleagues. That’s it: a folder that syncs with sharing. And that’s what Dropbox was.

Now it’s a monstrosity that embeds its own incredibly resource-heavy web browser engine. In a sense Steve Jobs was right — the old Dropbox was a feature not a product. But it was a feature well-worth paying for, and which made millions of people very happy.

If iCloud Drive folder sharing works as well as promised when it ships this fall, I’ll probably ditch Dropbox completely. There’s simply no clarity to this new Dropbox. I don’t even understand much of what Dropbox is saying it can do. I think they’re trying to be Slack or something? I already have Slack. All I want is a folder that syncs, with sharing.

See Also: Michael Tsai’s roundup of links.

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ktgeek
387 days ago
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I'd really like to drop Dropbox completely, and this might be the moment, but it would be great if I could get my iCloud Drive on other platforms. Ok, frankly, just my linux box at home.
Bartlett, IL
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fxer
382 days ago
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I’ve been experimenting with hosting a Seafile server in docker on a VPS to replace Dropbox
Bend, Oregon
satadru
382 days ago
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This is one of the problems with using a VC funded closed source product/API as part of your infrastructure. It is inevitable that the company will try to pivot to make more money by leveraging their existing user base and application to do something else.

Not only is it inevitable, but it would violate the fiduciary duty of the company's directors to the company's shareholders not to do so.

The question for you is this: does using the product and being a customer provide some sort of useful secondary gain, whether that be provide more competition in the market or promote something (like a company's products benefiting human rights by the company staring down repressive regimes) that makes that trade-off worthwhile.
New York, NY
ScottInPDX
381 days ago
I'm married to a person who has had Dropbox for years, and I can't see any way it's better than Google drive. There are plenty of ways it's worse, and it looks like there's more of that coming. I have a Dropbox account to store a couple of things I don't want in Google drive, but that's probably going to change soon as well. This push to be everything is only going to muddy the waters and frustrate people. Probably not the best strategy for a company whose core competency is being a file sharing and storage provider...
anthonylatta
386 days ago
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I ditched dropbox a few weeks ago once they limited sign-ins to three devices. Feels good.
Washington, DC
Cacotopos
385 days ago
Me too, at the exact same time. Haven't looked back since there are so many alternatives these days.
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