. . . more than half of the Prius buyers surveyed this spring by CNW Marketing Research of Bandon, Ore., said the main reason they purchased their car was that “it makes a statement about me.” Only a third of Prius owners cited that reason just three years ago, according to CNW, which tracks consumers buying trends.I still stand by what I said earlier: the Prius is a cost competitive, practical car. And as if other car choices AREN'T drive by image? No one ever chose a BMW because it produces a certain image of the driver? Disappointing that the NYT didn't take this one step further and note that there's nothing new here. Cars ARE to a significant measure about image and a Prius is no different.
This from another NYT article is also relevant here, quoting a pollster in relation to consumers buying green products (via Alex Steffen of WorldChanging LINK):
“We didn’t find that people felt that their consumption gave them a pass, so to speak,” Mr. Shellenberger said. “They knew what they were doing wasn’t going to deal with the problems, and these little consumer things won’t add up. But they do it as a practice of mindfulness. They didn’t see it as antithetical to political action. Folks who were engaged in these green practices were actually becoming more committed to more transformative political action on global warming.”BMW drivers know that their cars won't completing transform them a paragon of cool. Similarly, I'm people buying a Prius know it doesn't erase all their unsustainable tracks upon the earth. But what's wrong with making a statement with your car?