This is the fourth of Havas PR’s “11 Trends for 2016.”
For a while, it looked as if environmental awareness was winning out. In the tight times after the 2007-08 financial crisis, previously soaring sales of gas-guzzling vehicles faltered and dipped. Celebrities started touting their green creds by driving fuel-efficient hybrid cars, and General Motors Co. pulled the plug on its massive Hummer SUV. But that apparent shift in conscience coincided with high oil prices and distressed household budgets. Now that oil prices have fallen off a cliff, gasoline is more affordable and sales of SUVs are climbing, accounting for 36 percent of U.S. auto industry volume in mid-2015. Sales of secondhand Hummers are at an 11-year high. So much for consumers’ environmental concern.