Was Freud a Minivan or S.U.V. Kind of Guy? (was SUVs)

Kirsten Neilsen kirsten at Infothecary.ORG
Tue May 22 17:24:08 PDT 2001

Joanna Bujes wrote:

I don't know. Again, if you take Robinson Crusoe as one of the founding capitalist myths, the SUV and everything it offers, subverts that myth: it's headed back to the island. It also always struck me that it is the post-holocaust vehicle of choice. There's this fantasy wrapped up in it that after the bombs go off, or the darkies riot, or whatever, you can pack your family in your SUV and head for the hills.


i thought i would add an account of car makers/marketers psychological profile of SUV buyers vs. minivan buyers (as reported in _stay free!_ magazine).

July 17, 2000, Monday

Was Freud a Minivan or S.U.V. Kind of Guy?


Source: The New York Times


Although purchasers of SUVs and minivans are pretty much the same demographically (affluent married couples in their fourties witrh children), the two vehicles are designed and marketed according to automakers' percptions of deep psychological differences between them. Interviews with designers and marketers at Ford, DaimlerChrysler, and other car companies reveal:

Sport utility buyers tend to be more restless, more sybaritic, less social people who are "self-oriented," who have strong conscious or subconscious fears of crime. Minivan buyers tend to be more self-confident and more "other-oriented" -- more involved with family, friends, and their communities.

"Minivan people want to be in comtrol in terms of safety, being able to park and maneuver in trafic, being able to get elderly people in and out ," said Fred J Schaafsma of General Motors. "SUV owners want to be more like, 'I'm in control of the people around me.'" That's one of the reasons why seats are mounted higher in sport utilities than in minivans.

Sport utility buyers are much more concerned with their vehicle's external appearance, while minivan buyers are more interested in the vehicle's interiors and practicality, acording to Thomas Elliott of Honda. David C McKinnon of Daimler-Chrysler said that the company's highest executives had told him repeatedly to "get [SUV drivers] up in the air and make them husky." For the minivan, he said, the goal was an attractive interior that would make buyers as if they were once again "in the womb."

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