DETROIT (AP) General Motors announced a total downsizing of its entire fleet of SUVs. The once profitable SUV monsters have become harder to sell to customers who cannot afford high gas prices. Over the past few years the size, weight, and gas consumption of GM SUVs has been steadily increasing. The typical SUV owner likes the feeling of extra safety provided by ever-larger steel bodies - even though cars are statistically much safer than SUVs or pickups.
The much smaller GM Jimbo will be replacing the Blazer, Suburban, Yukon, Escalade, Envoy, and Hummer SUVs. The much lighter Jimbo weighs far less than other SUVs by eliminating non-essential things like air conditioning, multi-speed transmissions, starters, power windows, power steering, and multi-cylinder engines.
Jimbo's single cylinder engine will be instantly recognized by anyone who has mowed his lawn. Because of the excellent work done by the General Motors engineers, the Jimbo boasts highway mileage of 14 MPG and 10 MPG in the city - a slight improvement over the older SUV lineup.
A General Motors salesman said, "Although the Jimbo is technically a one wheel drive car, we are still calling it an SUV because it is sporty, has the utility of carrying a second passenger or perhaps a small bag of groceries, and because it is still recognized by most states as a vehicle. As long as we tell potential buyers that it is an SUV, they will buy it!"
Although the GM Jimbo is probably very safe, the vehicle has not yet been tested in a crash. General Motors is choosing to wait for the real data as it becomes available once the car hits the highway.
In an unpublicized rolling out of several dozen test vehicles in New York and San Francisco, here are comments typical of people seeing the Jimbo for the first time:
"What a piece of crap!"
"It's so cute… I want one for my backyard!"
"How do you get in?"
"Can I get one with brakes?"
"I like the recoil starter."
"Is it true that American Airlines is accepting Jimbos as carry-on baggage?"
"My son will be able to tune it up."
"I wish it came with a spare tire."
"I wonder if I can tow my Suburban with it… and save even more gas?"
"Do you park it, or take it inside with you?"
"I heard that GM is going to offer a 5% discount if you buy a crate of six!"
"I like the bubble roof, but would prefer darkened glass so we can have orgies at rest stops."
"Finally: a car that my old VW Bug can cream!"