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In short (2)

Just when Detroit gets retooled to compete with foreign small cars, Americans go back to buying big cars.

Even the foreign small cars aren't doing as well as they did before.

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Is it because Americans have such short memories that they can't magine gasoline prices going through the sun roof?

Is it becauee big cars are getting enough marginally better mileage to seem less like the gas guzzlers of the past?

Is it because the recession has left those who can buy cars at all able to buy big ones?

Or does it come down to the old notion that to Americans a car is more than transportation?

Reason dictates strict conservation against a potential day of reckoning. But when people's cars are their castles, reason tends to go out the electrically controlled window.