When I read Fortune magazine I expect the writing to be on a respectable level, and that the columnists will generally make sense. I am not saying that it is something I actually find all of the time, but it is a safe bet.
Then I see this headline, “The death of the station wagon.”
I think to myself, “Hmm, I wonder if this is about SUV‘s and crossovers* and the impact of higher fuel costs on cutting the numbers sold, woo, I love a well written article!”
Then I start reading…
It says, “Volvo, the company most associated with station wagons for the last 20 years, will stop selling wagons in the U.S. The market is drying up.” Okay, so they are speaking technically, and ignoring the fact that the SUV market IS the current station wagon. Phew, okay, so perhaps this will be worth the read, as long as I suspend my disbelief. The article goes on to say, “Other makers have been quietly dropping wagons for years as their customers flee to more utilitarian vehicles.” Wait, um, they recognize that it is a market shift, so the writer IS aware of the reality.
The writer then waxes less-than-poetically about the glory days of station wagons (which have not gone away) and admits to the fact that the Minivan initially displaced the “station wagon” title, and that SUV’s/Crossovers have now. I am left feeling confused, the “station wagon” has not died, it has merely became taller and heavier with worse gas mileage and was re-branded by an ad campaign.
Sigh, when Fortune writers are rambling the world is really out of luck. I hope you all enjoy hopping in your re-branded station wagons tonight, and know that no matter what name you give them that they should have died with disco.
* Both of these words are advertising weasel words designed to hide the fact that your vehicle is a station wagon.