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gladwell dot com – big and bad

Malcolm Gladwell of Blink and Tipping Point fame is one of my favorite authors. In 2004, he wrote an article for The New Yorker discussing America’s unusual and nonsensical obsession with the SUV. It’s worth reading for the eductational value but also to admire some truly great writing.

Toyota’s top marketing executive in the United States, Bradsher writes, loves to tell the story of how at a focus group in Los Angeles “an elegant woman in the group said that she needed her full-sized Lexus LX 470 to drive up over the curb and onto lawns to park at large parties in Beverly Hills. ” One of Ford’s senior marketing executives was even blunter: “The only time those S.U.V.s are going to be off-road is when they miss the driveway at 3 a. m. “

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