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    by: William Jeanes | AOL Autos
     

    Anyone who reads or listens to anything beyond package labels and Kmart shopper alerts knows that the United States is an oxymoron (are an oxymoron?). People in Seattle are different from people in Savannah, and the citizens of Boston are unlike the citizens of Bakersfield. Recent data from our partners at car-shopping website Honk has confirmed this.

    Using a sales database of 85,000 vehicles, the analysts at Honk compiled lists of the best-selling cars in four geographic areas of the U.S. These were the Northeast Region, Western Region, Midwest/Central Region, and Southern Region.

    Some readers may recall that journalist and think-tanker Joel Garreau divided our continent into nine parts in his 1981 work, The Nine Nations of North America. Right there, you have evidence that Honk may have oversimplified a bit, but there are some nuggets to be mined from its data anyway.

    Let’s start with what cliche mongers call the low-hanging fruit. Where, asked the professor, does the Toyota Prius sell well? If you answered California, you’d be given an Honor Student bumper sticker and a big helping of self-esteem. The Prius, in fact, occupies the number one slot in the Western Region’s top 25 vehicles.

    Why am I not surprised? For one thing, my sources tell me that Leonardo Di Caprio and Rob Reiner each drive a Prius, and if enviro-liberal opinion leaders are going to influence a car purchase in any market, it will be in California. But the Prius phenomenon is not limited to the red-carpet crowd. A sensible Santa Barbara couple I have known for years traded in their Lexus and Jaguar sedans and bought a brace of Priuses. They did it, they said, simply because it lowered their consumption of fossil fuels, a sound enough reason.

    Three other hybrids (Ford Fusion, Toyota Highlander, Ford Escape) made the Western Region list. As long as we’re doing social profiling in California, consider that a Scarborough Research survey tells us that hybrid owners consume more organic food, yogurt, and decaffeinated coffee than the general population and are twice as likely to practice yoga and go skiing. The gang at any Fort Worth Starbucks could have told you that, but their research credentials are shaky.

    You hardly need a certified researcher to guess the politics of hybrid owners. According to Scarborough, 14 percent are evil Republicans intent on destroying the planet, 38 percent are Democrats determined to spend us into abject poverty in order to save it, and 36 percent call themselves Independent, probably because the other two groups scare them witless. Some 78 percent of hybrid owners regularly used e-mail, however, so there’s a faint hope for a meeting of minds.

    Contrast the California Prius success story to the Southern Region, where full-size pickup trucks occupy three of the first five positions and the Chevrolet Camaro is number one. I live in this region and am heartily puzzled at the Camaro’s showing but not at all surprised by the pickups. I say that because I don’t seem to see a great many Camaros, old or new, but pickups are ubiquitous. Maybe all the Camaros are in Atlanta and Nashville, which brings up another point: Any automotive research organization that puts Alabama, Georgia, and Florida in the same region apparently hasn’t been watching enough Southeastern Conference football.

    The Camaro actually makes both the Southern and Midwest Region top 25, but not the Northeast, which includes New Jersey. Hybrids, incidentally, scored in only the Western Region, and Cadillac, despite a commendable product renaissance, appears only in the Midwest. Nineteen of the top 25 vehicles in the Midwest Region are domestic (if we include the no-longer-GM-owned Saab 9-3), probably because the three domestic automakers are headquartered there. In the Southern, Western, and Northeast Region, domestics placed nine, five, and six vehicles.

    The Northeast Region, home to such diverse American oddities as Don Imus and Howard Dean, as well as a disproportionate amount of the country’s wealth, numbered only two luxury sedans among its top 25. These were the E-Class Mercedes and the BMW 5-Series. The rest of the list was dominated by what we might call Bean-Bauer vehicles, as in L.L and Eddie. Two Jeeps, which made no other regional lists, appeared, as well as two Subarus, and a handful of other SUVs and crossovers.

    How do the regional lists stack up against regional stereotyping and national best-sellers? We’ve already examined a couple of common perceptions, the Californians as eco-crazed and the Northeasterners as rugged mountain folk (except for the millions who live in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia). And we have seen that the Midwest harbors an affection for domestic nameplates.

    What about Gritworld, where I live? There are some expected developments and some surprises. Four of the five full-size pickups made the list (I’m counting GMC and Chevrolet as one), but the missing pickup was the Chevrolet Silverado, which, as far as I’m concerned, calls the whole of Honk’s research into question. The Southern Region claimed the only two convertibles (the BMW 3-Series and the Infiniti G37) to appear on any regional list. The absence of convertibles in California may be explained by the overall warmer climate in the southern states or by celebrities thinking that the canvasback duck is slaughtered in wholesale quantities to provide convertible tops for the rich.

    A double handful of full-size SUVs made the Southern Region list. This prevalence of big vehicles probably won’t change much until our regional thought leaders (think Brett Favre and the offensive line of the Saints) join Tom Hanks and Ed Begley at a Hollywood fundraiser for Jay Rockefeller. The surprise to me was the number of upscale sedans, four, that appeared.

    So what can we conclude about all this? That it’s hard as all hell to pigeonhole car buyers, despite what so many eager know-it-alls over in the Marketing Department would have you believe.

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    1 - 20 of 128 Comments
    lucytiom11 Dec 08, 2010 9:49 PM
    Do you want to experience i-nterracial da-ting? I met my black guy on B_l_a_c_k_w_h_i_t_e_C_u_p_i_d // C_0_M It is an interracial community for nice singles of all races. You may have a try ;) Good luck.
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    steelcr Dec 04, 2010 1:03 AM
    quote: As an Arkansas boy, I drive a 3500 cummins dodge truck and a wrangler jeep. Would never own or drive a car. >> As an Arizona, "Cosmic Cowboy"...I'm with you. Nothing against cars. But, there are not what I prefer to drive. I Love, my 2009 Nissan Xterra SUV (4 x 4). I like being "higher up," when I drive. I like having 4 wheel drive...& wouldn't buy a 2 wheel drive, again. I can put a lot of cargo, in the back...after I fold down the rear seats. That only takes 30 seconds per seat. Having a 4 x 4, I can go off-road...& enjoy driving on trails. In the desert, or in the mountains...& I don't have to worry about getting stuck. Because, I won't!! If, I happen to be somewhere...& it snows -- NO problem. I'm not a "cold weather" person.....so, I avoid it at all costs. That's why I live in the desert. Scottsdale, Arizona (...Phoenix area). It's in the low 70's today...& as far as the forecast can show. Sorry for getting off the topic. I use to live in the northeast, & I dreaded the coming of winter. My dream, for years...was to move to Arizona. My wife & I...LOVE it here!! I'm almost certain, that my Xterra was made in the USA. Not sure, though. I'll look inside the door, next time I drive it. Sorry, for the long-winded post. Thanks for your time!
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    rewalkerandco Dec 03, 2010 3:44 PM
    they built bradlys(the US fighting vehicle thats run with the M1-A2 abrams tank) in south carolina (sure wish I could get one) maybe I wouldn't need collision insurance be damn hard to park one I reckon an I'd have a 25mm chain gun for road rage well that or a car that can fly since we all harping on what might could be
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    toamerican Dec 03, 2010 3:22 PM
    I thought LA was in the south! So, what your are saying is people in LA are the same as the people in Seattle? Not!
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    daveclark624 Dec 03, 2010 2:07 PM
    Well i live in W.V. and i drive a 84 dodge ramcharger. It has 88,000 org. miles on it, has the 360 four barrel carb. It only gets @ 10 mpg in town, but have gotten as much as 15mpg on hwy. But it runs like a bull, and goes places new suv's cant. Ive never had her stuck,sure its a tank ****** all american,I would'nt have it any other way..
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    arvig Dec 03, 2010 1:57 PM
    To add to this, the author of this blog is even making reference to another article, so all he's doing is reporting what someone else said. :P That is apparently missed by people as well.
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    arvig Dec 03, 2010 1:56 PM
    I love how so many are treating this article as if the author made absolute statements for each region. Obviously he didn't. They are very general statements for very broad regions. To analyze them past that is to miss the point of the article. He is just saying that there's a possible tendency for each region to have more buyers of a specific type or make of vehicle, that's all. He didn't say that everyone in the South has a Camaro or in the west has a Prius. :P
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    cfitzg4117 Dec 03, 2010 1:54 PM
    I drive a magic carpet!!!!!!!alllllllllllll
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    marauderchico4 Dec 03, 2010 1:43 PM
    I live in Hogfart, Arkansas!! Drive an '03 Mercury Marauder!! If I was rich enough I'd buy a half dozen more and put 'em in storage!! Big-comfortable-and runs like a scared rabbit!! Not to mention being way cool looking!! Only things that have ever come close was my '90 IROC Z-28 with the LT-1 engine, My Harley-Davidson-and My '96 Peterbilt 379EXTDHD!!
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    shaikiss3 Dec 03, 2010 1:43 PM
    I live in Jersey and I use to drive a camaro a few yrs back. It wasn't cause everyone was driving one either. That was just my preference. There are people here that drive different cars from infiniti to escalades to bmw's, toyota's, honda's , lexus, please I've seen it all. It says Chevrolet malibu for northeast? I don't know about that ..Rarely seen those cars.
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    peaseconst Dec 03, 2010 1:41 PM
    Oxymoron wrote this artical.
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    abigloadofcream Dec 03, 2010 1:37 PM
    lol this so called information is lame.....!! I live in Arkansas and everyone around me drives either high end SUV's:Escalades,Mercedes,Porsche,etc and in as much as the cars go well I myself drive an M3 BMW and I see a plethora of Mercedes,Porsche,BMW, and Bentley's as well as Aston Martins around including more than a few Rolls..... Yes we love our jacked up trucks here with 44 inch tires on them and yes we drive those too so please leave your lame assumptions about Arkansas on that desk of yours rather than putting it on the web as if it were some kind of face loser!
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    hjcrousebigh Dec 03, 2010 1:17 PM
    palm beach county,florida I drive a lincolyn town car.
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    zorro4354 Dec 03, 2010 1:15 PM
    people on the west coast know what's up when it comes to driving cars. imports all the way. i live in GA and i see so much camaros and mustangs it's not even funny. people are all about american cars here. no problem with that...if you like a car that weighs 5000lbs, can't handle, isn't reliable, and has the engine blow up when it reaches 80k miles. lol. imports will ALWAYS be at the top. i drive a honda s2000 and before that i've owned 3 honda preludes. i will never be caught dead in an american car.
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    gilchrist417 Dec 03, 2010 1:15 PM
    Im from SW Florida and I love my Saturn Hybrid Vue
    Report This
    iren414141 Dec 03, 2010 1:12 PM
    most uncomfortable car i ever rode in and drove........buy american made cars and create american jobs
    Report This
    rewalkerandco Dec 03, 2010 1:11 PM
    We live on the georgia south carolina line an at the time my ex had had 6 accidents in a 5 month period not all her fault so I put her in my 79 ford F-250 4x4 which I'd built it had a 460 cid out of a school bus all the front crush points on the frame gusseted over the front bumper was made out of 18" channel iron an after building it weighted over 650 pounds alone in the bed was a sheet of one inch steel bolted to the frame cut to fit around the wheel wells an it rode on 30's this was also the same time frame that the road warriors was on wresling so I took a old mustang front bumper bra an with some paper ice cones an a 5 gal bucket of bumper repair made spikes so the front end had all theses rubber spikes on it I took the truck to the farmers market an weighted it on trucker scales it weighted 11,750. pounds empty my instructions to her was if she looked like she was going to be in a accident floor it hit the nos an aim for a corner at no time was she to hit the brakes the acceleration an g force will pin her in the back of the seat away from the steering wheel an the weight of the vehicle will just push anything thats not a tractor trailer out of her way I was looking to keep her safe not worry about the dumb souls that got in her way you know something she drove that truck for 3 years an didn't put even a shopping cart dent into it
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    tousley182 Dec 03, 2010 1:04 PM
    Prius is very BIG in Cambridge, MA!
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    trickropermw Dec 03, 2010 1:03 PM
    I live in Texas, I drive a Camaro and my husband a F350. When I wear this Camaro out I will get another one. We like horse power!
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    ggcdm2 Dec 03, 2010 12:57 PM
    Well, I live in the South, and I don't drive any of that stuff. I drive a Volvo. It is a great, safe car, that lasts and lasts. Can't beat a Volvo.
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    Using a sales database of 85,000 vehicles, the analysts at Honk compiled lists of the best-selling cars in four geographic areas of the U.S.
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