Well, let's see ... it's just about ten years since the last time the Detroit-ish automakers got caught by rising fuel prices, with no working plan in place to meet the changes in demand. Ford did at least get credit for being the only one of the Three that got through it without a government bailout. I think it may play out differently this time, even if gas prices do suddenly spike. The current demand picture is bleak for car-type sedans and hatchbacks. The younger buyers who've traditionally bought smaller cars are either ditching cars completely in favor of Uber, or buying subcompact SUVs instead. For better or worse, instead of buying a subcompact car for $17k, they're electing to spend $22k for something that burns more gas and has sloppier handling -- but also looks more rugged. Cars 'R' Clothing, same as it ever was. That said, today's SUVs get better mileage than comparably sized sedans did a decade ago, and handle better than comparably sized sedans did two decades ago. A CR-V performs better in every way than a typical midsized sedan from not that too far in the past. To some degree these improvements in engines, fuel economy, tires and suspensions have allowed the SUV craze to occur. Like it or not, most passenger cars sold these days are "crossovers" and not traditional "automobiles". A lot of today's crossovers are more disappointing, to be sure. Some of them (Hyundai especially seems to have struggled here) are awfully thirsty compared to the sedans people are cross-shopping them with -- but many are not, especially in the subcompact and compact segments. Now there are any number of crossovers with highway mpg well into the 30s. No that's not quite as good as a comparable sedan, but 10 years ago we on cleanmpg were begging the automakers to simply build cars that got highway mileage in the 30s. Whatever "cars" means, anyway. The definition of "crossover" has expanded. Look at the Kia Niro: It's marketed as a crossover, and sure looks like one (even though it isn't even offered with AWD). But it gets Prius-ballpark mileage, and even better it doesn't look anything like a Prius. It's really just a tall wagon, a concept that's been around for 35 years. I think as traditional cars mostly disappear, crossovers will be doing a better job of providing good mpg than in the past. Overall, people are still demanding higher mileage than they did until recently, despite a multi-year slump in gas prices. Ford is going to continue marketing the Focus ... but as a crossover, and I'm sure as a thriftier alternative to the Escape. Even Toyota is going to position the new Prius V as a crossover, and I highly doubt its mpg will take a hit. So-called "crossovers" can get decent mileage, especially if they're essentially just cars with a different label and styling, as is increasingly the case. And Ford is about to massively expand its excellent hybrid drivetrain across much of the lineup, which will also help protect its position as energy prices rise. So overall I don't think this is terrible news. The message buried in this is that automakers will continue selling more wagons (a category that includes all SUVs) than ever. The (car) wagon is dead! Long live the (crossover) wagon!