As gas prices across the U.S. quickly approach $3 a gallon — the New York State average is already there, according to the AAA — conventional wisdom would call for switching from sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) to smaller cars.

But in Detroit, the exact opposite seems to be happening: U.S. automakers are cranking out the SUV’s and trucks for a number of reasons — not the least of which is the aging Baby Boomer generation.

WIBV reported that car designers are finding older drivers want something they can get in and out of easily, so they are building larger vehicles that are more fuel efficient. 

Auto industry expert Art Wheaton of the Worker Institute at Cornell says American automakers are saying goodbye to the tiny economical cars that sip gas, in favor of the larger vehicles, such as SUV’s, small pickups, and crossover vehicles.

“Just small cars in general are not doing well. The tiny cars they were making, the subcompacts and the compacts are not doing well and the demand has been soft.”

Ford has announced that it is dropping most of its sedans — except for a Focus crossover utility vehicle, and its Mustang, in favor of SUV’s such as the Explorer and Escape.

The carmaker has previously announced its plans to bring back the Bronco and Ranger pickups by the end of this year.

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