Gasoline is still about $3 a gallon. But sales of big pickups are only a step or two behind last year, and all SUVs except the midrange nameplates are healthy.
So what has happened to the small-car boom that was supposed to emerge when gasoline prices began to ascend?
The numbers say that small-car sales in the first nine months of this year were up a piddling 3.4 percent.
It indicates that Americans are still voting for style, comfort, convenience and performance. Many of the small cars are decidedly short of all those attributes. Sure, the cost of filling the tank is important, but apparently it is not as important as some would have you believe.
In this analysis, Automotive News defined "small cars" as those with a wheelbase of less than 103 inches and overall length of 175 inches or less.
There are 15 of them; going from A to almost Z, they stretch from the Hyundai Accent to the Toyota Yaris. Nine of the 15 posted a year-to-year sales increase; the six others were down.
From a percentage standpoint, the biggest gainer was the Nissan Versa. Nissan dealers sold more than five times as many Versas this year as they did in the first nine months of 2006. But remember that the Versa did not go on sale until June 2006.
The big pickups (the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F series, etc.) were down only 2.5 percent, thanks to the Toyota Tundra. The Tundra's gain just about balanced the losses of its rivals.
The Ford F series continues to lead the pickups (and all other models) in sales. The F series was down 12.9 percent for nine months, but it was still nearly 60,000 sales ahead of the Silverado, its nearest rival.