04 June 2008

A post about cars. Or statistics. Or both. Maybe neither.

General Motors is looking to offload that symbol of American arrogance, obliviousness, and stupidity, the Hummer. I suppose that ship has finally sailed, now that the Housing Bust and the Credit Crunch have arrived simultaneously with the end of the Era of Cheap Gas. As always, the Washington Post obfuscates statistics for no apparent purpose other than to make clear comparisons impossible. For example, check out this sparkling paragraph:
North American sales of the Hummer family peaked at 75,939 vehicles in 2006, according to Ward's AutoInfoBank data. The drop since then has been precipitous, no doubt owing to high gas prices and social shaming. This year, only about 3,000 H2s have been sold. (At $4 per gallon, the $57,000 H2's tank costs $128 to fill.)

Let's see...the Hummer family -- which included in 2006 the H1, H2, and H3 -- sold 75,939 vehicles. But in 2008 -- a year currently underway -- one version (the H2) is down to 3K vehicles. So we have the entire line for a year compared to one model for less than half a year. Why make it so convoluted? Why not simply compare the entire line in 2006 to the entire line in 2008? Or extrapolate to say the Hummer line is on pace to sell X units in 2008.

In fact, let's make a word problem of it. If the Hummer family sold 75,939 units in 2006, and the H2 sold 3000 units in 5/12ths of 2008, how many Hummer family units have been sold so far in 2008? Um...who knows. The Post hasn't given enough information to make any sort of statistically interesting comparison. All you can really conclude is that sales are way down, especially since the H1 was discontinued after 2006, so the Hummer family only includes the H2 and H3 in 2008.

But enough of my complaining about the Washington Post's sloppy reporting. At least it's not the Washington Times. Let's celebrate the hopeful demise of one of the most ugly, asinine, wasteful, and shameful penis replacements ever invented.


ma said...

The hummer was meant for people who lived in places where one can get attacked by big, wild animals.

I know that Rats in this city get big, but...

Gilahi said...

It's like one big commercial, isn't it? "Eating brown mustard reduces your chances of contracting nose puppies by 10%". So what ARE my chances of contracting nose puppies? 1 in 100 billion? What if I hate brown mustard? I might be willing to chance that rather than reducing it to 1 in 10 billion.

lacochran said...

As Barbie famously said, "Math is hard."

The Washington Post is sliding. Nobody reads the printed page anymore. The WP just bought out/retired 10% of their reporters. Sad, really.