Jun 24 2008
Scooters Make A Comeback
Tuesday, 24 June 2008

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Some vehicle manufacturers in the Lower-48 are shutting down factories that had been producing thousands of SUV’s before gas prices rose markedly. Kodiak residents are also taking new steps to ease their pocketbooks from the rising cost of fuel. Mary Donaldson has this report.

Across the U.S., sales of smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles versus large trucks have risen in light of higher fuel prices.  The lower miles-per-gallon average for the larger trucks makes them uneconomical for some customers when the average price per gallon of gas is over 4-dollars. Though larger vehicle sales in the Lower-48 are staggering, truck sales in Kodiak appear to be unaffected, even with gas prices as high as 4-dollars and 65-cents for a gallon of regular gasoline.

Debbie Refior, the owner of Kodiak Motors, says the sales of trucks at her Ford dealership have not been affected.

(Refior 1                     :28s     “…than it is our driving.”)

She says trucks compliment the outdoor lifestyles for people in Kodiak as well as the need for four-wheel drive in the winter months.

The higher gas prices have been generating more creativity from other motorists, however. Warner Tire and Yamaha is selling more fuel efficient scooters and motorcycles at a pace that has not previously been seen at the shop. Taylor Humphreys is the salesman finance manger for Warner’s and says he is ordering scooters on a regular basis.

            (Taylor 1         :10s     “…constant rotation of stock”)

            He says he has seen sales for scooters rise dramatically this season. He also says the scooters have been so popular that it is hard for him to keep them on hand.

            Kodiak resident Doug Letch recently purchased one of the scooters from Warner’s, a Yamaha Zuma. The Zuma’s engine has a displacement of 49cc’s and it would take more than a dozen of them to equal a single cylinder of a large V8 engine. He says the purchase of the scooter will save him money in the future.

            (Letch 1                      :14s     “…chance to save a little money.”)

            Letch says he will be riding the scooter as often as he can, and that the scooters are very practical for Kodiak residents because of how easy it is to operate.

Humphrey’s says that that besides the great gas mileage of the scooters, there is no special license needed to operate them, which is why they are especially appealing to segments of the public that generally would not purchase the scooters.

            I’m Mary Donaldson. ###