Short form: SUVs aren't selling. Cars in general aren't selling, but small cars -- especially hybrids -- are
selling so fast dealers can't keep enough around to satisfy demand. Some of the quotes are interesting. One guy noted that the gas savings would pay for the car insurance.
It wasn't so long ago that I was seeing articles about how Prii wouldn't pay for their premium in gas unless gas got to some stinking high level (which we've probably passed by now; I didn't pay that close attention). Some of the demand in London and LA is due to rules (some of which have no expired) about what hybrids can do (avoid paying congestion fees, ride in HOV lanes with no addl passengers) that distort pricing. But I do find it entertaining that if you _wait_ until it makes _economic sense_ to buy something, you then have to compete with everyone else.
Whereas if you catch the trend _before_ it makes "economic sense", you don't have that competitive hassle.
Yet another reason why I don't much care for economic arguments. At least the dumb ones.
Should I take off on a riff about just exactly how supply often lags demand -- badly -- or just leave that as an exercise?