Some analysts have offered that GM is simply making as much money as it can the old-fashioned way, piling up the cash it will need to transform. And still others observe that the auto industry is cyclical: After many good years coming back from the recession, a crash is overdue, and, this line of reasoning goes, so is a cash cushion. Which is fair enough, but not the end of the story.

The auto industry, GM included, act like this shift in consumer preference is complete. It isn’t; more than half of people only quite recently didn’t buy SUVs. They also act like it happened in a vacuum, that they are merely listening to the consumer when choosing what to sell and which plants to close.

The only thing is, consumers also listen to the industry. If they didn’t, then all the trillions of dollars spent throughout history marketing automobiles has been wasted, including all of that marketing that has, for decades, been increasingly aimed at selling people SUVs they don’t need.