Here we go again. It didn’t take long. Gas prices have fallen so Americans again are returning to buying gas guzzling vehicles.

Make no mistake: The auto industry is still reeling from low sales, but those who are buying have the industry scratching their heads trying to figure out customer preferences.

Initial data from around the nation indicate buyers have thrown caution to the wind again and are buying bigger vehicles. These sales have been substantiated at the National Dealers of Automobile Dealers convention in New Orleans.

That trend has reached into Jackson County, especially on auto row in Independence. David Branstetter, the general manager of Landmark Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep says that since gasoline prices have gone down they have sold a lot of trucks.

“It’s strange. Customers hardly mention gas prices. They are more concerned with what fits their pocketbook.”

Dan Boyer, vice president of Galen Boyer Motors, tells me, “Before the drop in gasoline prices, people where dumping trucks like crazy. Now it’s just the opposite. The trend today is so turbulent, so unpredictable.”

The executive vice president of Broome Cadillac, David Clutts reports, “We’ve had a great December in Escalade sales even though sales are down from a year ago.”

As for a bigger vehicle, Clutts says customers with large families are faced with the dilemma, “Do I buy two small cars or one big family vehicle?”

Bill Dimitris, the GM at Blue Springs Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, notes that large families and blue-collar workers are definitely returning to bigger SUV’s and trucks.

“Last summer you couldn’t give a truck away. Now I am outselling small cars three to one with four-wheel drive vehicles. I can’t keep up with the demand for some of our larger vehicles.”

Meanwhile back at the NADA convention, incoming chairman John McEleney is urging all dealers to alert the public of their contribution to local and state economies by our hiring people, by generating sales taxes and by aiding employees in health care and higher education. Outgoing Chairwomen Annette Sykora said dealers need to hammer home that it’s dealers who take the risks that allow manufacturers to distribute their products efficiently and our facilities that service America’s cars and trucks.

Meanwhile, has anyone noticed, gas prices are starting to rise again. Here we go again.

I give you President John Adam’s toast: Independence forever.