Making vehicles vegan (those who avoid animal products altogether) friendly is a new marketing strategy employed by car manufacturers, as seen in advertising for the Toyota Prius and upcoming Ford Escape Hybrid. Toyota does not offer leather seats in the Prius since that option would offend some customers, and a recent ad campaign for the Escape bragged that 11 members of its design team are vegetarians, and the team leader is a vegan.

Even Mercedes will have a non-leather package available in 2005, created by popular demand. Car companies are scrambling to please customers who usually buy stuff like organic produce because they’re usually afflunet types who are willing to shell out more for something that harms the planet less, and which (they shelling out more) subsequently puts more coins in automakers’ coffers.

Better gas mileage actually a good investment

In one of the odder tactics at taking a look at how much money better mileage cars can save you syndicated writer Scott Burns has come up with a formula that shows the real money saved by trading in gas guzzlers for more efficient vehicles. Basically trading in Scott’s VW Turbo Beetle for a Prius and he saves $1,000 a year. He then states that earn that much money in dividends on the stock market, S&P 500 specifically, you’d need to have over $70,000 invested. Damn. That makes the Prius worth those extra few bones. But it’s not just a one car calculator. Burns has figured out the difference in any two cars. So see if going more fuel efficient is really worth it.

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