Bail Out Automakers ... or let 'em fall?

Bob Hubbard

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Rich,
When I was first looking for a car back in the 90's, I saw an ad for a car, a Sprint or Spirit or something that was listed as getting 60MPG. Where was this listed as the MPG? In a national publication used by car buyers and sellers everywhere. I believe it was an 86 or 87. Manufacturer was AMC.
I know someone who has worked in the auto industry a decade or 2 longer than you have, who told an interesting story of an experimental prototype that was accidental sold. It was sought out and bought back by the manufacturer for a rather nice profit.

"There is no way that any company would not release such a product."
Of course there is. If there is more money to be made in products that need regular replacing, who would make one that doesn't? I have first hand knowledge of one company who made a rock solid low maint product. They went under because their competition sold cheaper less reliable products.



How to Get 70 MPG Out of a Honda Civic


How to Get 76 MPG


376.59 MPG Car Found In Museum (It Was Built In 1959)


Germans Release 117 MPG Diesel Sportscar: Biodiesel, Anyone?


Let’s Pay Detroit To Bring Their Gas Sipping Cars Home To The U.S.A.


“150 MPG” Hybrid SUV Company Claims it is Being “Muzzled”


Low Cost Gas Engine Innovation Doubles Fuel Economy



'60 Minutes' video: Governator's green challenge

Inventing--and reinventing--the civilian Hummer
Not many people know that Schwarzenegger personally invented the civilian Hummer. The maker of the military version told him that it could never be made street-legal, so Schwarzenegger bought one and spent $100,000 of his money to show that it could be done.
Schwarzenegger's action helped launch the brand that is the very symbol of greenhouse gas gluttony.
That original Humvee, which Schwarzenegger still occasionally uses to ride around Los Angeles, has now been modified to run on cooking oil. "You can literally go up to a restaurant and get cooking oil," he told Pelley.
Now he has reinvented the vehicle with green that's more than skin-deep. He has one variation that runs partly on hydrogen, and this one has an engine modified to run on biofuel. "I mean, it runs, basically, on anything. Anything natural," he said, as he took Pelley for a ride in it.


Bottom line Rich is, I think it's easier for them to sell the same old stuff, than to really innovate. I don't consider a dvd player in the car an innovation. I don't consider making it so you need a hoist to lift your engine out to change your spark plugs, progress. Home brewers have been doing what GM and Ford don't want to do. Eeking out those boosts to fuel efficicncy far beyond the miniscule "Federal Requirements". If some backyard mechanic can do it, why can't the brain trusts at the experts do it? I think you yourself answered that one. Economics. It's cheaper to continue to move forward by millimeters, than to leap ahead in a bound. After all, who buy's $100,000 electric cars? Not the average joe out there who's wondering how much profit is still on the able with Fords recent big price drops. I've heard 40% is a fair commision at a dealership (again, same national car expert book).

So, how much does it cost to make a car today in the US, really?
it costs about $1,255 to manufacture an average family car, but when were talking a luxury vehicle or sports car it costs about $2745.
If that's true, there's still a nice profit margin built in there paying for those corporate jets, private flight crews, hanger storage, etc.

I'm in the wrong business. My private plane sits in a display case and cost me $13.
 

Bob Hubbard

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Where are the threads for the Finance Companies?

Where is the complaints about them?

They're here. You might have missed my posts there where I told off both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Higgins.

Honestly, for me, it's all a non issue. America has the government it deserves, because it's too stupid/lazy/blind/ignorant to get off it's and hold it accountable.
I'm going to recluse myself from further commentary on the auto bailouts.
Just note, in a few months, when the beggers come back to the well again, and need more to continue as usual.
Or when your dollar's value drops below the Mark's was in 1938.
You got what you deserved because of your indifference, or acceptance, and failure to act when you could.
 

Rich Parsons

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Rich,
When I was first looking for a car back in the 90's, I saw an ad for a car, a Sprint or Spirit or something that was listed as getting 60MPG. Where was this listed as the MPG? In a national publication used by car buyers and sellers everywhere. I believe it was an 86 or 87. Manufacturer was AMC.
I know someone who has worked in the auto industry a decade or 2 longer than you have, who told an interesting story of an experimental prototype that was accidental sold. It was sought out and bought back by the manufacturer for a rather nice profit.

"There is no way that any company would not release such a product."
Of course there is. If there is more money to be made in products that need regular replacing, who would make one that doesn't? I have first hand knowledge of one company who made a rock solid low maint product. They went under because their competition sold cheaper less reliable products.



How to Get 70 MPG Out of a Honda Civic


How to Get 76 MPG


376.59 MPG Car Found In Museum (It Was Built In 1959)


Germans Release 117 MPG Diesel Sportscar: Biodiesel, Anyone?


Lets Pay Detroit To Bring Their Gas Sipping Cars Home To The U.S.A.


150 MPG Hybrid SUV Company Claims it is Being Muzzled


Low Cost Gas Engine Innovation Doubles Fuel Economy



'60 Minutes' video: Governator's green challenge




Bottom line Rich is, I think it's easier for them to sell the same old stuff, than to really innovate. I don't consider a dvd player in the car an innovation. I don't consider making it so you need a hoist to lift your engine out to change your spark plugs, progress. Home brewers have been doing what GM and Ford don't want to do. Eeking out those boosts to fuel efficicncy far beyond the miniscule "Federal Requirements". If some backyard mechanic can do it, why can't the brain trusts at the experts do it? I think you yourself answered that one. Economics. It's cheaper to continue to move forward by millimeters, than to leap ahead in a bound. After all, who buy's $100,000 electric cars? Not the average joe out there who's wondering how much profit is still on the able with Fords recent big price drops. I've heard 40% is a fair commision at a dealership (again, same national car expert book).

So, how much does it cost to make a car today in the US, really?

If that's true, there's still a nice profit margin built in there paying for those corporate jets, private flight crews, hanger storage, etc.

I'm in the wrong business. My private plane sits in a display case and cost me $13.

The 3 cylinder Sprint markets by GM as a GEO manufactured by Korea Daewoo. It got 60 MPG. If you drove it on a flat surfice at 45 mph and measured the fuel economy at speed or spent about 15 minutes getting to speed. I can get 22 mpg today on my Z71 2003 Extended CAB which is fully loaded and has the 4x4 equipment including the extra skid plates. If the engine is warm and I fuel up and then slowly climb up to speed, i.e. 45 to 50 mph, I can get 21 to 22 easy and get 22.4 many times.

If you drive any car well and for fuel economy it does better.


As to that proto-type - My Family and friends have been in the field for generations. I have talked to guys with 45 plus years of experience at GM and this is the one thing they all laugh at. Hence my request for a private talk with them. I am willing to learn, but a single source point not confirmed is to be questioned. I know you would.


GM had the electric vehicle, and is discussed other places here on MT. It got 00 mpg. Why as it could not be rated. Now all the electric vehicle claim either 150 mpg or 200 mpg or 300 mpg. I find this hard to believe until it is broken down to energy unit to charge versus the battery efficiency versus energy output rates which includes temperature. Batteries have a very drastic change in performance based upon temperature. Take any one of those High Hybrids that the small companies claim and run it in Buffalo and find out how poor it would perform and how upset you would be.

Small companies can build one or two, and claim to be able to do it. To make it safe and meet regulations for large number / volumes that the Fed and State inspectors go after. They ignore the small ones until there is a problem as they cannot check everything. (* Data from an insider of CARB *)

Also data from an insider from CARB, GM gets 100% inspection because it has the largest national numbers, not California numbers. Because They wanted to go after GM. With Toyota getting up to number two their number of recalls has exceeded the number of vehicles they build in 2006 and 2007. They started getting better inspection. Not that they were better in quality they were just not caught.


Flex Fuel - all 2004 trucks/suv's support this fuel. It Took GM to go out and PAY and Lobby local stations to start to carry it. They did it to chains as well.

Shesulsa posted a thread about a Dirty little Secret that Flex Fuel vehicles get Emission credits, which is true for all manufacturers. But where is the fuel. The Fuel industry say no one buys it as no one has a vehicle so we will not make it. The car companies say there is no fuel and no demand so why build it. In enters the government to offer incentive to get cars out there. This allows for a larger volume of vehicles in the future to run on this fuel (* read unleaded gas as an example *) that allows them to possible switch over in the future.

Alcohol is 30% less efficent per volume than Gas. So for an optimized system the same volume would get less fuel economy. For a system that is not optimized then it will be less efficient.

If you back off on high Emission requirements then one can take the existing technology to and get better performance, or better fuel economy.

Yes, it is possible for GM and others to make a car with better fuel economy. Change the shift patterns and pedal progressions, combines with axle ratios and gear ratios and you get a very slow moving vehicle by design, but more fuel efficent. (* Read more similar to that vehicles of Henry Ford *) But no one wants them. Yes I can say, for it is as true as when you say no one wants to buy a truck even though it is the number one selling vehicle in the country. ;)

We offered version of this in Oldsmobile in the 80's and 90's. Heck they even had a commercial about it going slow and getting there while the fast car got pulled over by the police or had an accident. But no one bought the car. No wanted fuel efficeincy. They wanted to get mroe power or bigger vehicles or bigger engine.


Look at the Honda Accord of the early 90's versus today and compare the size and weight. You will see a nice creep in size to Bigger, because this is what the market wanted.



As to experimental products in the hands of the general market. That is a legal issue. I went through a course at GM about legal issues. One of teh cases discussed was the following:

A drunk driver crashed his car into a legally parked car, and then bounced off the car and into a bus load of kids. The Drunk Driver was on a suspended license and had no insurance. He had no money. The parents of the kids sued him and found nothing. So they argued that it was not that he was drunk that caused the problem, but the parked car. So they went after the owner of that car and his insurance. Well the car was totaled, and so they bought it from the insurance company. They found an experimental part. They won their case, for without this special experimental part the vehicle would not have been able to be driven to that spot. So, they sued GM and won.

An experimental part is not a production released part by definition. It has not gone through all the rigorous testing and validation. Buying back the part was cheaper than a law suit.

Could you explain the experimental part and was it a CARB? Did it effect the fuel economy? I think it has nothing to do with any at all.
 

Bob Hubbard

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Rich, I just googled 60mpg, I get quite a few links. I posted some.

My understanding of the experimental was it was specifically the carb. That was the part that was bought back. If I get a chance I'll get more detail, but I haven't spoken to that person in 2 years, so it's unlikely I'l get more than I offered.

I read that GM sells a minivan in China that gets 50-60MPG, and sells there for under $7k. I read on another site that the -cost- of a car in the US is under $2k, yet sells for $15k. That's with all the us requirements. If that's true, then why can't they sell that same car here? You cite differences between nations requirements, but honestly, if a per unit production cost is $2k, once you tool up the factory (that's what/ $75 Mil?) at $15k per car, they only need to move 5,000 units to break even. I think GM sells more than that each year.

Mind you, I'm not arguing on American's buying gas guzzlers and avoiding eco cars. People wanted 6MPG Hummers, they got em. At $4 a gallon, I don't know anyone who drove em much this past summer though. I liked the early model Scion xB's. 31MPG. But they beefed em up, and theres not much difference between them and any other minivan anymore. I liked Saturn, but now they make generic GM cars. My family were Ford people, but when the Taurus gets 17MPG and costs $10k more than the Toyota Corolla with 35MPG.....well. My uncle recommended Mazda for years. Yeah, I know, Ford/Mazda what's the difference? Seemed the Mazda shops were just better at finding and fixing the problems than the Ford shops were (His Mazda truck btw, 400,000 miles on it I heard)
 

Rich Parsons

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Rich, I just googled 60mpg, I get quite a few links. I posted some.

My understanding of the experimental was it was specifically the carb. That was the part that was bought back. If I get a chance I'll get more detail, but I haven't spoken to that person in 2 years, so it's unlikely I'l get more than I offered.

I read that GM sells a minivan in China that gets 50-60MPG, and sells there for under $7k. I read on another site that the -cost- of a car in the US is under $2k, yet sells for $15k. That's with all the us requirements. If that's true, then why can't they sell that same car here? You cite differences between nations requirements, but honestly, if a per unit production cost is $2k, once you tool up the factory (that's what/ $75 Mil?) at $15k per car, they only need to move 5,000 units to break even. I think GM sells more than that each year.

Mind you, I'm not arguing on American's buying gas guzzlers and avoiding eco cars. People wanted 6MPG Hummers, they got em. At $4 a gallon, I don't know anyone who drove em much this past summer though. I liked the early model Scion xB's. 31MPG. But they beefed em up, and theres not much difference between them and any other minivan anymore. I liked Saturn, but now they make generic GM cars. My family were Ford people, but when the Taurus gets 17MPG and costs $10k more than the Toyota Corolla with 35MPG.....well. My uncle recommended Mazda for years. Yeah, I know, Ford/Mazda what's the difference? Seemed the Mazda shops were just better at finding and fixing the problems than the Ford shops were (His Mazda truck btw, 400,000 miles on it I heard)


Dang it Bob

This is the third post I have spent hours working on to have it rejected for images or time.

Please check this site:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm


Look for Chevy Aveo/Cobalt/Malibu

Look for Pontiac G5/Vibe

Look for Saturn Aura Hybrid and Vue Hybrid

They all have near or better fuel economy.



Also search the site for the New versus Old Fuel Economy, As GM was instramental in getting this change by providing test data to shwo real world data coudl be measured better than the old way.

Also Note: Consumers Reports had an article that Labels were inflated and that the Japanese were the worse offenders.


As to Saturn looking like others, when you commonize platforms they have similar looks. While I am not involved with styling I understand that if you start from a common spot and told to optimize coeffienceint of drag and profile you get very similar looking vehicles.

As to how vehicles look in general, I have never told you or anyone of my other friends or even my foes to only by US or to by GM only. If you like the looks of a vehicle then buy it. If another company does a better job on cup holders then buy them. If they have a unique color then buy it. Just admit it to yourself and others that is why you bought it and not some perceived quality issue that does not exist.


I will look at the chinese van later. I am tired and frustrated with loosing my posts because of image restrictions when I linked in data.
 

Rich Parsons

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Bob,

I goggled "Chinese Van 60 mpg" and I could not find anything liek you are talking about.

I found a three wheeled vehicle that is smaller than small.

I found that the Chinese have beat us again with Plug-in technology to the market. I really wonder how they are doing it as the issue right now that I know the industry is working on is Battery Life and Battery Safety for the Lithium batteries.

It is one thing to take a hot phone or laptop and throw it away from you, but to climb out of a vehicle in such a condition is what ever auto manufacturer designs and tests and tests and retests to avoid.

I really wonder how they are doing this as I have friends working in that field, I even interviewed with one of the major players for software control of a Lithium Battery System.

As I stated before, we are already on Gen 2.x and we have not gone to production and that is for safety and cost.

Who would buy a car that could plug in if the battery cost is $10k more than a hybrid that is already more expensive than the base vehicle.
 

Ramirez

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wrong answer.

perfect example; the auto industry

it is regulated to DEATH, yet they apparently cant turn a profit. In part at least BECAUSE of regulation,t he STUPID CAFE standards make it tweice as hard to turn a profit as it should be.

Better example: Fannie and Freddie

regulated beyond measure, both failed

regulation doesnt work, when it is GOVERNMENT regulation

government is by definition, inept.

Let the public regulate the business

good example, in the 70's, other than trucks, everyone KNEW not to buy a Ford.

Fix or Repair Daily
Found On Road Dying

sound familiar?

we didnt need the government to tell us that ford had quality control issues.

Wrong answer, perfect example, the financial sector.

Even the biggest zealot of an unregulated free market, Greenspan , admits now he was wrong.

http://www.ecademy.com/node.php?id=114844
 
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