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Old 11-24-2008, 06:59 AM   #21
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Studebaker & Nash merged to form AMC. They later bought Jeep, and created Eagle. Afterwards they were bought by Chrysler.

I also have this to say about the whole thing...

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"What's good for General Motors is what's good for the country"
Charles Wilson, the head of General Motors and later Dwight D. Eisenhower's Secretary of Defense
-Jay
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:18 AM   #22
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This is the perfect opportunity to raise CAFE standards and get more electric vehicle research started.

The loans (NOT HANDOUTS) could be given IF:

The big 3 each agree to mass produce one 45+ mpg model priced less than $12K in the next 2 years and a 50+ mpg vehicle in the next 5-7 years priced less than $15K.

All 1/2 ton trucks and SUV's should get 25-30 mpg minimum. Let the new 3/4 ton "work" trucks have as little as 15-20 mpg so the contractors and farmers can still have some serious towing power as needed but charge an extra 5-10K "guzzler" tax on the purchase to discourage their purchase by the average Joe that just needs to tow his 1 ton boat to the lake.

The big 3 would then have a choice: Get serious about FE or go out of business. This would preserve American jobs and help us inch toward energy independence.

One more thing- loan GM an extra 5 billion with the condition that they must resume production of the EV1 ASAP.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:04 AM   #23
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CAFE causes consumers to buy trucks instead of cars. Making CAFE worse will only make that phenomenom worse.

You can't punish the self-employed working man (farmer, carpenter, landscaper, etc) by making 3/4 ton (and 1 ton) work trucks too expensive or too incapable. Those people are very important to the economy and to the country, and they already have a hard time competing with the big companies that might be able to afford the punishment easier.

It also hurts the big 3 for no good reason. It's one thing to not help them and let them either get in shape or die, but it's a whole other thing to kick them while they're down. Forcing stringent FE requirements on the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks right now would be kicking them while they're down, because the big 3 are the only companies selling those products. Anyway, those products aren't very common, and aren't used gratuitously very much, and IMO aren't a problem worth worrying about.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:39 AM   #24
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I didn't think that 15 mpg would be that hard for 3/4 ton trucks to get (the 1/2 ton 4WD are already averaging 15 combined).

IMHO- It's the more wealthy contractors and farmers that will be buying a new 3/4 ton. The self employed farmers/contractors that are hurting financially will buy used or fix what they have (my dad is a farmer).

True- there aren't that many 3/4 ton's on the road.



Still, what are the objections to putting some reasonable FE "strings" on the loans?

GM and Ford have already produced 45+ mpg cars (the Festiva and Metro), GM made the 40mpg Saturn (my sister in law bought a 99 SC1 with an auto trans and gets 39-40 on the highway in warm weather).

It seems like they already have the technology- the public just hasn't embraced it yet. I think they (the public) will embrace it now that the economy is down and gas prices are bound to go up again (look at how much the price of a used metro or VX increased 6 months ago)

I think it will all come down to putting smaller engines into tomorrow's cars. Gone are the days of sub 10 second 0-60 times. Most of us believe in warm air intakes- that seems like a pretty cheap way for manufacturers to get a bit higher mpg without a lot of cost.

We all need a little nudge sometimes to do the right thing or to plan ahead a little better. Or at least I know I do

It seems like the big three need some planning help or they would have had a plan when they arrived to Congress last week.

Maybe even loan them an extra 10 billion (on top of the 25 billion they need) to help pay for these FE improvements. I don't want to see them go under, but they need a better way of doing business (or else they wouldn't be hurting so much now).
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:45 AM   #25
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Well, the big 3 have been reducing the vehicle size. GM no longer makes full size cars (stopped production in the mid 90's). Ford is cutting back. If you want to buy a full size you now have to buy a Grand Marquis. The 2009 Crown Victoria and Town Car are only available to fleet customers (police, taxi, etc) and must be special ordered. Chrysler hasn't made a full size car in 30 years at least. (I think they stopped in 79 or 80)

American consumers have been demanding large, more powerful vehicles though. Take for example the Honda Civic and the Accord. When introduced to this country they were small 4 cylinder cars. Now they are midsize cars, many of them with V-6's The Japanese know we want larger cars. You can't fault the manufacturers for making vehicles that people wanted, and then blame them for not offering these cheap subcompacts that just sit on the dealer lots until they decide to offer rebates & 0% financing to get them to move. They offer incredible quality. As much as people like to bust on the domestics for poor quality my family's 1980 Bonneville wagon served us very well for 14 years and over 180,000 miles. We never even had the valve covers of that engine. When we sold the car it had some minor leaks, but it still had great power, ran smooth, and didn't burn oil. My old 74 Chevy truck had over 300,000 miles on it when I sold it, and Rusty my 86 Chevy is currently hovering in the 190,000 mile range. My Buick did have the engine replaced, but that's because my sister neglected to check the oil and she cooked the original engine. My 98 GMC is running quite well, and with 155,000 miles I expect to get at least another 150,000 miles out of it.

-Jay
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:46 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
... In either of the two affordable situations by the time you get to the airport a few hours early, clear security, board, wait to takeoff, fly, wait to land, then rent a car and drive some more its just quicker & cheaper to drive ... I can make the trip driving in ~12-13 hours. That's why I always drove. Its quicker, cheaper, and I don't have to rent a car when I get down there so I save on that expense as well.
I've never understood that thinking.

It takes me ~10 hours to drive to San Antonio from here and there are no direct flights since ExpressJet stopped service(I miss my $200 round trip non-stop flights). Usually, it involves flying to Houston and connecting there with an hour or so layover. Point to point is roughly 3-4 hours depending on the layover.

So about 4-5 hours of travel time as opposed to sitting in a car alone for 10 hours one-way. I NEVER go to the airport hours in advance. At most 1.5 hours but that's only if I need to pick up my boarding pass at customer service, like I almost always do, and it's a heavy travel time. (go figure, David Jones is a flagged name) For the amount of people they process in any given time, the airport actually runs pretty well. Airline customer service leaves a little to be desired but security actually moves pretty fast.

This leads me to my thinking. If I'm going for a weekend trip(which they usually are) I'd rather spend 5 hours flying there Friday night after work, have Friday night, Saturday, and most of Sunday then fly back Sunday night. If I drove, I'd have to wait and leave early Saturday morning unless I either sleep in the car or get a hotel in the middle of the night driving there after work Friday to get there early Saturday morning(probably tired) and I'd have to leave early afternoon Sunday to get back here in time to sleep and be ready for work. It just isn't worth my time to drive 20 hours to spend one day there.

Same goes for visiting family back home for a week. I can spend a round trip total of 36 hours in a car or I can spend 12 flying. I'd rather spend the extra couple of days with family since I only see them once a year. Can't put much of a price on that.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:53 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik View Post
GM and Ford have already produced 45+ mpg cars (the Festiva and Metro), GM made the 40mpg Saturn (my sister in law bought a 99 SC1 with an auto trans and gets 39-40 on the highway in warm weather).

It seems like they already have the technology- the public just hasn't embraced it yet.
The Festiva and Metro couldn't be offered for sale today due to legal requirements for crashworthiness and emissions. If they could be offered, they still couldn't be sold because people don't want them. You have to sell a LOT of a car for it to be worth selling, or you have to sell it very expensively; and The People just don't want cars like that.

Quote:
I think it will all come down to putting smaller engines into tomorrow's cars. Gone are the days of sub 10 second 0-60 times. Most of us believe in warm air intakes- that seems like a pretty cheap way for manufacturers to get a bit higher mpg without a lot of cost.
Smaller engines, WAI, more FE attention to tires, and a serious return to 90s aerodynamics at the cost of cosmetic devaluation would work great, but new car buyers won't buy cars like that. When financially hurting, they would rather buy a used car than a new car with hard LRR tires, little power, and what they perceive as non-aggressive styling. The people who would buy that sort of thing already buy efficient cars.

Edit: The all new Camaro that's coming out has an awful Cd of .35 to .36 depending on configuration. The big blocky Chevy Tahoe Hybrid (SUV on full size pickup platform) gets .349. I posted about it on a 5th generation Camaro forum. By and large, The People are happy to accept that Cd because of how the car looks (and they point out all the other sportscars with awful Cds, some even worse -- .38 for some sort of Mustang IIRC).

Quote:
Maybe even loan them an extra 10 billion (on top of the 25 billion they need) to help pay for these FE improvements.
That's an interesting idea. I suspect that it would be highly impractical, but it's still quite interesting.
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Old 11-24-2008, 09:12 AM   #28
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Just so no one thinks I am anti-big 3. I am a Chevy man when it comes to non daily drivers. I currently own a 69 Chevy 1/2 ton that hauls hay around my hobby farm and I have fond memories of the 1980 "iron duke" Monza and 1985 Olds Ciera I used to own. All were well built vehicles (the Monza's interior was a bit cheap though).

So, what's the solution to keep the big 3 in business?

Option A: We should have given them the loan last week
Option B: OK, they have sweated long enough, loan it to them next week (no strings).
Option C: Loan them the 25 billion this week with strings attached.
Option D: Loan them 35 billion (10 billion extra for the strings attached) this week.
Option F: Give them no loan at all.

Right now I am for Option C or D. If they have a good plan, I would be for option B.
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Old 11-24-2008, 09:14 AM   #29
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Last time I flew to Florida (1 carry on bag) I drove an hour to the airport, 2 hours to clear security, wait another hour to board. Once boarded we sat on the runway for 30 or 40 minutes to takeoff. A little less than 2 hours in the air, then we touched down in Orlando. 30minutes to get all the way out of the terminal, and then I waited for the shuttle to take me to the car rental (about 20 minutes). Spent an hour picking up the car, then drove to Daytona (little over 1 hour). All added up I spent almost 10 hours and about $300 to fly, I can drive (not exceeding the speed limit more than 5 mph) from here to Daytona stopping only twice for fuel, and make the trip ~12 hours. My vehicles are comfortable highway cruisers so I'm really not tired from driving that long when I get there. Plus I have my own vehicle down there, so I'm not renting a vehicle for the week.

-Jay
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:28 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
Studebaker & Nash merged to form AMC. They later bought Jeep, and created Eagle. Afterwards they were bought by Chrysler.




-Jay
Actually, it was Hudson and Nash who merged to for AMC. Studebaker was purchased by Packard, much to their chagrin...until then, Packard had been a profitable (if somewhat financially stretched thin) company. Studebaker was a money pit.

As for the big three taking any bailout and building more FE cars, will only happen if they can figure out a way to make a good profit on them. Doesn't cost much more to build a big SUV compared to a small car, but people perceive a greater value to the SUV, so they can charge more for it.

Many times smaller, more FE cars have been proposed, only to die on the vine because they were not as profitable as the larger cars. See link for a case in point from 60-some years ago...http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2...shiered-cadet/

One good reason for helping out the auto industry...should we ever (heaven forbid) get into a WWII type war...it would be good to have some manufacturing capacity for war materiel...

Have a happy day...
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