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Old 09-17-2007, 12:58 PM   #11
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Well maybe the main reason why Americans want more powerful cars is because they are overweight. If you compare to Europe and Japan what is the average weight of each person overseas compared to the US?

If you brought the FE cars from overseas to the US, Americans would not buy them because they are under powered. Not even safety features, etc. etc..

Just the other day I saw 5 SUVs in a row and you know what? If you pay attention notice how 95% of the time it's only the driver and sometimes a passenger. They are not hauling anything big. I mean, safety should be a concern but only to a certain extent. Driving is a risk we all must take in general. I think if we Americans want to save gas it's not to drive less but to drive more FE cars like what they have in Europe.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:17 PM   #12
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One thing I noticed with my time in Japan is that not only are cars more suited to their use, but work trucks, trucks used by companies and such, are usually very small, mini-trucks that're just packed very efficiently. Very infrequently did I see a truck the size of an F150 or some other "smaller" pickup, and when I did they were often hauling cement mixers or something else very matching the truck's size.

In the US our priorities are just mixed up.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:18 PM   #13
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When automakers say that there is no demand for fuel efficient cars, they really mean that there is no demand from our politicians.

Politicians HATE fuel efficient cars because it takes gas tax money out of the state's coffers.

So, they would have to raise taxes somewhere else, which would get them voted out of office.

It's not a conspiracy, but it's close.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suprapsu View Post
I mean, safety should be a concern but only to a certain extent.
Tell that to a mother with a new driver That does seem to be part of the core issue. When I was looking for my first car, my parent's wouldn't even let me consider anything but an automatic transmission. My mom, not knowing how to drive a stick shift (like most of America), had this thought that driving a stick shift was more distracting o.0 It didn't help that when we taught my sister to drive a standard shift, she was laughing too much (after stalling at least 4 times) that she made a 55hp diesel chip it's wheels very close to another car going full speed (circa 45).

To be frank, I really don't mind having certain features like side airbags and ABS. Really, ABS has saved my butt once - so the extra cost of hauling around a hydraulic pump and some extra lines, much cheaper than the ambulance ride to the hospital for me and my other half

My gripe is weight -- when automakers quantify weight as a safety feature. They didn't make it heavy to make it safe - it's heavy because it's big. Hell, an engineering goal is to make the frames as light as possible - that's why you'll find stamped steel chassis members!

But it's America... Bigger = Better. More = Better. Living in a house, not on a farm, 15 miles from the grocery store... Throw in a white picket fence and we've found "the American dream." (no offense if you live in such a place)

Sorry to be kind of ranty in this thread... I think most of us can agree that the changes that have happened elsewhere haven't really even started in N. America (moreso in the States - Canada seems to be a bit ahead).

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Old 09-17-2007, 05:07 PM   #15
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...As to global warming, I'm not a believer that we humans caused it...
Not trying to start up here, but I wish it were just a matter of public opinion, we could wish away any "problems".
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:57 PM   #16
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Small cars are a small segment of the US auto market

I work in the US automotive industry in the quickly vanishing Motor City.

It's obvious that most of those who post would like a car with 60+ mpg but there aren't that many of those kind of car buyers are out there - really! Is easy to blame the manufacturers, the government or the buying public but the simple facts are:

1) Gas is cheap. $3.00 is still below the inflation adjusted price of the early 80's. I know - I was buying gas at that time for my '79 Chevette and I was a college student back then. Do you know what college students make? I thought so. Minimum wage or less! I have been employed for over 20 years and now make enough to afford $1000 a month in gas if I had to.

2) Gas is readily available. I have not had to wait in long lines for gas, have you? There's enough for everybody! Whoo Hoo! At least for now.

3) Global warming is a theory. No one knows for sure that humans are a contributing factor or not. Scientists are not infallible - remember the ether that some scientist were certain filled outer space. Remember that planes heavier than air could never fly according to some of them.

4) American's have been getting weathier over the past 30 years and do not feel guilty in enjoying some of that wealth. When I was growing up, my family of six had one car for a long time. Now, my family of three has three cars and only two drivers. Why? Because we can afford it.

5) The US has a vast land area - Japan? Western European nations? Hell those are US state sized! We have long distances to travel, we lack adequate public land transportation and we need vehicles that are quiet, safe and confortable to drive long distances in. I enjoy driving my Buick Lesabre when I have to travel more than 10 hours straight - quiet and comfortable. I love my Civic but I don't like traveling in it more than 5 hours straight. Too much wind noise, have to go too slow (65 mph) to get good mpg (at 75 mph I only get about 42 mpg with the Civic) and I get almost 30 mpg with the Buick at 75 mph.

6) The choice of vehicles is unbelievable - 300 models to choose from. Remember the Model T? Back then you had a choice of how many models -5?, 10? It's a big deal for any individual model to sell 400,000 units now. Only large GM and Ford trucks and the Toyota Camry are in this league. Nearly 16 million new cars and trucks were sold last year. You do the math.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:27 PM   #17
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Amen Jadziasman!

EXACTLY what I was meaning. The problem isn't some big government conspiracy, but just public desire.
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:06 PM   #18
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Well, I guess 2008 will test the "we don't want it" theory when smart sets up shop. That is, if Prius sales and satisfaction wasn't enough (but the Prius has aesthetics on it's side v. other hybrids)
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:33 PM   #19
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Biffmeistro -

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Amen Jadziasman!

EXACTLY what I was meaning. The problem isn't some big government conspiracy, but just public desire.
I 99% agree. I still think this is a very small forum that doesn't represent mainstream values when it comes to cars. We are the 1%-ers in relative terms (if even that). If we are lucky, I think that the best we can hope for in the short term is that Americans begin to limit their largest car to the venerable family sedan.

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Old 09-17-2007, 07:40 PM   #20
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6) The choice of vehicles is unbelievable - 300 models to choose from. Remember the Model T? Back then you had a choice of how many models -5?, 10? It's a big deal for any individual model to sell 400,000 units now. Only large GM and Ford trucks and the Toyota Camry are in this league. Nearly 16 million new cars and trucks were sold last year. You do the math.
I think this point here contradicts what you're saying about needing lots of people wanting the cars. If only one or two in 300 cars were a VW polo or Honda Life, they wouldn't need huge sales to still be competitive.
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