Ford and G.M. Suffer as Buyers Shun S.U.V.'s

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, May 4, 2005.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #1
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    dear god, please let the age of the SUV be over.

    yet again, i had another SUV 3" from my rear bumper while driving today, its grill being the only thing i could see in my rearview mirrow.
     
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #2
    The age of the SUV won't end anytime soon. Lot's of people have an actual need for a large hauler that seats 7. But the ones that don't need it perhaps will be prompted to look elsewhere. Perhaps a more realistic approach to their needs will be taken as opposed to their compensation... I mean wants.

    Besides, if they could get SUVs to hit 25-30 mpg they could sell a lot more of them, even at higher cost to the consumer.

    On a side note, my mom's thinking about replacing her 11 year old minivan with a hybrid. I'm trying to look into her options and see if I can't help her make a decision.
     
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #3
    Aren't you glad that GM diverted billions away from car development and sunk it into SUVs and trucks a month ago. ;)

    While Ford is being slapped silly over their Volvo products being downgraded to Ford standards (the roof crush fiasco.)

    Even Chrysler has such bad design issues in the US versions of the Neon motor, that they are using a Hyundai motor in the next generation vehicle to up quality. Would be nice if they had also used the Mini motor like they do outside the US, but that was too small for the HP hungry US market.

    ---

    However, we may see quite a few more small motor vehicles showing up in the US with the manual trannies finally. More of the 1.6 and 1.8L fours... of course the US has so much extra feature crap (sorry creep) that the US cars are porky compare to some of the international vehicles.
     
  4. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #4
    hopefully this means more fuel efficent cars all around will be on their way....hopefully...a man can only dream
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #5
    I wouldn't buy a GM vehicle at this point if I was in the market for a new vehicle.

    My boss's GMC 2500HD is on it's second recall at this point, and it's just barely over a year old. No recalls on my Taco yet though.
    *knock on wood* :)
     
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #6
    i am personally a huge fan of Toyota's cars myself. i have a 95 Tercel that runs great still with out ever having a major problem. same thing with the old celica that i used to drive a long long time ago.

    driving such a small car, i hate SUVs, i just wish that they would go away, all of 'em
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    Funny how that need appeared so all of a sudden just a few years ago. If seating seven was the only requirement, a minivan would do the trick quite nicely -- but minivans are so totally uncool now.

    Remember when minivans caught on in the early '80s? It was because full-sized vans had become too expensive to own.

    If paying $2.70 for gas has any consolation, it's that a lot of those overstuffed battleships will be hitting the crusher and coming back as normal-sized cars.
     
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #8
    Times change, lifestyles change as well. Some people want to be able to take their 3 kids, their kids friends, and their boat to the lake. I don't know of a minivan that can pull that off.

    I'm not arguing that everyone should have an SUV. Far from it, I'm saying that gas prices will tend to make people more realistically evaluate what kind of car they actually NEED as opposed to what they WANT. It will probably lead to lots fewer SUVs on the road, which I think we'd agree is a good thing. However, in response to Zim's hope that the age of the SUV is over, I would say that it isn't.

    However, it may fundamentally change the market for SUVs. The Big 3 will have to find new ways to increase revenue after years of relying on the high margins of SUVs.
     
  9. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #9

    I had the opportunity to drive in a Ford Escape hybrid a few months ago. I was impressed. Granted, this was a short ride, but I liked it. I just wish I had the 30 or so thousand it cost to buy one.
     
  10. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #10
    i don't expect to ever see a day where there are no more SUVs on the road. but i do like that the number of new sales are falling and i hope they continue to do so. driving around chicago, i just think it's idiotic to see the number of SUVs i do, nearly always with a single person in each.
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    I don't think they can. The SUV fad was a bonanza for the US auto industry -- allowing them to sell trucks for the price of luxury cars. Those profit margins won't come from anywhere else any time soon.

    BTW, I'm sticking to my guns. SUVs are a fad, and like so many fads before, it will inevitably fade away, to be replaced by some other fad. Hardly anyone can objectively justify owning a Chevy Suburban, Ford Excursion or (most of all) a Hummer H2. With the cost of operating these behemoths going through the roof, a lot more people will realize that driving the biggest, nastiest car on the road isn't worth the price. I say, it's about time.
     
  12. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #12
    Everywhere you go and these things are more dangerous then cars. Sometimes the govt should force issues such as safety, MPG, roads etc. At the moment with lobbiest help from the former Big 3 they forgot about fuel economy. We just dont nee a 4000 lb pig and 300 hp to get grocerys and pick up little johnie. Govt should stop calling suvs trucks and start forcing higher mpg and emission reqs on everyone.!
     
  13. makisushi macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I can't objectily justify owning any of my cars and many of my neighbors can't either, but I do know that we have all discussed having to pay $60+ to fill up our behemoths. During those discussions, not one of them had ever mentioned getting a smaller car though.

    I have been completely ignorant of consequences of having low mpg cars (I am fairly certain none of my cars gets over 20mpg) and maybe one day soon I will come to my senses. On the other hand, I haven't really come across a high mpg car that I have liked. Maybe it is my vanity (one of my many personal flaws), and I am sure my neighbors all feel the same way.
     
  14. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #14
    [​IMG]

    no good?
     
  15. makisushi macrumors 6502

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    #15
    hmm...might be a tough sell, but I am willing to give it a test drive. Remember my vanity...
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #16
    I don't think many people can honestly claim that the car they drive doesn't get mixed up in their self-image in some way, shape or form. That's not going to change, and doesn't really need to change. What may change is the personal values that inform self-image, and consequently the choices we make. We've been going through a period where conspicuous excess and aggression are socially acceptable values. Huge cars are a perfect expression of those values. If modesty, environmental responsibility and thrift become socially acceptable values again, more people will see expressing these values through the cars they drive as conforming to their self-image. To put it in your terms, your vanity will be served by driving a Toyota Prius instead of an SUV.
     
  17. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    #17
    How often would they do that? Once a month? Then rent one. Outside of people living in the mountains, or on farms, no one needs a 4 wheel drive.

    I'll admit to some kind of visceral pleasure when I've sat in an SUV, but I never want to buy one.
     
  18. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #18
    I find it funny when people mention the space advantage of SUV's. A mini van has greater potential in space, and can be made to be more fuel efficient to boot. I also find it funny that I see all too many minivans and SUVs with just a few people inside.

    With the 2006 model year i predict that we will see tweaking of transmissions in order to raise MPG over performance.
     
  19. katchow macrumors 6502

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    #19
    i remember the old days of riding around in a chevette with my parents and brother (and there was no trouble fitting the groceries in the trunk, imagine that!) ...now, i've personally met people who have sold their cars and bought SUV's because they had a baby on the way (and this being their first and only child). People like to justify their trendiness w/ a warped sense of their needs.
     
  20. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #20
    Not to mention the poor quality of the other vehicles they produce.

    Or the poor reliability.

    Or the poor re sale value.

    Or the poor efficiency.

    Or the archaic technology.

    ....
    ..
    .

    I hope Kirk Krekorian knows what he is doing.
     
  21. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #21
    Nope mileage sucks, 50mpg isn't good enough -- plus you are ditching all the expensive stuff like the battery, control computer, and the electric motors.

    Plus the 70 mpg VW Polo and the nearly 90 mpg VW Lupo really start making the hybrids look ugly when they are running basically simple Turbo diesel motors compared to the eco nuts hybrid.
     
  22. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #22
    If the Prius were the size of a Lupo, it would get the same if not better. Realistic comparisons help.

    I like Diesel, Biodiesel. Which drives the oil nuts crazy.

    Finding out about Rudolph Diesel also drives pollutos whackos crazy, that darn socialist.
     
  23. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #23
    yeah, i wish those two models were sold here.
     
  24. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #24
    Ford and GM were just downgraded to Junk status today.

    Which makes their money troubles just a bit worse today, since the cost of financing will go up -- with some sources drying up, meaning some of their current financing sources and bonds may be real close to having repayment clauses triggered if they're not having some of the credit lines closed.

    Edit: this was a S&P move... I guess we'll see how if others (Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings) follow suit -- they're currently holding at one level above junk status.
     
  25. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #25
    From the early '60s to the early '80s, I enjoyed nearly-free cars by buying stuff that others had "broken" from poor maintenance. I'd do a rebuild and then de-bug whatever else needed doing, and after six months or so I'd sell the car for a bit of a profit. Between that and being a one-man-band with my sports car racing, I guess I've overhauled some 100 motors.

    The Honda impressed me the most. Built like a watch. The general standard for bearing clearances on a crankshaft is 0.001" to 0.003". Anywhere in there is "good enough". Honda? Uh-uh. You can get bearings in increments of 1/2-thousandth, so if you want 0.002" throughout, you got it, Bubba!

    One thing about today's snot-bubbles is that in order to get the fuel economy, they're all wind-tunnel designed. Ergo, the general shape must follow the laws of compressible-fluid dynamics. The only places you really have options are the headlight and taillight shrouding, and the trim strips. Might as well read up on what Consumer Reports says about durability and leave your ego at home.

    Other than hemi-head engines, one of the most efficient engines in terms of airflow per cubic inch is the big-block Chevy. If you're not needing tons of grunt, forget it. But they do have one of the best cylinder head designs ever done. Stick one of those in an IROC or a TransAm, and with a six-speed you can beat the CAFE at 70 or smile at the picture-taker at 180. :) Not that I'd suggest doing Bad Things, of course. (My own ego trip with cars was taking old used stuff and making it go way faster than the showroom hotrods. I thought re-cycling was a natural way of life.:D )

    About the only weak spot on a Toyota 22R motor seems to be the water pump, but that's about an hour's worth of fix. Easy to do. And, when the bearing starts squealing, you still have a couple of hundred miles before panic need set in. Oh, 'fore I forget, only use distilled water (plus anti-freeze) in any alloy-head engine. (And/or alloy blocks, too, I guess.) High pH water erodes them.

    Oh. Today's The Daily Reckoning says the Chinese are now making a Rolls Royce and a Mercedes: Same cars, different names, half-price.

    Later. I gotta go tune up my dumptruck.

    'Rat
     

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