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Old 04-27-2014, 06:14 AM   #411 (permalink)
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:03 AM   #412 (permalink)
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I agree 100% with nicky's market analysis with respect to what consumers want in a car or in transportation in general here in the States, however, to overlook the huge, huge barrier to market with respect to emissions and safety, I think is a mistake.

With respect to Mahindra, it may have been a problem with the truck, but only as it relates to the truck being legal for sale in the U.S. I think they had done their marketing / consumer demand research, and it had that rugged, Nissan Frontier-like look that young people like and there seemed to be plenty of buzz about it, and it was going to be only a cleaner-burning, pumped-up wheels and tire version of an Indian truck already in production.

There very well could have been and probably would have been quality issues on down the road, once it entered the market, with respect to meeting the American quality standard, but I don't believe that's why it never made it to begin with. It was reported that the distributor that they had gotten lined up fell through, but I still believe that they also never could get past the point of emissions certification. It seems like that I remember reading for over a year that they were working on getting certified. They probably had an understanding of emissions compliance for diesels in North America (like Honda did when they had made an announcement that they were going to go away from hybrid power trains on larger cars and SUVs and Nissan did with respect to the Maxima and then later recanted on those decisions to offer diesels). Something happens when these car companies start getting into the the technical details of emissions compliance and light duty cars and trucks under 8500 GVWR. My guess is that the biggest hurdle is with respect to NOx. There must be something tougher than what they expect with what the regulators want, which has scared many automakers away after first committing to the idea of offering a diesel. Of course, with respect to diesels, there are other reasons not to even go there, e.g. Americans don't care or understand in general about the advantages of diesels, and the price premium for diesel fuel is a huge deterrent for many who may consider one.

And in general, I feel that the very tough regulatory standards is at least part of the reason many of the world's largest automakers stay out of the U.S. Of course it can be argued that Peugot, Renault, Tata, and others just don't think they can offer products here that we want at the price we are willing to pay at the quality level that must be met and get enough market share to make a profit, and that's the only reason they don't sell here. But I have to believe that other market barriers are in play here; chiefly the regulatory certifications barrier; and the extensive dealer network required here to satisfy consumer expectations with respect to retail sales locations and warranty work availability.

With respect to Elios, even if they've done all their homework about how to make all of this happen, I just don't see how they can accomplish everything they're going to try to do, with air bags and all of that, and come in at $6,800 MSRP in a fully-covered three wheeler, when one can't even get a decently-featured, full-size motorcycle at that price. I bought a Honda CTX700, manual shift, standard brakes, with a small fairing that I can ride only in decent weather. It has an MSRP @ $7,799, it is fairly low tech, and all the reviewers were raving about how Honda was able to bring this to market at such a low price point. The Elios would be a whole lot more utility for less, and American made to boot. If it eventually comes to market, I would guess that it would come no where near the price goal that has been set just as others have stated.
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:11 PM   #413 (permalink)
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Another AM show clown car drive-off. Elio now has a partnership with mega-auto parts Pep Boys as authorized service provider at all locations! ...and Elio is still promising $6,800!


Last edited by botsapper; 04-29-2014 at 07:35 PM..
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:41 PM   #414 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by botsapper View Post
And Elio is still promising $6,800!
Kind of worrisome to me when a vehicle makes it past renderings then takes so much time - such as EMC Commuter, Triac, Myers Duo, Aptera, Alius... even the Zap line, etc. Eventually these are only fading memories.

Rebuild price went up thousands since 2010 for my home. Still not done with more costs. Unexpected snags or errors. It sure is hard to understand why Elio costs are "freezing". I am glad it made it so far.
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:38 PM   #415 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by botsapper View Post
Another AM show clown car drive-off. Elio now has a partnership with mega-auto parts Pep Boys as authorized service provider at all locations! ...and Elio is still promising $6,800!
I still think they will have to increase the price in order to actually make a profit.

Not sure how they picked that number. Seems like saying "under $10,000" would be a better starting point. Considering the cost of a new motorcycle it would still look inexpensive to own.

Last edited by jkv357; 04-30-2014 at 09:40 AM..
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:12 AM   #416 (permalink)
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Two words: Trim Levels.

I just walked to the window and looked out on the lot. There are two pickups there, maybe three or four away from each other. One has an asking price of $29,995 and the other is $38,995. They're functionally identical (quad cabs, 6' beds) and in my parts catalog they're the same truck.

If Elio isn't stupid, they'll do the same. $6800 will get you a trike with doors and a roof. You want a nice radio, bluetooth, leather, power windows and a sunroof? Custom fit floor mats? Nav? That ain't going to be the $6800 one.

Originally Posted by sheepdog44 View Post
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:27 AM   #417 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
very tough regulatory standards
It's less that they're tougher (though California's stance on diesels is almost insanely strict) than that the US doesn't play the same ball as everyone else. EuroNCAP has now spread to Australia, Asia (testing center in Malaysia), China, India and Latin America. Along with that goes UNECE regulations.

The United States and Japan still go their own way, in most regards, which makes both tough nuts to crack. But both are large enough to be self-sustaining.

For now. Maybe in the future, automakers will embrace harmonization as a way to consolidate operations in terms of design and engineering... but as long as they can rely upon a strong home market to keep them in the green, I doubt it will happen.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:42 AM   #418 (permalink)
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I don't want to seem the skeptic here or anything. Truly, I believe that the Elio and other vehicles like it deserve a place on our roads, but I don't believe that this vehicle is any more likely to revolutionize transportation than the very, very many other pioneering vehicles that came before it.

Think about it this way, even if the Elio hits the road as intended, as of 2011 (last pertinent data) the government estimates that there are 253,108,389 registered, high-way legal vehicles on the road. Even if all 15,000 reserved Elios, that haven't even been built yet, are on the road at some point in the near future they are still such a tiny fraction of the total number of overbuilt SUVs and lifted trucks as to be statistically insignificant in the grand transportation picture.

What Elios doesn't seem to understand is that people like us, we're all nerds and misfits. We see a vehicle that we might like to own and immediately head to the mileage projections and drive train description. Most of the rest of the world won't get past the pictures of the single seat. Quite a few of them will see an ad for this vehicle and set it near the top of their personal road-rage vendetta list.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:12 PM   #419 (permalink)
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:03 PM   #420 (permalink)
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