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Old 07-21-2009, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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GM: Won't let "green car stuff" get out of hand

Go read this. It's deja-vu all over again. GM's Lutz: Now the gloves are off

I've been saying this for years. GM hates fuel economy. Bob lutz hates fuel economy. The volt is window dressing. The government does not seem to care either. Just read the article. He is basically calling green cars money losers and performance gas guzzlers are the profit ticket. He blames most of GM's troubles on everyone else.

Consumers have wanted better mileage since cars were first mass produced. I have a Popular Mechanics magazine from 1958 in which they did a survey and found that for 60% of consumers better fuel economy was their #1 wish from Detroit. The VW beetle was the answer to that demand. I think VW did OK on that one dontcha think?

Here's a choice quote:
Quote:
But Lutz made it clear that this "green car" stuff can't be allowed to get out of hand. The simple fact is that, especially with gas prices well under $3 a gallon, there is even less demand than usual for hybrid cars, which sell in small numbers and are unprofitable even with relatively high gas prices.
As if the only choice for a "green car" is a hybrid.

Quote:
"There's about 5% to 10% of the customer base in the U.S. that desperately wants a hybrid," he said. The rest just want the best possible vehicle they can afford to pay for and fuel
Which is why they haven't been buying GM's crap products. "Best possible" of course means 400 cubic inch guzzler. Consumer reports rates most of the US produced vehicles at the bottom of the heap with the Japanese at the top. By the way, 10% market share is a huge niche in automotive terms.

GM to consumers (with help from CNN): "Gas is cheap everyone. Please go to sleep while we kill off this whole annoying "green car" thing."

So you Americans are bailing out GM so it can do the exact same thing again but with better design?

By the way, not a peep about EV's in there.

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Old 07-21-2009, 01:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You are wrong and Lutz is right.

American consumers have ALWAYS gravitated towards the biggest vehicles they could afford to run. Oh, they may SAY they want economy but when the rubber hits the road and they are voting with their money, they get bigger vehicles. When a recession or a oil crisis comes along all of a sudden there will be a little blip in demand for better economy but as soon as the "balance" is restored that desire for economy vaporizes damn quick.

Peak Oil will deny the big vehicle lusters the opportunity to do that at some point.

Oh- and Consumer Reports is full of ****.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Which is exactly why I hope that they will ultimately fail. They've shown themselves for who they are, perpetuates of the gas-guzzling economy.

If they had accepted my resume last November, there wouldn't be a single a 2010 GM model being offered with a "standard" drive train.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
American consumers have ALWAYS gravitated towards the biggest vehicles they could afford to run.
Really? So answer a simple two-part question: What was GM's market share in 1959, and what is it today?

Now a second question: who got the market share that GM lost, Ford & Chrysler? Or was it those Japanese, German, and now Korean companies that build smaller cars?


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...especially with gas prices well under $3 a gallon...
Humm... Frog boiling, anyone? Or am I the only one who remembers when $3/gal had people screaming & moaning about the end of western civilization?
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, really.

What does GM's market share have to do with it? Nowadays we have Honda, Toyota, everybody with full size offerings, even 4x4s.

Part 2: must have had more to do with the perception of quality than size or fuel economy.

Here's some questions for you: how many full-sized "imports" are used for solo commuting? How many 4x4 "imports" go off-road? Do the imports have an edge in fe? Are high fe cars selling well?

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Or am I the only one who remembers when $3/gal had people screaming & moaning about the end of western civilization?
Exactly. People as a group have no foresight whatsoever. Now that gas is "down" are econoboxes and hybrids flying out of the lots? Or are 4x4s, pickups, and SUVs selling?
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Atomic Ass View Post
Which is exactly why I hope that they will ultimately fail. They've shown themselves for who they are, perpetuates of the gas-guzzling economy.

If they had accepted my resume last November, there wouldn't be a single a 2010 GM model being offered with a "standard" drive train.
What came first, the chicken or the egg?

If customers buy more large vehicles than small ones, what's a manufacturer to do? Even Honda has bent to the customer's will.

If a model is offered with a base engine and an optional H.O. engine and 95% of the customers order the H.O., it doesn't matter what's on your resume. The customers have a lot of say in what gets built.

That said, I do wish all the manufacturers would be more proactive in educating the consumer about energy use.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You are wrong and Lutz is right.
I'll agree with you that on the surface Lutz is right. And yes, the consumer will just return to buying GMs planned obsolecence the minute gas is cheap again. What I'm saying is that they are being misled.

The American consumer will buy anything that is advertised and marketed well until some kind of reality wakes them up like expensive gas, crappy quality or just by their own critical thought.

The market for vehicles is created by a massive psychological PR assault, in this case it works against the interests of the consumers. Peak oil is here. Many people who bought gas guzzlers were pretty pissed when they had to shell out for hundreds of dollars a week and as you know from these pages you can have enough power, size and fuel economy.

Yes, Americans buy big cars but not because it's good for them but because they are manipulated into it by misleading emotional advertising.

Quote:
That said, I do wish all the manufacturers would be more proactive in educating the consumer about energy use.
See? we agree on most things!

By the way, in the list of all time top sellers, the vast majority of cars have been compact and relatively fuel efficient. (the F-150 is a notable exception but one has to give it marks for utility. We need some HD, large vehicles)

In terms of reliability and quality, the massive success of the Japanese car companies who have dominated the fuel economy vehicle market for decades can't be ignored? (Toyota now has a crappy average fuel economy and that sucks too)

The higher quality of imports? It's legendary. It's not just consumer reports that will tell you this. It's the consumer, friends, family

Quote:
Oh- and Consumer Reports is full of ****.
Consumer reports is far more reliable a source of product information than any advertising based media. On what grounds do you call it crap?

JD Power and Associates will tell you the same: The big three are mostly the pits for dependability. I'm not making this up.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Yes, Americans buy big cars but not because it's good for them but because they are manipulated into it by misleading emotional advertising.
The American consumer really is a gullible stupid slob isn't she?

Quote:
The higher quality of imports? It's legendary. It's not just consumer reports that will tell you this. It's the consumer, friends, family
Is this the same gullible stupid slob noted above? I don't put much credence in what they have to say, as they evidently don't think things through.

Quote:
By the way, in the list of all time top sellers, the vast majority of cars have been compact and relatively fuel efficient.
That's a global list; I think we are only focussing on the North American market in this thread. I think the N.A. list would look very different.

Quote:
Consumer reports is far more reliable a source of product information than any advertising based media. On what grounds do you call it crap?
I've had personally good experiences with what C.R. rated poorly, and poor experiences with what they rated highly, once too often.

Quote:
JD Power and Associates will tell you the same: The big three are mostly the pits for dependability. I'm not making this up.
Did you look at that list? Buick is pretty much tied for the 1st place, equal to Toyota and a bit ahead of Honda. Mercury is far ahead of BMW and Mercedes. VW = crap.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There are people who buy american cars because its what their family has always bought.
My friend bought an old rusty toyota Cresida sedan for his first car and finaly sold it last year (after owning it for almost 12yrs) with just shy of 450,000 miles on it. And it still ran great!

His mom bought american because its what her dad, and grand dad always told her to do. So she bought an oldsmobile aurora that the engine went out with less than 35,000 miles. So she replaced it with an intrigue that lasted her about 15,000 miles before it started all kinds of electrical issues and spent more time in the shop than running.

american cars have really been hit or miss in the past on reliability, with some exceptions.
My mom had an old lumina with over 200,000 miles on it.
My dads plymouth Voyager has 205,000 (still runs pretty well)
The F-150's from the late 80's through the mid 90's were pretty reliable.

I really feel that the Korean companies will really take a much larger market share over the next few years. Kia spectras/hyundai Elantras have great reliability, lots of trunk space, and are avaliable with a 5spd and as a wagon
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Imagine if for every car ad, there had been a public advocate's ad, with an equal production budget, with messages like: "The bigger the tank you protect your kids with now, and the more you drive them around, the sooner they will run out of gas for your grandkids."
Vehicles are about image. Decades of media repetition has added perceived safety to many buying decisions. When there were 3 billion people on earth, in 1967, seat belts were as rare as racing stripes. Guys probably got pulled over for wearing them. "What you worried about, son? What's all this racing equipment for?"
So, "Future Safe" and "Pedestrian Safe" could have been added to the mix of positive images for vehicles to project, instead of all this "Terminator" crud we got. When Arnold was trying to pry a personal Hummer loose from the Army, we should have bought him off with a James Bond car instead. :-/
Then too, it would be nice is the average consumer had a grip on critical thinking, and some real choices that would make a smaller new car more attractive than a larger used car for the same price.

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