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Old 07-08-2009, 05:13 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Or just consider the aforementioned Honda CRX. They were, and still are, quite popular, yet Honda stopped production...
"Quite popular" relative to what?

In 1990, the Miata came out. At that point, most people who wanted two-seaters decided that they were more interested in a "truuuuue roadster"--an open-topped car that had RWD handling and no cargo space. Sales of the CRX dropped like a stone.

You have to understand--to Honda, the notion of selling ten thousand of a regular (non-halo) model is nothing. They need to sell many thousands of them every week in order for it to be seen as worthwhile. Maybe even more.

If the 1st-gen Insight had sold in similar numbers to the Civic, there would still be a two-seat hybrid Honda on the market. It didn't, plain and simple. I remember them sitting at the dealer for months and months after they were discontinued...

Maybe the market is changing--maybe. But I won't be holding my breath waiting for utilitarian two-seaters to come back to the market in a big way.

That said, I love my CRX. I've had it for years, and will likely have it for many more to come.

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Old 07-08-2009, 06:05 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by some_other_dave View Post
"Quite popular" relative to what?

In 1990, the Miata came out. At that point, most people who wanted two-seaters decided that they were more interested in a "truuuuue roadster"--an open-topped car that had RWD handling and no cargo space. Sales of the CRX dropped like a stone.

...

That said, I love my CRX. I've had it for years, and will likely have it for many more to come.

-soD
Hmmmm, I never saw it that way. I thought the Miata was a throwback to the Triumph Spitfire and the MG MGB sports cars, hence the British Racing Green.

From my POV, the CRX died of competition. The Mazda MX-3 (a fat CRX, *with* a small vertical rear window), the Toyota Paseo (a "normal" CRX), and the Nissan NX (the evil egg).

But I agree that the CRX was the best car I ever had. If I had to do it all over again, instead of selling it to my friend, I would have given the CRX to my Dad so it stayed "in the family" while keeping the mileage down. But, I'll bet someone would have stolen it.

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Old 07-09-2009, 05:04 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I thought the Miata was a throwback to the Triumph Spitfire and the MG MGB sports cars, hence the British Racing Green.
Exactly! Hence the TV ads around then that kept calling it "a truuuuue roadster". (Boy did those get annoying after a while!!) But it seems that people who were willing to do without any back seat, even the "notional" one in most 2+2 cars, wanted more of a "fun only" car than a "fun and practical" car.

I hope the CR-Z does well, but I'm afraid they won't be able to capture the spirit of the CRX with it.

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Old 07-09-2009, 07:41 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I don't think Shawn was talking about SUVs. I used to own a 2nd gen CRX. As a prime example of utility, I could load a 5 piece drumset in the CRX without removing the passenger seat. The Insight couldn't do that because of the battery pack.CarloSW2
Exactly. Simply because someone thinks a dinky vehicle is not a good all-round answer does not mean that person automatically means the opposite extreme is.

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OK, but what percentage of the car-buying population ever wants to carry a 5-piece drum set?
Come on, you know that was just one example. Another is going to the junkyard (recycling!) with my son to pull a complete drivetrain and set of brakes off a vehicle, and taking two toolboxes and a garden cart to pull it all -- to people and all that gear fits fine in my Mercedes wagon, but wouldn't in an Insight.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:15 PM   #35 (permalink)
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"Quite popular" relative to what?
Quite popular as in I still see a fair number on the road, probably more than Miatas.

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If the 1st-gen Insight had sold in similar numbers to the Civic, there would still be a two-seat hybrid Honda on the market. It didn't, plain and simple. I remember them sitting at the dealer for months and months after they were discontinued...
Whereabouts, in the midwest? Because I remember people trying to find them around that time, and occasionally making a flight from the west coast to pick one up.

You're stuck on the idea that the Insight was a sales flop, when it was widely known that Honda didn't intend to sell more that a relative few, because they were selling them below what they cost to produce. Even leaving out the cost of the hybrid system, what other aluminium-bodied car ever sold at that price?
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:24 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Come on, you know that was just one example. Another is going to the junkyard (recycling!) with my son to pull a complete drivetrain and set of brakes off a vehicle, and taking two toolboxes and a garden cart to pull it all -- to people and all that gear fits fine in my Mercedes wagon, but wouldn't in an Insight.
When I go to cut my firewood this fall, I won't be hauling it in the Insight, nor will I be bringing back sheets of plywood from Home Depot. Nor will I drive it up the really rough dirt road (I've seen Jeeps get high-centered on it) to where I went hiking this morning. I use a truck for those things, but I likewise wouldn't drive the truck into town for grocery shopping. Try to build one vehicle that does everything, and you wind up with something (like a Mercedes wagon?) that does nothing really well.
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:31 AM   #37 (permalink)
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When I go to cut my firewood this fall, I won't be hauling it in the Insight, nor will I be bringing back sheets of plywood from Home Depot. Nor will I drive it up the really rough dirt road (I've seen Jeeps get high-centered on it) to where I went hiking this morning. I use a truck for those things, but I likewise wouldn't drive the truck into town for grocery shopping. Try to build one vehicle that does everything, and you wind up with something (like a Mercedes wagon?) that does nothing really well.
Believe me, I would NEVER say a Mercedes wagon does anything really well! Well, maybe frustrate me, but that's another issue.

Some folks cannot have multiple vehicles to fit multiple needs. Therefore, they need to have a vehicle that can perform multiple tasks, even if none of those tasks are optimized.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:14 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Some folks cannot have multiple vehicles to fit multiple needs. Therefore, they need to have a vehicle that can perform multiple tasks, even if none of those tasks are optimized.
Sure, but why should that keep car makers from also producing cars that are optimized for particular tasks? Lots of people can & do have multiple vehicles, such as a car for driving and a truck for hauling, so it would seem to make sense to build a car that does a good job of being a car, and a truck that's good at being a truck. Instead, they give us things like the four-door "pickup" with a four-foot bed,that combine the worst features of both and so as far as I can tell do nothing really well.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:16 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Sure, but why should that keep car makers from also producing cars that are optimized for particular tasks? Lots of people can & do have multiple vehicles, such as a car for driving and a truck for hauling, so it would seem to make sense to build a car that does a good job of being a car, and a truck that's good at being a truck. Instead, they give us things like the four-door "pickup" with a four-foot bed,that combine the worst features of both and so as far as I can tell do nothing really well.
I agree that there should be more room in the American market for optimized and/or retro vehicles. In Japan, there seem to be strange little cars like this :

Nissan Figaro - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


But for me, multiple car ownership is ri$ky bu$ine$$. I think you need space and car fixin' skillzz to be able to have dedicated task cars, and I have neither. If I had another car, I would want to park it at the curb. Where I live, that would cost me $60 per year (small but annoying city fee), not including the extra insurance and the risk of being hit by a drunk (while parked no less!!!! happened last year, ).

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