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-   -   Small / economy car deathwatch: we've passed "peak econobox" again (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/small-economy-car-deathwatch-weve-passed-peak-econobox-36518.html)

MetroMPG 06-04-2018 02:47 PM

Small / economy car deathwatch: we've passed "peak econobox" again
 
10 Attachment(s)
We have passed "peak economy car" in North America.

Again! (This seems to go in cycles.)

Just over 10 years ago, when EcoModder started, there were only a handful of econoboxes available in the States:
  • Honda Fit
  • Mazda 2
  • Toyota Yaris
  • Chevy Aveo
  • Hyundai Accent/Kia Rio
But the high & rising price of fuel at that time (as well as the relatively low fuel economy of their larger vehicles) spurred automakers to make many more economy cars available.

Fast forward to today, and even though gas prices have crept back up to 3 year highs, small cars are being dropped from line-ups at a pretty rapid clip.

Please bow your heads to pay respects to the dearly departed (or imminently departing)...
http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528146985
Mazda 2 (one of the first to go)

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528147426
Ford Fiesta (especially the 1.0L, 3-cyl turbo)

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528147572
Ford Focus (especially the 1.0L, 3-cyl turbo)

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528147710
Dodge Dart (especially the "Aero" eco-version)

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528147834
Chevy Spark (rumour is it will be replaced by a mini-CUV)

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528215835
Chevy Sonic (already essentially replaced by the CUV based on the same chassis)

Chevy Cruze (rumour, but assembly shifts have been cut back; will miss the ECO and diesel options)

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528216017
Hyundai Accent (hatchback - sedan is new for 2018... though you can still get a Kia Rio hatch, for now)

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528224862
Fiat 500 (Friday, Marchionne said "Fiat isn't working" in North America)

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528216151
Smart dropped the internal combustion versions of the Fortwo, so it's EV only now. How long will that last?

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528216383
VW Beetle ... (does this count?)
Did I miss any?

Chrysler has also dropped the 200, but that doesn't count as an economy car. And Ford is killing off all its cars (including the Fusion hybrid), except the Mustang.

Stubby79 06-04-2018 03:15 PM

Sigh. :(

oil pan 4 06-04-2018 03:17 PM

9 or 10 years ago the volt was a really cool looking concept. It turned out to be a Buick.

Then when gas gets back near $4 a gallon and everyone freaks out it will be a scramble to see who can bring the economy cars back the fastest. It will be the imports and GM will be playing catch up, ford will be caught with their pants down, and dodge will be totally lost unveiling some 9mpg car or truck at the worst possible time.

I stated looking for a leaf when gas prices were at something like a 6 or 8 year low.

redpoint5 06-04-2018 03:42 PM

Not really sure how they were ever a thing in the first place.

I can get a much better used car that gets as good or better fuel economy then these stripped down econoboxes. Why would I buy a brand new econobox for $15k when I can get a 2 year old Prius plug-in for $2k less, that has more features, safety, fuel economy, and utility?

Never understood why someone would buy a new Aveo, which is an awful car, when for the same money they could buy a few year old Lexus, Acura, etc, etc.

I get that some people like tiny cars because they live in crowded urban environments. Perhaps then it makes sense to consider something like the Fit. The Yaris offended me first by the stupid name, then by seeing the speedo in the center of the dash rather than in front of the driver. I declined to test drive one after that.

mpg_numbers_guy 06-04-2018 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 571281)
...The Yaris offended me first by the stupid name, then by seeing the speedo in the center of the dash rather than in front of the driver. I declined to test drive one after that.

I was torn over that lol. I wanted an Echo/Yaris due to it's superior FE, but went with the Civic because I couldn't stand the center dash cluster. Not to mention the feminine looking design in both the exterior and especially the interior. :rolleyes:

Maybe this will mean that these smaller cars will become even cheaper now that they're out of production? Kind of like the Saturns?

redpoint5 06-04-2018 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy (Post 571292)
Maybe this will mean that these smaller cars will become even cheaper now that they're out of production? Kind of like the Saturns?

I had assumed (probably incorrectly) that cars that go out of production increase in value, since you can no longer buy new ones, and there is a fixed number of used ones. Perhaps people are more concerned about parts availability, or simply don't consider the model since it's no longer advertised and in their mind.

If that's the case, I expect to get a great deal on a used Fusion Energi when they stop production.

My compact, low utility, fuel efficient vehicle is my motorcycle.

Xist 06-04-2018 04:59 PM

When Chevrolet killed the Metro, were there any other shoebox-class cars on the market?

I forgot about the center cluster! Who thought that was a good idea?! As I recall, it was not symmetrical, but would it only need different trim for both left- and right-hand drive?

Toyota owners told me they liked having the speedometer out of the way, but when I dug deeper, they admitted they did not look at it.

MetroMPG 06-04-2018 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 571281)
Never understood why someone would buy a new Aveo, which is an awful car, when for the same money they could buy a few year old Lexus, Acura, etc, etc.


You forget that you're not a normal person. :)

Normal people don't want the hassle of hunting for an appropriate used car with an unknowable history that some other owner has previously farted in. It's easier and nicer to just pick a colour from a row of identical ones with that new car smell.

Also: it's easier to get financing for a new car -- especially long-term financing, which lowers payments dramatically, which is arguably what lower income econobox shoppers want.

And let's not forget the full warranty on the new car. Epitomy of peace of mind vs. a scary used car experience.

Having said all that, *I* (and most people on this forum, I bet) agree with your reasoning. We're not normal either.


So let's not convince normal people not to buy brand new econoboxes... how else am I going to buy cheap used ones a decade or more later??

mpg_numbers_guy 06-04-2018 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 571296)
I had assumed (probably incorrectly) that cars that go out of production increase in value, since you can no longer buy new ones, and there is a fixed number of used ones. Perhaps people are more concerned about parts availability, or simply don't consider the model since it's no longer advertised and in their mind.

It's not like it's a sports car or a limited production automobile. I was thinking of vehicles such as Aleros and other Oldsmobiles, Saturns, and the like. Pretty much any of them can be found for $1000 even with only 100K miles on it. Most of the ones I see that are $2000 or more have like <70K miles on them. And neither of them are really bad vehicles like the Neon.

Xist 06-04-2018 06:14 PM

A friend had a 2012 Civic. The air conditioning went out. She traded it in for a new Toyota and accepted $4,500 for the trade. Kelley says it was worth $6,500 as a trade-in and $9,200 private party. I do not have any idea what was wrong with the air conditioning, perhaps recharging the refrigerant would have been enough for a while.

I do not know if she is normal or if I ever ever met a normal person, but every year millions of people trade in cars for less they could have received on their own.

I cannot find the video now, but someone explained that some dealerships have a trick to raise the sale price of a new car to cover the trade-in, so that you effectively give away your car for free.

mpg_numbers_guy 06-04-2018 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xist (Post 571300)
A friend had a 2012 Civic. The air conditioning went out. She traded it in for a new Toyota and accepted $4,500 for the trade. Kelley says it was worth $6,500 as a trade-in and $9,200 private party. I do not have any idea what was wrong with the air conditioning, perhaps recharging the refrigerant would have been enough for a while.

The only cheap 9th gen Civics I've seen are riced out. Such a waste of a good car.

redpoint5 06-04-2018 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xist (Post 571300)
I cannot find the video now, but someone explained that some dealerships have a trick to raise the sale price of a new car to cover the trade-in, so that you effectively give away your car for free.

They get you every which-way. From financing, to charging more for the new car, to purchasing the trade vehicle for less than it's worth, to selling it to the next person for more than it's worth. A consumer faced with the stupid "Foursquare" from a salesman is left feeling that buying a car is way more complicated than it really is, while being distracted from the fact that they are negotiating the sales price instead of trying to spend the maximum monthly amount they can afford.

The only time I purchased a used car from a dealership, Mr. Slick scribbled out his foursquare and asked what I could afford. I told him it's none of his business, and the only matter at hand is the sales price of the vehicle. He asked me what I think the car was worth, so I told him. He laughed at that price saying they had to make money too... 2 weeks later they sold it to me for the price I originally stated; not a penny more. My first offer is always my best offer.

Fancy showrooms, free coffee and expensive vacations don't come from nowhere.

Xist 06-04-2018 06:34 PM

Mom once pushed me into buying a car from CarMax, but instead of driving across town, I went to a lot across the street from me that I thought was similar. Apparently, CarMax has a great reputation for making trading in your car for a newer one as easy as possible, but they will pay you less for your old car, and charge you more for your new one.

The place where I went kept advertising low payments. I do not remember what it was, just that they required payments every two weeks for forty-two months. Perhaps the two-week part is what kept my brain from doing the math on its own. Twice a month for forty-two months would be eighty-four payments, but with fifty-two weeks in a year, that would be twenty-six payments per year, and forty-two months is three and a half years, so $payment x 26 x ...

Where was I?

My flip phone or Nokia should would have had a calculator. I could have figured it out with pen and paper in seconds.

Why didn't I?

It felt like it took forever, so I certainly had the time. It seemed like all that I only had one form left and...

...28%?!

Nope nope nope!

I have mentioned before the chain of dealerships back in the valley that guaranteed $5,000 (or whatever. It changes from time to time) for your trade-in, or, exclusive to that offer, $5,000 off any new car!

Am I the only one to realize that you effectively give them your car for free?

redpoint5 06-04-2018 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xist (Post 571305)
I have mentioned before the chain of dealerships back in the valley that guaranteed $5,000 (or whatever. It changes from time to time) for your trade-in, or, exclusive to that offer, $5,000 off any new car!

Am I the only one to realize that you effectively give them your car for free?

Marketing is a powerful tool, otherwise we wouldn't be inundated with advertisements. They exist to first elicit an emotional response, which is then used to inhibit rational thought. The more strongly emotion is felt, the more careful, slow, and deliberate our response should be. This applies to financial transactions, relationships, politics, responding to forum posts... life.

You'd hate to be around me when TV commercials play. I'm always pointing out the marketing gimmicks, such as "Allstate's Accident Forgiveness". Essentially, they forgive a future accident because you have been paying a higher premium all along. I don't like to bet against myself by paying for something I intend to avoid in the first place.

oil pan 4 06-04-2018 08:38 PM

I just sold our 2001 bug with 1.8t engine sport package, for $1,850.
Never trade, unless you hate money and love getting ripped off.
If I would have traded that pile of junk I would have been lucky to get $900 for it.
Instead it paid for about 1/3 of my leaf on the back end.

19bonestock88 06-04-2018 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy (Post 571299)
It's not like it's a sports car or a limited production automobile. I was thinking of vehicles such as Aleros and other Oldsmobiles, Saturns, and the like. Pretty much any of them can be found for $1000 even with only 100K miles on it. Most of the ones I see that are $2000 or more have like <70K miles on them. And neither of them are really bad vehicles like the Neon.

Indeed, itís why I have my Saturn... however, when the North American Ford Ranger ended production ended in 2011 its values picked up quite a lot considering that before it didnít hold value all that well... I seen a 2011 Ranger with around 40k on it advertised for $16k... granted it was a SuperCab, 4x4 model, but they only were like $25k new... at 7 years old Iíd expect to pay under $10k at most...

oil pan 4 06-05-2018 12:09 AM

Ford 7.3L expeditions go for $16 to $20k.
Not bad for 20 year old vehices.

Stubby79 06-05-2018 02:27 AM

To all you nay-sayers on the Echo/Yaris...I happen to like the instrument cluster where it is in my '05 hatchback. Yes, it took some getting used to, but that goes away after a few days. It's better there! I'm tall and always have trouble seeing the instrument cluster past the steering wheel; it's never blocked where it is. And at night, well, it's not staring me right in the face, blinding me whenever I am staring down a dark road.

Feminine? :rolleyes: I feel no need to hand in my man-card for driving it. :p

California98Civic 06-05-2018 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stubby79 (Post 571336)
To all you nay-sayers on the Echo/Yaris...I happen to like the instrument cluster where it is in my '05 hatchback. Yes, it took some getting used to, but that goes away after a few days. It's better there! I'm tall and always have trouble seeing the instrument cluster past the steering wheel; it's never blocked where it is. And at night, well, it's not staring me right in the face, blinding me whenever I am staring down a dark road.

Feminine? :rolleyes: I feel no need to hand in my man-card for driving it. :p

And you have easy dashboard access right in front of you!

Stubby79 06-05-2018 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by California98Civic (Post 571353)
And you have easy dashboard access right in front of you!

Perfect for an MPG gauge! :p

MetroMPG 06-05-2018 11:15 AM

Yaris deathwatch?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Agreed - the Echo's cluster position was odd, but I quickly got used to it in the one I had briefly. I actually kind of liked the lack of visual "buffer" between me & the road -- interesting feeling.

===

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528211824

Speaking of that car...

Any bets on how long the Yaris (Echo's successor) lasts in the U.S.?

Look at this year's sales numbers for the hatchback:
  • Jan: 174 (down from 1330 a year ago)
  • Feb: 136 (1057)
  • Mar: 144 (1377)
  • Apr: 131 (1522)
  • May: 139 (852)
These are horrid numbers for the U.S. market size. (EG. Mitsubishi sold over 3k Mirages last month.)



Are they letting it die off without officially saying so? Or is there a replacement hatch waiting in the wings we don't know about?

DEATHWATCH

rmay635703 06-05-2018 11:56 AM

Those numbers are worse than the Prius v which toyo did kill

Seems odd they keep the fit or c around

Iím hoping Toyo has the will to keep cars on the ballot until the next gas price surge.

I never did get why the Prime wasnít just packaged into the Prius V considering they had to make a special elongated chassis that the battery still didnít fit properly

Ah well, time will tell

MetroMPG 06-05-2018 12:18 PM

I wonder if Toyota is letting the Yaris hatch die off because they've now got the "iA" sedan (rebadged Mazda2, on a much newer platform) to sell in its place as their entry level car.


I assume they killed the Prius V because they wanted people to buy the Rav4, now the company's best-selling hybrid.



The Fit is still selling reasonably well... around 5k a month if memory serves.

MetroMPG 06-05-2018 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xist (Post 571297)
When Chevrolet killed the Metro, were there any other shoebox-class cars on the market?

2001... not at that time. Well, the 1st gen Honda Insight was available. That count? But I think the Insight is bigger, despite being a 2-seater.


Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 571312)
I just sold our 2001 bug

Oh - thanks for the reminder! VW announced recently that the Bug is dead too. Added to post #1.

NeilBlanchard 06-05-2018 12:37 PM

I hate driving a large car. For economy reasons, sure - but also for agility and practicality and because it is so much easier.

Xist 06-09-2018 12:25 PM

I do not know this Jalopnik writer is, but he says that if you like sedans, your opinion is bad, and you should feel bad. He also dislikes crossovers, which is fine, but argues that everyone should drive a hatchback or wagon. I have only had one of either. Aren't hatchbacks shorter versions of sedans with, you know, hatches? Everybody talks about all of their cargo space, but that depends on how deep the cargo area is. I took a Spark grocery shopping and the hatch was about a foot deep.

I think my mother's 2006 Camry is her first sedan. She always had station wagons and I think that station wagons are underrated--unless it is a Ford Taurus. Mom's died the day after she bought it and the previous owner probably got rid of it because it was unreliable.

I think this guy has the pettiest arguments against wagons. I felt that someone made much better arguments for sedans and the author dismissed them.

What do you guys think: https://jalopnik.com/sedans-dont-mak...ore-1826673000

mpg_numbers_guy 06-09-2018 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 571367)
I hate driving a large car. For economy reasons, sure - but also for agility and practicality and because it is so much easier.

Same!

niky 06-10-2018 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xist (Post 571637)
I do not know this Jalopnik writer is, but he says that if you like sedans, your opinion is bad, and you should feel bad. He also dislikes crossovers, which is fine, but argues that everyone should drive a hatchback or wagon. I have only had one of either. Aren't hatchbacks shorter versions of sedans with, you know, hatches? Everybody talks about all of their cargo space, but that depends on how deep the cargo area is. I took a Spark grocery shopping and the hatch was about a foot deep.

I think my mother's 2006 Camry is her first sedan. She always had station wagons and I think that station wagons are underrated--unless it is a Ford Taurus. Mom's died the day after she bought it and the previous owner probably got rid of it because it was unreliable.

I think this guy has the pettiest arguments against wagons. I felt that someone made much better arguments for sedans and the author dismissed them.

What do you guys think: https://jalopnik.com/sedans-dont-mak...ore-1826673000

Sedans never made sense. Less useful space within the same footprint as a wagon or hatch.

We just buy them because they're prettier.

mpg_numbers_guy 06-10-2018 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by niky (Post 571729)
Sedans never made sense. Less useful space within the same footprint as a wagon or hatch.

We just buy them because they're prettier.

And (generally) more aerodynamic for that bonus 1 MPG. :turtle:

19bonestock88 06-10-2018 02:33 PM

But, in theory, a wagon could be made more aerodynamic than a sedan of the same footprint, by sloping the roof and stuff...

I like wagons, personally... the previous generation CTS-V wagon was really cool! 556bhp, 6spd, RWD wagon goodness!
“The kids will never be late to soccer practice again, bwahaha!”

Xist 06-10-2018 03:30 PM

I often wonder why people care strongly about what other people do. Sedans versus coupes? Who cares?

People purposely purchasing cars with automatic transmissions--unless they have a note from their doctor, that is just stupid.

ksa8907 06-10-2018 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 571367)
I hate driving a large car. For economy reasons, sure - but also for agility and practicality and because it is so much easier.

Depends how to classify "big". I loved my dodge intrepid but I also drove a dodge magnum and thought it was a bit too boat-like.

To each their own?

vskid3 06-11-2018 03:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xist (Post 571744)
I often wonder why people care strongly about what other people do. Sedans versus coupes? Who cares?

Because people who buy crappy new cars limit my used car options down the road. :D

Bicycle Bob 06-12-2018 02:19 PM

I keep hearing horror stories of friends with new vehicles that the dealer can't make reliable, even when they pay bills several times higher than the most I've ever paid for a whole car. Parts and depreciation cost me less than $200 pa.
This is probably the time to shop for your next daily driver and matching parts car.

mpg_numbers_guy 06-12-2018 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vskid3 (Post 571770)
Because people who buy crappy new cars limit my used car options down the road. :D

Well at least by then we'll know what not to buy! :D

mpg_numbers_guy 06-12-2018 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xist (Post 571744)
People purposely purchasing cars with automatic transmissions--unless they have a note from their doctor, that is just stupid.

It makes manual transmission cars cheaper though, since no one wants them. A comparable manual transmission Civic like mine would've been ~20% cheaper if it was a manual.

Bicycle Bob 06-12-2018 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vskid3 (Post 571770)
Because people who buy crappy new cars limit my used car options down the road. :D

They are all awful. There is no excuse for a land vehicle to outweigh its payload. Sixty years ago the Brits had a prototype Jeep replacement that four soldiers could carry over obstacles.

Xist 06-12-2018 07:04 PM

By current U.S. Army standards, a four-man lift is 100 pounds.

Hersbird 06-13-2018 03:11 PM

I still stand by the idea it is only minimally less expensive to manufacture, sell, and warranty a stripped down ecobox compared to an average sedan. Yet the companies can only get 50-70% of the price in comparison. If I'm selling coffee and the majority of my cost is employees, buildings, taxes, insurance, etc. Why sell a 50 cent cup that cost me 40 cents in materials when I can sell a 5 dollar cup that cost me 80 cents in materials.

MetroMPG 06-13-2018 04:16 PM

You advertise the 50 cent cup to get people into your coffee dealership, where your employees upsell them to the 5 dollar cup!



Or you sell them the 40 cent cup, but with $200 floor mats, $600 rustproofing, and finance it all in house at 8%!


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