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Old 10-02-12, 11:00 AM   #1
volosong 
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Italian bicycle sales 'surpass those of cars'

from the BBC... Hyperlink to on-line article.

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Originally Posted by BBC
2 October 2012 Last updated at 07:44 ET

Italian bicycle sales 'surpass those of cars'

Italians bought more bicycles than cars in 2011 for the first time in decades, according to local media reports.

Last year some 1.75 million bicycles were sold, about 2,000 more than the number of new cars registered, La Repubblica newspaper reported.

It attributed the change to a slump in car sales during the economic crisis and the rising price of petrol, as well as bikes coming back into fashion.

Car sales have slumped to the level at which they stood in 1964, it said.

Though bicycling has a strong tradition in Italy, the centres of big cities are largely dominated by cars and scooters.

Ahead of a cycling conference being held in Italy this weekend, President Giorgio Napolitano appealed to Italians to "catch up" with other European countries by making their roads more cycle-friendly.
Not exactly sure what that last sentence means. I found cycling in Rome to be fairly "cycle friendly". At least compared to the United States urban centers. All cars I encountered were very considerate of me when I was riding.
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Old 10-02-12, 12:34 PM   #2
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More bikes than cars? That’s inconceivable (as Vizzini would say)!

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Old 10-02-12, 12:56 PM   #3
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Molto furba, gli italiani!

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Old 10-02-12, 01:01 PM   #4
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More bikes than cars? That’s inconceivable (as Vizzini would say)!

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I don't think that word means what you think it means. (actually, in this case, that probably doesn't apply)
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Old 10-02-12, 01:37 PM   #5
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"New cars registered"
This doesnt seem to take into account used car sales. Those would be "used cars reregistered" / registered"
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Old 10-02-12, 02:33 PM   #6
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This is an old chestnut that is brought up almost every year in Australia... more new bikes sold than new cars registered.

I'll put more store in the comparative figures when they factor in sales of model cars, and pedal cars for kids, to balance the sales of children's bikes included in the total.
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Old 10-02-12, 02:37 PM   #7
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I am actually not surprised, the average price of gas in Italy this past Monday was $9.32 per US gallon, would you want to be driving much with gas at $9+ a gallon, probably not. The cheapest average price there, in the last year was $8.06/Gallon.
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Old 10-02-12, 03:09 PM   #8
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I am actually not surprised, the average price of gas in Italy this past Monday was $9.32 per US gallon, would you want to be driving much with gas at $9+ a gallon, probably not. The cheapest average price there, in the last year was $8.06/Gallon.
Maybe that's why diesel cars are so popular there, (and all of Europe). Any idea of the price of diesel fuel?
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Old 10-02-12, 03:24 PM   #9
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Current-ish: gas - 1.859 euro/liter, diesel 1.738 euro/liter,

so not that much difference.
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Old 10-02-12, 04:34 PM   #10
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I think the fact that anyone's even looking at these kinds of numbers is progress.
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Old 10-02-12, 08:07 PM   #11
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The last time I was in Italy was 2001. There were few bicyclists to be seen on the roads and we spent 3 weeks in most parts of the country.
There were tons of motor scooters and a few motorcycles. Gasoline was just as expensive in relative terms to our costs.

As to the last statement in the news article, my take would be getting the insane drivers to give a quarter to cyclists. The people are very nice until they get into a car and then become mad men.
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Old 10-03-12, 11:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by yosarian9 View Post
"New cars registered"
This doesnt seem to take into account used car sales. Those would be "used cars reregistered" / registered"
On the other side of the coin, it doesn't take into account sales of used bikes. Local Gumtree sales and eBay sales have increased a lot. I work at a charity workshop that sells re-furbished bikes and we can only just keep up with demand, which is not from youngsters!
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Old 10-03-12, 12:09 PM   #13
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Maybe that's why diesel cars are so popular there, (and all of Europe). Any idea of the price of diesel fuel?
The difference isn't much as Este pointed out, but diesel engines also get better mileage. That isn't a whole lot either, but put the 2 of them together and you get some compounding of the benefits.
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Old 10-03-12, 08:26 PM   #14
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More bikes than cars? That’s inconceivable (as Vizzini would say)!

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Old 10-03-12, 08:29 PM   #15
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I think the fact that anyone's even looking at these kinds of numbers is progress.
You view the collapse of society as progress? Bike sales, and manufacturing plants, boomed in Europe after WWII.

OK, I know what you mean. But I hope you know what I mean.
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Old 10-03-12, 08:35 PM   #16
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Current-ish: gas - 1.859 euro/liter, diesel 1.738 euro/liter,

so not that much difference.
Different diesels than in US and different diesel fuel. And MASSIVE government subsidies of diesel fuel in Europe. So yes, a huge difference. Diesel is much more expensive. But the US needs to facilitate the high efficiency engines and fuels used in European diesel systems.
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Old 10-03-12, 11:23 PM   #17
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I think that economy has a lot to do with the growth of cycle sales. China is an example where as the economy has grown-more cars are being sold than before. Europe in general has an austerity programme being put into place. Cars are expensive to run and this is not helped with fuel tax being seen as a steady income. Not saying that cars are not being used but in the main- I know the UK is seeing an increase in bike use for short journeys.

Since I have retired I have been using the bike instead of the car for those short trips into town and even trips up to 20 miles where a car is not necessary to carry shopping home. Must have saved a fortune in fuel for the car but I also have the time to be able to use the bike instead of the car.

But several points noted over the last couple of weeks in the news. Sales of fuel in the UK has dropped dramatically in the past year. This is not down to driving habits or better fuel efficiency--It is the simple fact that cars are not being used as much. Our fuel is heavily taxed by the Government with annual rises being built into the system. The last couple of those tax rises have been suspended (Not cancelled) as the voters just can't pay any more.
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Old 10-04-12, 05:53 AM   #18
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Very interesting news item this morning on Yahoo about the resurgence in the UK since this years bicycling triumphs of Sky and the Olympics:http://finance.yahoo.com/news/uk-cyc...--finance.html

Bill
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Old 10-04-12, 01:55 PM   #19
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Different diesels than in US and different diesel fuel. And MASSIVE government subsidies of diesel fuel in Europe. So yes, a huge difference. Diesel is much more expensive. But the US needs to facilitate the high efficiency engines and fuels used in European diesel systems.
The diesel fuel sold in North America is required to be extra-low sulfur diesel. The stuff costs more than regular gasoline due to high demand, mostly from the commercial transportation industry (trucks, trains, marine diesel).

That said, my VW Jetta TDI with the turbocharged diesel engine and 6-spd manual transmission is WAY too much fun to drive. VW specializes in "clean diesel" engines, and you CANNOT smell any trace of diesel at the exhaust pipe. Plus, I'm getting at least 45 mpg with the TDI, compared with 26 mpg (highway) on my previous Subaru. I would have to refill the Sub at around 400 kmh. I start looking for diesel fuel stations at around 700 km with the TDI! (and I've still got a quarter tank left.)

But no, you should NOT buy a car with a diesel engine. Don't do it. You won't be happy. (plus it might raise the price of diesel, or make for longer waits for me at the diesel pump!)

Luis
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Old 10-04-12, 02:05 PM   #20
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I found this related article link at the end of the posted story more interesting. Car factory closures loom as Europe's market shrinks http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17112665.
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Old 10-04-12, 06:42 PM   #21
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I found this related article link at the end of the posted story more interesting. Car factory closures loom as Europe's market shrinks http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17112665.
They make an important point, a small car, say a 4 banger sedan, might have a dealer profit of $500. A big luxury SUV might have a dealer profit of $10,000. I don't know about manufacturers profit levels, but the difference is going to be similar. The other issue is shipping, say it costs $10,000 to ship a container from plant to market, if you sell full cars, then you will get between 6 and 8 in a container, 90% of the space is air. If you flat pack the car, you might get 20 into the same space. This is why companies like Honda, Toyota and Nissan operate North American assembly plants, besides the value of each car is less for customs purposes. Quality parts like tires, window glass, wiring, belts and hoses and seats that can be sourced at the point of assembly can make the final product even cheaper. Where this is important, is that some European manufacturers are doing the same thing, especially when the only growth market is emerging markets, where local labour is cheap. You don't need a massive assembly plant in the UK, if 75% of your cars are going to be assembled in India.
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