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Old 08-04-08, 05:54 AM   #1
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Why will the American car companies be history in 10 years

Because they can't come up with cars like this:



2009 Toyota Prius. Sharp looking. BETTER fuel economy than the current car, more power, slightly larger too. Toyota sold 41,000 of these in 2004. 191,000 last year. How many of these new Prius models will they sell? Their goal is one MILLION hybrids by 2010. I know I'll be buying one, or a similar car. I'd love to buy one from a US company. Apple computer can do it, why can't GM?

Chevy Volt. Yeah, OK. Toyota plans a plug in Prius by 2010 that gets 80mpg ++.
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Old 08-04-08, 06:00 AM   #2
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the 80mpg's are on the Japanese cycle, not EPA. The new Prius will get about 10% better mpg's than the current which is still great considering it will also be larger and more powerful. It will have solar panels to run the A/C as well.
Plans are for a coupe and convertible Prius- Prius being a brand (like Scion).

All Prius production will be ramping up to be made in the USA in '10 so you can have a USA made car.

Honda will have their Prius copy hybrid that looks exactly like the Prius. That should be out soon as well but I doubt they can match the refinement of Toyota's Synergy Drive.
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Old 08-04-08, 06:35 AM   #3
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the 80mpg's are on the Japanese cycle, not EPA. The new Prius will get about 10% better mpg's than the current which is still great considering it will also be larger and more powerful. It will have solar panels to run the A/C as well.
Plans are for a coupe and convertible Prius- Prius being a brand (like Scion).

All Prius production will be ramping up to be made in the USA in '10 so you can have a USA made car.

Honda will have their Prius copy hybrid that looks exactly like the Prius. That should be out soon as well but I doubt they can match the refinement of Toyota's Synergy Drive.
My bad, I should have clarified: the 80 mpg is projected for a future PLUG IN Prius on the boards, Toyota says it will be in showrooms within 2 years. And it may be more like 100 mpg. You are correct, the next Prius may be 10% more fuel efficient than the current car, which will have it pushing FIFTY mpg. They'll sell a few of those, eh? Maybe to me even.
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Old 08-04-08, 06:57 AM   #4
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either they keep up or die, survival of the fittest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1
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Old 08-04-08, 07:01 AM   #5
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My coworker has a Prius. Got his 'used' with like 400 miles on it. An older couple had it before him and didn't like it. I can see why - the interior is not what one is used to. Anyways, he gets about 53MPG on it driving in Orlando. In comparison, my Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo gets about 17MPG.
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Old 08-04-08, 07:08 AM   #6
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I really hope the American car companies can figure it out.
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Old 08-04-08, 07:14 AM   #7
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US automobile companies have some steep challenges.

* making cars that are not only competitive, but that have an edge over honda, toyota, etc.
* designing cars that people actually like.
* finding a way to produce cars cheaply without getting killed by labor disputes, soaring health care costs, etc.
* rebuilding their reputations.

not gonna be easy.
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Old 08-04-08, 07:38 AM   #8
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There's no such thing as American (whatever) companies anymore. Trying to trade on the reputation of the nation in which they are based is a doomed way to do business.

Companies have to think on global economic scale to survive.
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Old 08-04-08, 07:51 AM   #9
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a prius doesn't really make that much sense from an economic standpoint, so we've still got a long way to go
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Old 08-04-08, 08:08 AM   #10
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US automobile companies have some steep challenges.

* making cars that are not only competitive, but that have an edge over honda, toyota, etc.
* designing cars that people actually like.
* finding a way to produce cars cheaply without getting killed by labor disputes, soaring health care costs, etc.
* rebuilding their reputations.

not gonna be easy.
The biggest hurdle facing the American car co's is pension liability and the fully funded health care they are required by contract to supply to their retired workers. They have more retiree's on payroll than current workers. Granted, they dug this hole themselves. Now they can't get out of it. The VAST majority of revenue goes to paying into that. Not into product development. Unless they can get a handle on those costs, they're likely to be playing catch up for a long time.
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Old 08-04-08, 08:53 AM   #11
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a prius doesn't really make that much sense from an economic standpoint, so we've still got a long way to go
It certainly does make sense when you want to buy a new car anyway.
Also the resale value of the Prius is extreme right now. I could sell my '08 Prius with 22k miles on the clock for the same price I bought it 9 month ago. Any other car besides super rare supersportscars that hold such kind of value?

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Old 08-04-08, 09:35 AM   #12
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I drive a 1986 Toyota Corolla and am also an avid Hot-Rodder. To put bluntly Detroit has a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG Way to go as far as Reliability,Engineering,Build Quality and Fit and Finish are concerned.
A 1971 Plymouth Road Runner is one of the WORST Built Cars on the Planet!!! Fast as Hell in a straight line,Lousy Handling,Crappy Fit and Finish,Ill Engineered PITA!!
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Old 08-04-08, 09:36 AM   #13
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Detroit wont change until the very last minute when they absolutely have to.
This will, of course, be after the government gives them a bunch of bail-out money.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:37 AM   #14
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History in 10 yrs? Less.

Too slow to keep up with market demand. (everyone wants a big SUV don't you know?)
Pension and healthcare costs are too high.
Greed is rampant throughout the industry (from the CEO's down to the "skilled auto workers"(how`s that for an oximoron))
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Old 08-04-08, 09:43 AM   #15
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I drive a 1986 Toyota Corolla and am also an avid Hot-Rodder. To put bluntly Detroit has a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG Way to go as far as Reliability,Engineering,Build Quality and Fit and Finish are concerned.
A 1971 Plymouth Road Runner is one of the WORST Built Cars on the Planet!!! Fast as Hell in a straight line,Lousy Handling,Crappy Fit and Finish,Ill Engineered PITA!!
You're talking about a 37 year old car! More recently, a Z06 Corvette is competitive with just about any performance car in the world, and at a fraction of the cost of many.

The most recent surveys show Ford right up there in the tops with quality and some GM vehicles not far behind
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Old 08-04-08, 09:44 AM   #16
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When I used to work part-time at a GM dealer a couple years ago, you'd constantly hear from the parts guys and mechanics how crappy the vehicles are. The quality of the parts are just terrible.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:45 AM   #17
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History in 10 yrs? Less.

Too slow to keep up with market demand. (everyone wants a big SUV don't you know?)
Pension and healthcare costs are too high.
Greed is rampant throughout the industry (from the CEO's down to the "skilled auto workers"(how`s that for an oximoron))
Thats true. Those people keep forgetting that they all work for the shareholders.

Compare the results:

Honda posts record earnings and GM keeps posting losses.

Its as simple as making a quality product people want at a price they are willing to pay.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:54 AM   #18
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You're talking about a 37 year old car! More recently, a Z06 Corvette is competitive with just about any performance car in the world, and at a fraction of the cost of many.
That the point! The Road Runner is Considered one of the "Ten Best American Cars Ever Built" Even if you spent the money to "Supercar" your Plymouth with all the best modern Technology it would cost as much as the ZO6,or more....and thats another point,a car like that is not what is considered "Affordable,Economical Transportation for most folk.
The Choices for an American "Econobox" are more like the Saturn Sl or the Pontiac Sunfire or the Chevy Malibu.
Simply put if you want a Quality American Car you have to spend an insane amount of cash!.....A Malibu is NOT what one would call a Quality Car. Hell I'd put my 23yo Toyota with 187,300 miles up against a new Malibu anytime!!
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Old 08-04-08, 10:00 AM   #19
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why can't GM?
What, you not into the Chevy Malibu Hybrid?

Or the Ford Escape Hybrid that they can't build fast enough to suit demand?

There are other hybrids out there besides the Prius, even if they are not as full of the "going green" cache that the Prius has going for it.
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Old 08-04-08, 10:02 AM   #20
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the 80mpg's are on the Japanese cycle, not EPA. The new Prius will get about 10% better mpg's than the current which is still great considering it will also be larger and more powerful. It will have solar panels to run the A/C as well.
Plans are for a coupe and convertible Prius- Prius being a brand (like Scion).

All Prius production will be ramping up to be made in the USA in '10 so you can have a USA made car.

Honda will have their Prius copy hybrid that looks exactly like the Prius. That should be out soon as well but I doubt they can match the refinement of Toyota's Synergy Drive.
Thanks for the tip, Ill be sure to buy an older model or a new one that was made in Japan! Ive had a few experiences where I bought foreign cars made in the USA and they ended up being junk So the last time (1998) I was looking into buying a foreign car (Toyota) I did some research and found customers that bought Japanese made Toyotas were much more satisfied with their puchase than customers that bought American made Toyotas!? So I went ahead and bought a 1998 Toyota Rav 4 and its still parked in front of my house today with 0 (ZERO) problems!
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Old 08-04-08, 10:06 AM   #21
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What, you not into the Chevy Malibu Hybrid?

Or the Ford Escape Hybrid that they can't build fast enough to suit demand?

There are other hybrids out there besides the Prius, even if they are not as full of the "going green" cache that the Prius has going for it.
I'll still be driving the 86 'Yota while the Malibu is headed for the scrapyard....this is a real truth as it is already outlasting most of Detroit's "Best" 90's Cars!!
Ford....Oh Hell No!!! I drive a 7.8 L F-350 Powerstroke TurboDiesel at work....Please Don't get me started on That POS!!!!
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Old 08-04-08, 10:15 AM   #22
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I'll still be driving the 86 'Yota while the Malibu is headed for the scrapyard....this is a real truth as it is already outlasting most of Detroit's "Best" 90's Cars!!
Ford....Oh Hell No!!! I drive a 7.8 L F-350 Powerstroke TurboDiesel at work....Please Don't get me started on That POS!!!!
Yeah I hear ya, my wife wanted the !!CHEVY HHR!! I asked her to change her mind but it wasnt going to happen So late 2007 she gets her HHR....its been back to the dealers shop with brake problems and noise in the front end! Brake problems? The rotors and brakes had to be replaced. Front end noise? The rack and pinion had to be replaced! (normal use, 18,000 miles on it!) She knew the experiences we had with all of the American cars we bought and she still bought the HHR, Oh well
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Old 08-04-08, 10:34 AM   #23
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I think American car companies will stay in business, but they will end up rebranding Chinese made cars under their own models, similar how Dodge rebrands Mitsubishi vehicles, or Ford does Mazda.

However, the test will be the Volt to see if GM "gets it" or if they will suffer the same fate as Studebaker, who didn't change with the times and became history.

As for Priuses, if people like the cars, so much the better. It means that other models and options are cheaper everywhere else.
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Old 08-04-08, 10:45 AM   #24
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a prius doesn't really make that much sense from an economic standpoint, so we've still got a long way to go
But this brings up some good points:

1. Honda and Toyota went out on a limb and were willing to invest in the future, whereas the American car companies were more concerned about fighting fuel economy legislation.

2. People are willing to buy hybrids, either because they don't realize they aren't saving money, or they just want to appear and feel that they are "green". One reason why observers think the Prius has been more successful than the Honda hybrids is because it "looks" like a hybrid, whereas the the Civic and Accord hybrids could hardly be distinguished from the regular versions.

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Old 08-04-08, 10:57 AM   #25
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2. People are willing to buy hybrids, either because they don't realize they aren't saving money, or they just want to appear and feel that they are "green". One reason why observers think the Prius has been more successful than the Honda hybrids is because it "looks" like a hybrid, whereas the the Civic and Accord hybrids could hardly be distinguished from the regular versions.
The Prius is a pretty good vehicle, and it eventually pays for itself even factoring the batteries, greater costs and energy requirements for production, etc -- though the lifetime gain is less than some people imagine. My wife and I purposely did not get a hybrid because with some of them, the gain really isn't there, and even with the Prius, it's not quite enough to be interesting to us.

The Prius has more than trendiness to recommend it. I personally love the noise they don't make, cruising range is excellent, and they're very roomy. As fuel gets more expensive, they make more sense.

There is much greater difference between the Prius and the Civic hybrids other than styling. I've driven both quite a bit since they are popular fleet cars. For starters, I consistently average over 50mpg in the Prius. In the Civic, that number is closer to 42. The 1995 Civic I owned until last year got over 40mpg even after it had 200K miles on it. Besides, the Civic has much better visibility for the driver than the Prius.
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