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RIP American Cars

Old 05-15-19, 11:59 AM
  #76  
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Old 05-15-19, 12:15 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
They're an old Czech Company, now invested in by Volkswagen
Yes, SKODA is czech VW, and SEAT is spanish VW. As I understand it, the cars are pretty much identical except for some cosmetic stuff.

I have a VW Golf that for years has been missing the driver-side seat release handle (so people can get in the back). When I got a 3D printer last year, my wife's first request was that I print a replacement handle. I found that somebody had already designed one and posted it on Thingiverse, noting it works for " golf mk4, audi, skoda, seat, polo, (2 doors)". I did have to thicken it a little for strength, but otherwise it works great!
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Old 05-15-19, 12:43 PM
  #78  
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The Skoda Wikipedia page shows them involved in manufacturing in all sorts of things in various countries..
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Old 05-15-19, 04:53 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
and SEAT is spanish VW.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEAT#History

Interesting, I would have said Spanish FIAT. But, apparently they used to make Fiats, then changed to making VWs.

Odd the way globalization has impacted the auto industry.
AMC - Renault
AMC - Chrysler
Chrysler - Mercedes
Chrysler - Fiat
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Old 05-15-19, 07:36 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEAT#History

Interesting, I would have said Spanish FIAT. But, apparently they used to make Fiats, then changed to making VWs.

Odd the way globalization has impacted the auto industry.
AMC - Renault
AMC - Chrysler
Chrysler - Mercedes
Chrysler - Fiat
Just the tip of the iceberg. Not only do the Germans own nearly all the super luxury and exotic cars of the world, but they brought those companies back from the brink of extinction. Too bad the U.S. can't do half as well with its luxury nameplates.
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Old 05-15-19, 07:59 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Just the tip of the iceberg. Not only do the Germans own nearly all the super luxury and exotic cars of the world, but they brought those companies back from the brink of extinction. Too bad the U.S. can't do half as well with its luxury nameplates.
Not all of them.

I think FIAT still owns most of the Italian super-cars.

Hmmm... Well, apparently Ferarri split from Fiat in 2016... boy, am I out of date.

Fiat does still own Maserati (which is much tamer than it was a few decades ago). Also Alfa Romeo.

I thought Fiat had Lamborghini, but apparently that is VW/Audi.

And, Jaguar has been passed around a bit. Now owned by TATA in India, I think.

What is left of GM still owns their Caddy, Vette, and Camaro. The Italians, of course, have Chrysler and its sports cars, I think.

Ford decided to stop the Thunder.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:14 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
The Skoda Wikipedia page shows them involved in manufacturing in all sorts of things in various countries..


Horizonal Boring Mills . . . Real big ones



Engine Lathes

among other things
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Old 05-15-19, 09:45 PM
  #83  
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In fact I believe Sigma TOS is a part of Skoda if I remember correctly (which I might not). Both are Czech. Those have been well marketed over here and are common. I've run a couple of their engine lathes around this size. Like Daewoos they have right hand apron wheels and I'm more used to the conventional left hand.
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Old 05-16-19, 08:40 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Just the tip of the iceberg. Not only do the Germans own nearly all the super luxury and exotic cars of the world, but they brought those companies back from the brink of extinction. Too bad the U.S. can't do half as well with its luxury nameplates.
I'm not sure what's the deal with Saab nowadays?
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Old 05-16-19, 08:59 AM
  #85  
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Saab was in aircraft 1st..


Cars? I Think GM management Killed them, but Saab makes Aircraft for NATO..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-16-19 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:17 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I'm not sure what's the deal with Saab nowadays?
Both Saab and Volvo are dead men walking.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:21 AM
  #87  
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Saab is walking? Volvo doesn't seem dead
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Old 05-16-19, 10:08 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
That's pretty. I'd never heard of that before. But I'm sure way more car than I'd ever want to spend on.
For me too, but a car industry needs flagships, inspiration and direction. It's got to wow the people that will settle for a more boring and economical car too, cars that will often be influenced by designs like this.

It's quite old already, when European luxury manufacterers were still hesistant to size up engines from their 3, 4 and 5 litres, Cadillac came up with a new fuel saving technology, only to build a 13 litre V16 with it. That's just brilliant

That strategy seemed to work for Steve Jobs and Apple as well.
Yes, but ICT and tech doesn't require massive investment and is more a short term game for investors. Tesla probably wouldn't have happened with Musk not already filthy rich and wanting something more than just more money.

Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I'm not sure what's the deal with Saab nowadays?
Dead and buried I'm afraid. Saab was bought by a Dutch car company, and as there are no big Dutch car companies it was an attempt to rescue Saab through financialization. No real money to invest, no parts to share. Germans have the advantage of capitalism working differently there, at least for the automotive industry. Shareholders are usually real ones in the sense that they hold on to their shares instead of looking for short term price increase for a quick buck, and they also have stakeholders, like the unions and government. This over the years has made it possible to invest long term in technology, and not only caused the workers to make very good wages, they are also well educated, well trained and well rested. Those workers are really good at making really good cars, just like the cheap labour in Romania is quite good at making cheap cars.

Probably none of them rescued Saab because they would have financed competition for their own models, and Saab is difficult to work with like GM discovered. Saab does things it's own way, that's what made them special but it also makes it hard to share parts to have it make profit again, like GM found out.

Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I always see Skoda cars in the Tour de France (they're a sponsor) but I have never seen a single one on the road in the US. Too bad, I like some of the designs.
I like them too. Even in the communist era their cars were quite good looking. Probably they don't believe there's a place for them and VW in the US. They are quite smart too, they made the Superb with an extreme amount of leg room in the rear for it's class. Which got them in the European taxi market, which is good for the reputation of the brand because it's traditionally dominated by Mercedes and simular manufacters. And it turned out in China rear legroom means status, so they did well there, very well for a relatively unestablished car company. Jeremy Clarkson was hysterical about the Yeti, their 4x4 compact SUV on Top Gear, they show it's off road capability by having someone tattood in it while crossing rough terrain, quite funny. They really made a name for themselves in only 20 years of beeing a B-brand of Volkswagen with lots of (older) Volkswagen parts. I can only admire that.
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Old 05-16-19, 10:13 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
Probably none of them rescued Saab because they would have financed competition for their own models
Yah, that makes sense, it's right in the BMW/Mercedes/Audi wheelhouse. Just like GM was smart to ax Oldsmobile (or Buick, but they were both competing for each others' markets)


Jeremy Clarkson was hysterical about the Yeti, their 4x4 compact SUV on Top Gear, they show it's off road capability by having someone tattood in it while crossing rough terrain, quite funny.
That dude is hilarious (but apparently also a terrible person). I remember a review of the Toyota Corolla where he made the point of how forgettably boring the design was, by doing a slow walk past a bunch of parking spaces: Refrigerator, stove, Corolla, washing machine, dishwasher, and then backing up to the washing machine and talking about it as if it were the Corolla, like he couldn't tell the difference.
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Old 05-16-19, 10:58 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Saab is walking?
What was Saab makes an electric car under the name NEVE--National Electric Vehicle Sweden.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_Automobile
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Old 05-16-19, 11:46 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Yah, that makes sense, it's right in the BMW/Mercedes/Audi wheelhouse. Just like GM was smart to ax Oldsmobile (or Buick, but they were both competing for each others' markets)
Yes, Mercedes, BMW and Audi sell most of their cars in the same price range as Saab, Porsche and VW are with Audi and Opel is with GM that wanted to dump Saab. I don't think company's outside Germany were financially sound enough back then, or believed the people at Saab were sound enough. It's a terribly headstrong bunch of engineers, which has resulted in some great cars, but they also had to have their way with things that seemed less important.

That dude is hilarious (but apparently also a terrible person). I remember a review of the Toyota Corolla where he made the point of how forgettably boring the design was, by doing a slow walk past a bunch of parking spaces: Refrigerator, stove, Corolla, washing machine, dishwasher, and then backing up to the washing machine and talking about it as if it were the Corolla, like he couldn't tell the difference.
Reminds of the Nissan Primera as the ideal getaway car: No one would notice it until the bankrobbers get in and aftewards no witness remembers what the car looked like, and believes it was probably beige or grey.

I don't believe Clarkson is a terrible person at all, but after many seasons of Top Gear I just got annoyed with middle aged men behaving like 15-year olds. That's why I enjoyed the Yeti item, as it was more like a proper road test with consumer information, for a change, it was funnier because it was less of a just fun item. But he's also done other stuff, Jeremy Clarkson meets the neighours was a fun and informative series, where he could vent all his stereotypes and prejudices about European countries freely. Grumpy old men with him and other middle aged men complaining about modern developments in society was good too.
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Old 05-16-19, 12:12 PM
  #92  
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I liked my late 60's Saab 96... V4 German Ford engines, then ..

Freewheeling down mountain roads..
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Old 05-16-19, 01:23 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I liked my late 60's Saab 96... V4 German Ford engines, then ..

Freewheeling down mountain roads..
Why would you freewheel with the four-stroke?
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Old 05-16-19, 10:17 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
Yes, Mercedes, BMW and Audi sell most of their cars in the same price range as Saab, Porsche and VW are with Audi and Opel is with GM that wanted to dump Saab. I don't think company's outside Germany were financially sound enough back then, or believed the people at Saab were sound enough. It's a terribly headstrong bunch of engineers, which has resulted in some great cars, but they also had to have their way with things that seemed less important.


Reminds of the Nissan Primera as the ideal getaway car: No one would notice it until the bankrobbers get in and aftewards no witness remembers what the car looked like, and believes it was probably beige or grey.

I don't believe Clarkson is a terrible person at all, but after many seasons of Top Gear I just got annoyed with middle aged men behaving like 15-year olds. That's why I enjoyed the Yeti item, as it was more like a proper road test with consumer information, for a change, it was funnier because it was less of a just fun item. But he's also done other stuff, Jeremy Clarkson meets the neighours was a fun and informative series, where he could vent all his stereotypes and prejudices about European countries freely. Grumpy old men with him and other middle aged men complaining about modern developments in society was good too.
You do realize you pretty much just described all men. Especially when it comes to their choice in cars.
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Old 05-17-19, 01:28 PM
  #95  
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Especially when they are paid to drive some one else's cars and goof around.
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Old 05-17-19, 01:51 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Saab was in aircraft 1st..

Cars? I Think GM management Killed them, but Saab makes Aircraft for NATO..
Ford made airplanes too. But, perhaps not as sleek.

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Old 05-17-19, 02:02 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
Why would you freewheel with the four-stroke?
Because I could .. they changed the engines not tht transaxle ..


Saab 96
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Old 05-17-19, 02:10 PM
  #98  
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Rally modified 4 stroke

2 stroke '61
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Old 05-17-19, 02:11 PM
  #99  
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I stopped reading at V4.
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Old 05-17-19, 02:17 PM
  #100  
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Thinking about this some, I'm a bit disappointed with GM's plan to scrap the Chevy Volt. Perhaps it will be reincarnated in the future.

I'm glad to hear that they're still selling the Bolt.

I'm not a big consumer of "new" cars. However, I found the Chevy Volt specs to be quite "off".

For a "plug-in" electric, its range was far too short.

For a "hybrid", its fuel efficiency was very mediocre.

I suppose it probably would have been OK for typical commuting. Perhaps the about 53 miles, then switch over to fuel for say 10 miles, and use maybe 1/3 gallon of gas. A full tank of gas could last quite some time.

My mother has bought a couple of Prius cars. For the Volt, she didn't like the idea of plugging in every night, and unplugging in the mornings. Plus, she regularly does longer road trips, and the fuel efficiency difference one sees between the Prius and Volt could be significant, wiping out most of the savings from the Electric mode.

I haven't paid a lot of attention to vehicles on the road.

But, I'd say I'm seeing:
50% Minivans & SUVs.
25% Pickups
25% Mix of sedans, mostly imports.

Many of the US made sedans I see are former police cars, and even those are rapidly transitioning to small SUVs.
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