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Old 03-31-2009, 05:49 PM   #1
Jae Onasi
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GM and Chrysler bailouts

OK, I was listening to Obama on the radio yesterday. I thought it took a lot of guts to say 'your restructuring plans aren't good enough for us to continue investing taxpayer dollars--you've got 30/60 days to fix the plans or we'll have to talk bankruptcy'.

Thoughts? Comments?


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Old 03-31-2009, 05:56 PM   #2
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They should go belly up.

Sure, it will mean the loss of thousands of jobs throughout the world, but they doomed themselves by complete dysfunction in almost every aspect in management. GM, Chrysler, and Ford should go bankrupt to end a trend old-timey business practices that has resulted in a catastrophe, whereas they could have taken a page from Honda, Toyota, and others who have conducted business in a modern, functional way.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:07 PM   #3
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They should go belly up.

Sure, it will mean the loss of thousands of jobs throughout the world, but they doomed themselves by complete dysfunction in almost every aspect in management. GM, Chrysler, and Ford should go bankrupt to end a trend old-timey business practices that has resulted in a catastrophe, whereas they could have taken a page from Honda, Toyota, and others who have conducted business in a modern, functional way.
And aside from one being "old" and "bad" and the other being "new" and "shiny", what are those ways, in particular.


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Old 03-31-2009, 07:06 PM   #4
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The first thing that comes to mind, is... making crappy cars. Especially the SUV craze that developed in the early 00's, and how lower fuel economy backfired on them when the petrol prices skyrocketed in the US. There's also the fact that they outsourced most of their manufacturing divisions to developing countries, whilst foreign auto comps put more plants in the US.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:20 PM   #5
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Let them rot, don't see why taxpayers should subsidize uncompetetive companies.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:47 PM   #6
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In GM's case, I don’t think the problem is with the quality of their product. Not saying they are good, but GM has had terrible quality since the 70s and people still purchase their vehicles. No GM could produce the best valued and most reliable cars in the world and they would still be in this mess. Their problem is they want to file bankruptcy to rid themselves of the huge financial burden know as the pension fund and medical care for retirees. Without getting that burden off their backs they we never be a viable company again. This is one example where I do see that evil socialist program know a universal health care could be a benefit to the economy and employment, not to mention saving those that were promised this coverage by corporate America, the same corporate America trying everything possible to break that promise today.

So yea, let them go down the drain if you wish, but don’t let them do it in the way they want. Don’t let them break their promise to retired employees without consequences. No matter what is decided, the tax payer will foot the bill. It is a lose, lose situation.

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Old 04-02-2009, 04:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PastramiX View Post
The first thing that comes to mind, is... making crappy cars. Especially the SUV craze that developed in the early 00's, and how lower fuel economy backfired on them when the petrol prices skyrocketed in the US.
Isn't it good business practice to make what your customer wants and what they're going to buy? The truth is Americans wanted bigger cars, and American car companies accommodated them and sold a ton of cars. What the car companies failed to do was foresee just how much the oil companies were going to screw over the world by jacking up the price per barrel to ridiculous levels on top of a mortgage collapse.

Executives wanted outrageous salaries, union workers wanted outrageous salaries, and no one wanted to take a good hard look at the balance sheet and tell anyone that they couldn't afford to do that and tell everyone to live within the means of the company.


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Old 04-02-2009, 06:41 PM   #8
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Isn't it good business practice to make what your customer wants and what they're going to buy? The truth is Americans wanted bigger cars, and American car companies accommodated them and sold a ton of cars.
So? The companies could have designed them to be safer, more energy efficient, and overall, more reliable. They did not need to make behemoths like the Escalade, Explorer, or Tahoe; vehicles that are meant for off-road terrain but are always, always, always targeted towards the high-middle-class, suburban crowd.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:15 PM   #9
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I would argue they did need to--if they didn't make products that people wanted to buy, particularly after 2001, then they would have gone out of business 8 years ago instead of today.


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Old 04-03-2009, 05:55 AM   #10
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So? The companies could have designed them to be safer, more energy efficient, and overall, more reliable. They did not need to make behemoths like the Escalade, Explorer, or Tahoe; vehicles that are meant for off-road terrain but are always, always, always targeted towards the high-middle-class, suburban crowd.
First off, WHO THE HECK ARE YOU TO TELL ME WHAT TO BUY!!! Are you buying it for me? NO! So I'll buy what vehicle I want. You do realize that there are a lot of dirt roads here still. And if you think that off road suspension has no use in the city, you really haven't driven on some of the rougher roads. I happen to have a Tahoe. It is smaller than a Suburban. A vehicle that has been in GM's lineup since the 50's. Ya know what, those Japanese name plates were pushing out their versions of the large vehicles too. Armada? the new FJ? I bet those fuel efficient cars can really haul my full bass rig around like my Tahoe can. I mean it's only 3 bass guitars, and 2 big cabinets... oh but that's ok, I stick it in the trailer with the rest of the band's gear.. I mean that's only about 3500 lbs of stuff. How about the trailers... How well can those fuel efficient cars pull a trailer.

I'll tell ya this, I'd rather drive my 2000 miles in my Tahoe than a Toyota Prius. Oh and just so you know those hybrids... they don't get even the same fuel efficiency as a V6 at highway speeds(aka 75+MPH).

And ya know what, GM did release more efficient versions of those vehicles. They were(and are) developing more fuel efficient vehicles, and even have the Volt.

But you eco-whack jobs can play your high and mighty card thinking that it's only soccer moms that drive the SUV's. I'm not denying that many of them are driven by them. But you don't know their situation any better than you knew mine. They might have very valid reasons. Heck if they have a boat, camping trailer, whatnot that has to be pulled, there is a recommended vehicle length. They may be on occasion caring for several kids. There are many reasons to have an SUV. That's why they're so popular.


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Old 04-03-2009, 03:41 PM   #11
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WI is a very agriculture-oriented state. You can't haul hay bales and thousands of pounds of animal feed or harvested crops in a Prius. You can't drive a Civic across farmland, at least not without destroying it fairly quickly. Even states with major cities like IL, NY, CA, and TX have large rural areas where pick-ups and SUVs are a necessary part of life. Some of my friends live out in the country and you have to drive miles on gravel to get there. Small cars won't take that abuse as well as bigger cars and trucks.

We can't get rid of these larger vehicles, nor do we want the government interfering in our lives to tell us what to drive.


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Old 04-03-2009, 04:00 PM   #12
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I said nothing about banning SUVs entirely, I do, however, believe that there is absolutely little to no regulation when it comes to the overall reliability and security of SUVs. Rollovers are still a concern with truck-based chassis SUVs, and there is still the piss-poor fuel economy, that although is better than several years ago, is still pathetic. Furthermore, larger SUVs an trucks are essentially military-grade vehicles, and as such, they can be extremely dangerous towards pedestrians and other drivers when in an auto wreck, further increasing auto fatalities

Simply put, the auto companies and the government had the power to regulate SUVs and classify them as commercial trucks, like many pickups. Instead, the allowed the auto companies to buy into a target market cheaply, by selling inefficient, unsafe vehicles, that could have been of higher caliber, without a complete prohibition.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:48 PM   #13
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whereas they could have taken a page from Honda, Toyota, and others who have conducted business in a modern, functional way.

Well, not having to pay health insurance and pension plans to workers in Asian countries (Japan, in Honda and Toyota's case) sure has helped them a ton, so that isn't exactly fair to say.


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Old 04-03-2009, 05:17 PM   #14
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I said nothing about banning SUVs entirely, I do, however, believe that there is absolutely little to no regulation when it comes to the overall reliability and security of SUVs. Rollovers are still a concern with truck-based chassis SUVs, and there is still the piss-poor fuel economy, that although is better than several years ago, is still pathetic. Furthermore, larger SUVs an trucks are essentially military-grade vehicles, and as such, they can be extremely dangerous towards pedestrians and other drivers when in an auto wreck, further increasing auto fatalities.
You have clearly never needed to use a large vehicle to do anything.

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Simply put, the auto companies and the government had the power to regulate SUVs and classify them as commercial trucks, like many pickups. Instead, the allowed the auto companies to buy into a target market cheaply, by selling inefficient, unsafe vehicles, that could have been of higher caliber, without a complete prohibition.
yeah that's pretty under handed, but, surprise, they clearly aren't bad enough to make enough people stop buying them. As long as people still wanted them, the companies made them.

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Well, not having to pay health insurance and pension plans to workers in Asian countries (Japan, in Honda and Toyota's case) sure has helped them a ton, so that isn't exactly fair to say.
Doesn't the government of Japan subsidize a lot of Japanese automakers costs?


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Old 04-03-2009, 07:19 PM   #15
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I think I'm missing your point here--how would reclassifying an SUV as a truck make a difference on sales or encourage people to buy something smaller or more fuel efficient? What kind of regulations do you think the gov't should have on SUVs and other large vehicles?

Also, people had the rollover data easily available from the gov't and other sources like Consumer Reports. I don't think it changed many people's minds about buying one. Most people assume the rollovers will happen to 'the other guy' rather than them.


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Old 04-03-2009, 08:25 PM   #16
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I think I'm missing your point here--how would reclassifying an SUV as a truck make a difference on sales or encourage people to buy something smaller or more fuel efficient?
It has nothing to do with sales, but simply the weight rating on several SUVs are equal to commercial trucks, however, most state regulations most likely regard them as passenger vehicles.
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What kind of regulations do you think the gov't should have on SUVs and other large vehicles?
Stricter fuel economy standards; stronger and more aerodynamic construction to decrease pedestrian and other driver fatalities in an auto wreck, and to also decrease wind resistance to boost fuel economy, etc.

Of course, it's an impossibility for the Big 3 to do any of the above now, but had the government and the companies realized this ten, fifteen years ago, there wouldn't be as many people trading in their SUVs for compacts.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:55 PM   #17
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It has nothing to do with sales, but simply the weight rating on several SUVs are equal to commercial trucks, however, most state regulations most likely regard them as passenger vehicles.
Can't speak for every state, but Texas regards any vehicle over 1 ton a commercial vehicle.

Although I'm really unsure if the classification means much beyond commercial vehicles being more expensive to insure. We purchased a old school bus for tail gate parties and the tag cost was comparable to private passenger vehicles. The only real extra cost was insurance (commercial insurance and high limits to comply with the state rail road commission regulations) and having to get a commercial endorsement on our driver’s licenses.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:12 PM   #18
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Over 1 ton? Isn't that just about every car in existence?


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Old 04-03-2009, 10:18 PM   #19
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Over 1 ton? Isn't that just about every car in existence?
Yes, it is. My car is 1.8 tons. My mom's is 1.7, and both of ours are sports cars, mine's by GM btw, hers by Mazda. I would be highly surprised if any car on the road short of the Golf weighed less than 2000lbs.


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Old 04-04-2009, 12:52 AM   #20
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That's 1 Ton maximum payload rating(the maximum that is allowed to be hauled in the vehicle, rather than in a trailer), not GVWR. And if you treat them more like commercial vehicles, you'll actually increase the pollution they are allowed to emit.

If you are talking treating SUV's more like Pickup Trucks. I got news for you... they already do.


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Old 04-04-2009, 05:36 AM   #21
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Stricter fuel economy standards
Standards are a pain to monitor, if you want less polution, a decent carbon tax seems more efficent.
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:18 PM   #22
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What advantage does a carbon tax have, other than raising my taxes directly and indirectly through increased costs passed on to me by the companies that pay the carbon taxes?


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Old 04-04-2009, 03:59 PM   #23
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Standards are a pain to monitor, if you want less polution, a decent carbon tax seems more efficent.
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What advantage does a carbon tax have, other than raising my taxes directly and indirectly through increased costs passed on to me by the companies that pay the carbon taxes?
Not to mention that carbon taxes are essentially allowing anyone who can afford it to be a gross polluter and just pay more money. Which, if the government isn't using to make things LESS polluting, is entirely pointless. We need MPG standards, at least for economy cars.


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Old 04-05-2009, 01:01 AM   #24
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Not to mention that carbon taxes are essentially allowing anyone who can afford it to be a gross polluter and just pay more money. Which, if the government isn't using to make things LESS polluting, is entirely pointless.
^ Perfection. We need to encourage people to live greener. If we are given the tools and it is made simple, we will do it. We don't need to be threatened into doing so.


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Old 04-05-2009, 05:51 AM   #25
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Agreed. Incentives work better than threats or guilt-tripping.


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Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:34 PM   #26
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I wouldn't call a tax an 'incentive' for me at all. Now a tax credit, on the other hand, I could go for.


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Old 04-05-2009, 06:40 PM   #27
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I didn't mean the tax, as that would hardly qualify as an incentive, just as you indicated.

What I meant was that, generally speaking, incentives work better than penalties.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:05 AM   #28
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Here's how to make going green an incentive.

5k tax credit to auto manufacturers for every "green approved" vehicle they sell. This translates to lower prices on the "green approved" vehicles being cheaper at the dealership as they get 5k profit selling the vehicle at cost. Give the consumer a 5k tax write-off on their taxes that year, or 5 1k write-offs for 5 years. Allow fleet vehicles to be given up to 10k per fleet vehicle. BAM revitalized economy, greener lifestyle.


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Old 04-06-2009, 05:49 AM   #29
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What advantage does a carbon tax have, other than raising my taxes directly and indirectly through increased costs passed on to me by the companies that pay the carbon taxes?
It has the advantage of making the poluter pay. If there is a carbon tax, and for instance car A ends up being 5000$ more expensive than car B due to the extra emisions involved in production, then the buyers of car A is paying for the effects their purchase will have on the enviroment. Of course, this asumes that the enviroment is something we value, and it does have the problem of placing a suitable value on it.

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Not to mention that carbon taxes are essentially allowing anyone who can afford it to be a gross polluter and just pay more money. Which, if the government isn't using to make things LESS polluting, is entirely pointless.
You provide the solution yourself, if the goverment use the money to create a suitable enviroment for greenery by for instance making the power grid more efficent, those who polute end up shouldering more of the bill for going green.

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We need MPG standards, at least for economy cars.
If they could be designed well, I agree, it's just that I don't trust the government not to make either too generous standards, or make tonns of exeptions to that law, or both.

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I wouldn't call a tax an 'incentive' for me at all.
If product A is more expensive than product B, a lot of people will choose product B. This means that the producers of product A have an incentive to reduce production costs to compete with product B. So, yes, I'd say a tax is a quite good incentive.

Quote:
What I meant was that, generally speaking, incentives work better than penalties.
But someone has to pay for the "positive" incentives, which is why I think it's fair that poluters should pay for them. My main problem with a lot of incentives is that I don't trust politicans to implement them right. They tend to be easily exploited by companies who hunt the incentives while doing as little "good" as possible.

Quote:
5k tax credit to auto manufacturers for every "green approved" vehicle they sell. This translates to lower prices on the "green approved" vehicles being cheaper at the dealership as they get 5k profit selling the vehicle at cost. Give the consumer a 5k tax write-off on their taxes that year, or 5 1k write-offs for 5 years. Allow fleet vehicles to be given up to 10k per fleet vehicle. BAM revitalized economy, greener lifestyle.
Nice idea, though I wonder how the government would define "green" vehicle, and how much more hassle it would be to get cars to the market on time.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:41 AM   #30
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Mur'phon, your idea does nothing to incentivise anything. If anything it gives people an excuse to keep polluting... It may in fact lead to MORE pollution. They may just say, Oh.. it's only 5k more to get this gas guzzler that can go 0-60 in 2.3 seconds. So what about the environment? I'm paying extra. They are about to open the carpool lane here for people who pay the fee. Essentially the same thing.

"green approved" could be emission free cars(ZEV). for instance Chevy Volt. Or cars that run on alternative fuels that produce less emissions(propane and natural gas). People respond better to getting something as a reward than having it taken away as a punishment. basic psychology.


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Old 04-06-2009, 01:47 PM   #31
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You provide the solution yourself, if the goverment use the money to create a suitable enviroment for greenery by for instance making the power grid more efficent, those who polute end up shouldering more of the bill for going green.
Who cares if the power grid is better if you've still got grossly polluting cars? If the point is to cut pollution, shouldn't we uh, be cutting pollution?

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If they could be designed well, I agree, it's just that I don't trust the government not to make either too generous standards, or make tonns of exeptions to that law, or both.
The Government already has MPG standards, California has for some time and it's worked well.


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Old 04-06-2009, 09:28 PM   #32
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Here's how to make going green an incentive.

5k tax credit to auto manufacturers for every "green approved" vehicle they sell. This translates to lower prices on the "green approved" vehicles being cheaper at the dealership as they get 5k profit selling the vehicle at cost. Give the consumer a 5k tax write-off on their taxes that year, or 5 1k write-offs for 5 years. Allow fleet vehicles to be given up to 10k per fleet vehicle. BAM revitalized economy, greener lifestyle.
I love it. The companies would have greener vehicles out yesterday, I'm sure.

On a side note, Point Man and I are looking at putting some more fuel efficient windows and a door in some time this year to take advantage of the new tax credit that got passed in the giant spending bill.


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Old 04-06-2009, 11:05 PM   #33
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On a side note, Point Man and I are looking at putting some more fuel efficient windows and a door in some time this year to take advantage of the new tax credit that got passed in the giant spending bill.
Be aware that those things function by making your home more air-tight. This leads to an increased risk of asphyxiation when running heating devices. Essentially, it can be the same as locking yourself in the garage with the car running.


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Old 04-07-2009, 12:22 AM   #34
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Be aware that those things function by making your home more air-tight. This leads to an increased risk of asphyxiation when running heating devices. Essentially, it can be the same as locking yourself in the garage with the car running.
Well, we live in an old house so we'll probably never be that air tight. However, we do have 2 carbon monoxide detectors (one for each floor where we mostly hang out). Turned out to be handy when the ignitor went bad on our gas stove. It never got more than a few ppm, but it gave us the heads up something was wrong. I highly recommend everyone have a CO detector in addition to a smoke detector. Get the kind that gives you a number for the amount of CO rather than just a warning tone.

The natural gas savings and the tax credit will help us a lot, however.


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Old 04-07-2009, 04:37 PM   #35
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Here are my thoughts. For what it's worth, I am highly biased as I am an active racer, own a non emissions legal somewhat daily street driven race car and another daily driver (one modified german and the other modifed japanese), and routinely go on long road trips with no destination in mind.

Chrysler: they make exactly one vehicle I would buy, the Viper ACR. I say that because it is a wicked track car. For street use.....they all are terrible.

From Consumers Reports, Chrysler vehicles have on average -238% reliability and more problems when compared to the mean values for all cars. No chrysler vehicle is recommended by them. Granted, Consumers Reports is more geared towards answering which toaster should I buy. They do a good job of reporting on quality and reliability rather than just performance and driving impressions, so it is good to shake it up a bit.

Chrysler did get screwed by Daimler after not holding up their end of the bargain, and are now in terrible shape with terrible products. My verdict: they should go under, and hopefully not take Fiat down with them.

GM: they make good cars. There, I said it. Their cars are up to par with the rest of the manufacturers after too many years waiting and after too many years of Stupid Useless Vehicles.

The new Malibu, the forthcoming Volt, Camaro, Corvette, and others are a signal that GM does know how to build good cars. I can't buy a car with only two pedals, so I personally can't buy most of GMs vehicles, but if I could, a Vette or Camaro would be at the top of my list, a Volt or Malibu for a DD beater wouldn't be bad either. Consumers does recommend a number of their cars.

My verdict: worthy of surviving.

Ford: If they deliver on their promise of bringing the European Focus to the US finally, I will seriously go support them with my wallet to buy myself what is seriously one of the best cars made right now. I cannot stress enough how good their Focus and newer products are.

Verdict: Not in anywhere near as dire straights, and I am pulling for them.

After too many years of profit amassing Stupid Useless Vehicles, the big three....well...except Chrysler, as they loooove pulling out a new truck. So GM and Ford have realized that people want a smaller car that they actually can use more of rather than a lumbering beached whale. This in turn leads to better MPGs and emissions due to better aerodynamics and lower weight (ironically, my brick shaped racecar gets better MPGs and gives better emissions results in its non passenger car legal form than your SUV. Food for thought).

However, despite GM and Ford realizing what needs to be done, the economy took a massive dump on everyone, and now the government is essentially trying to control the products the people want. Chrysler probably will and should go under. The other two are worthy of support. I can't do it though, as I have enough cars as is and only really want a new Focus RS. If not...I'll buy a Mini or 135i. Probably will anyway.

Hopefully there was a coherent thought in there somewhere, now to pack for Rome.


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Old 04-07-2009, 10:46 PM   #36
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Here are my thoughts. For what it's worth, I am highly biased as I am an active racer, own a non emissions legal somewhat daily street driven race car and another daily driver (one modified german and the other modifed japanese), and routinely go on long road trips with no destination in mind.
Let me guess.

BMW M3 and a Nissan Maxima?

Good thoughts though!

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Old 04-09-2009, 09:50 AM   #37
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I'd love to see Chrysler survive (especially since they're one of the major employers in our town), but I think you're right, Bimmerman--their products have been less than stellar. I had to replace the water pump on our minivan that went out the same day we had to put our cat to sleep. Not one of our better days. I've never had a water pump go out on any of our other cars, a couple of which have had well over 100k miles.

I love Consumer Reports for their car reports. They rate things that are important such as safety and reliability as Bimmerman notes. I drive minivans so the 0-60 acceleration times aren't that important to me. One of the best features is their reliability records--they track problems for a number of years. I'm betting if I look at the problems that drivers of Chrysler minivans from 2000 experience, waterpumps are going to be flagged. I've found it's good for predicting what kinds of problems to anticipate for my particular make and model so I can plan ahead and have the mechanic check those things in particular.

So far, we've had less problem with our Fords, the one Saturn we had, and the Honda Civic than the Chryslers we've had. I don't know how far past 100k the Chrysler minivan will get. The Ford minivan was still going strong and would have gone quite a few miles farther if an uninsured driver hadn't run a stop sign right in front of me last summer. The Saturn had 120k miles, the Civic has 155k miles with so few problems we'll likely roll over 200k before we have to replace it.

I would like to point out that when we were looking at different cars and minivans over the summer, the minivan we bought had an mpg rating a good 5 mpg better than any of the cars we were looking at. It was a serious consideration for us because gas was over $4/gallon at the time, and I drive an hour to work once a week. We needed something as fuel efficient as possible. Size matters in fuel efficiency generally, but not all bigger cars/trucks/minivans are bad in the mpg department.


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Old 04-12-2009, 10:41 AM   #38
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Mur'phon, your idea does nothing to incentivise anything. If anything it gives people an excuse to keep polluting... It may in fact lead to MORE pollution. They may just say, Oh.. it's only 5k more to get this gas guzzler that can go 0-60 in 2.3 seconds. So what about the environment? I'm paying extra. They are about to open the carpool lane here for people who pay the fee. Essentially the same thing.
Then adjust the price pr tonne of carbon emmited until it stings. A carbon tax would also affect the price of gas (and basically anything, so reduce VAT acordingly), so if you desperately want to have a gas guzzler, by all means buy it, then use the money earned on hard to mismanage greenery. Essentially, use the stick to pay for the carrot.

My problems with positive incentives is how I have seen them implemented, not the incentives in themselves.

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Who cares if the power grid is better if you've still got grossly polluting cars? If the point is to cut pollution, shouldn't we uh, be cutting pollution?
Because a major hindrance for making "green" electricity competetive is that sources (wind, sun, rivers etc) are often far away from where it is needed, so improving the grid would make the private sector far more interested in generating green power.

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The Government already has MPG standards, California has for some time and it's worked well.
I'll take your word then.

As for which companies "deserves" to survive, I say we offer all (including big foreign ones) the money with enough unpleasant conditions (proportional to the help needed) to ensure that they only take it if they really need it (Ford might decide to refuse, or take just a little), and if they believe they have a future as an unsubsidized company (Chrysler might well decide that bankruptcy is the lesser evil).
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:48 AM   #39
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Let me guess.

BMW M3 and a Nissan Maxima?

Good thoughts though!
Haha, nope, BMW 325i and Subaru Legacy.....both of which have been modified and do see significant track time, one much more so than the other.

Consumers is a great resource for reliability and safety concerns as Jae says. I don't buy new cars, so it's nice to see them keep reliability data for models from years ago. Granted, since I track both cars, I replace things well before they would fail during normal use to eliminate the possibility of something going wrong diving into turn 3 at 120mph, but what consumers provides is insight into what are general problem areas for the models.

As far as fuel efficiency goes, there are soooo many factors that go into the ratings to the point it is impossible to tell what car gets better mileage. In general, lower weight, lower Cd, lower frontal area, skinnier tires, less power, smaller engine, different gearing, engine power characteristics, etc all have a large effect on mileage. My racecar gets better mileage than most people's econobox/dd, mine included; it's all in the way the car is designed and geared.


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Old 05-08-2009, 05:00 AM   #40
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I am about fuel economy. I am about the new wave of stuff to serve our needs provided it can actually do the job and meet the challenge and provide a reasonably comparable replacement. I even looked into the alternatives.

I have that "Jew thrift" in my blood, so I want to avoid paying for extras if I don't have to. And I would want everyone else to save $$$ too. Now having said that I am all about choice and customization in the market.

Customer has the word custom in it after all. (Whose with me on that one?)

I would hope people would first view the world through the lens of scarcity, and then as it appears more can become reasonably available, then yeah a little extra here n there. Fit their needs then fit their wants if they can afford it. If they are fools, well, it isn't my fault they just had to go all "Pimp my ride" and stuff. They made their choice and they can suffer the consequences that they presumably knew might follow their choice.

I do verily agree, though: encourage better more economical decision making, for their sake, for everyone's sake, and possibly the planet as well.

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First off, WHO THE HECK ARE YOU TO TELL ME WHAT TO BUY!!! Are you buying it for me? NO! So I'll buy what vehicle I want. You do realize that there are a lot of dirt roads here still. And if you think that off road suspension has no use in the city, you really haven't driven on some of the rougher roads. I happen to have a Tahoe. It is smaller than a Suburban. A vehicle that has been in GM's lineup since the 50's.
Yup. Aptly named for Lake Tahoe. Used to live there and probably heading back soon. Not as many rough offroads as even 10-15 years ago, but the area's many different variables, and adventure zones did require a bit of diverse ruggedness. A prime example of the truck that does not need to be an absolutely huge P.O.S. in the road to get the job done. Indeed the virtues you mentioned (size economy for a truck while packing that extra punch and build for the rough areas) make it a more practical vehicle than its larger counterparts in general. (Recalling larger wider behemoths getting stuck driving over high mounds. )

While I am a fuel economist I can attest that sometimes you simply need larger vehicles to do the work horse duty. Try using your car to haul: furniture, hundreds to thousands of pounds of tiles, logs and lumber, your entire crew's arsenal of equipment for a "job" (construction, electrical, roofing, landscaping, insulation w/ fiberglass (yuck!)). You can, but it REALLY sucks and your MPG goes down the toilet. Uncomfortable, you worry for the interior, gets sluggish to drive...I think everyone gets the picture.

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I'll tell ya this, I'd rather drive my 2000 miles in my Tahoe than a Toyota Prius. Oh and just so you know those hybrids... they don't get even the same fuel efficiency as a V6 at highway speeds(aka 75+MPH).
That's another thing: MPG ratings to consider. Is it HWY or is it Terrain? Guess which one requires more fuel?


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But you eco-whack jobs can play your high and mighty card thinking that it's only soccer moms that drive the SUV's. I'm not denying that many of them are driven by them.
And are some of them hot.
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But you don't know their situation any better than you knew mine. They might have very valid reasons. Heck if they have a boat, camping trailer, whatnot that has to be pulled, there is a recommended vehicle length. They may be on occasion caring for several kids. There are many reasons to have an SUV. That's why they're so popular.
QFE&T

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WI is a very agriculture-oriented state. You can't haul hay bales and thousands of pounds of animal feed or harvested crops in a Prius. You can't drive a Civic across farmland, at least not without destroying it fairly quickly. Even states with major cities like IL, NY, CA, and TX have large rural areas where pick-ups and SUVs are a necessary part of life.
Voucher here.

I might also add that compact cars are a sonofabitch to fix when something serious goes wrong. There are damn good reasons that many good general auto mechanics (reputable ones working for ~$85-150/hr) won't touch them. Specialists...yeah, viable if they are around. Otherwise dealerships...hahaha--good luck! The service in addition to parts...not even going there.

Pay for it? HA! Yeah, ok, that will come to about $2675.88 for the part ALONE replace new, $1866.74 rebuilt, and that isn't taking into account the additional $500-900 for the cooling system attatched to it...and the painstaking effort to determine which one it actually is b/c they may have 4 or even 8 different cooling systems for a given year and most people in service or parts stores don't have any idea wtf part you are talking about. Hoo. So the only other option: get dirty and fix it yourself.

Experience talking here: I had to fix the carburetor of my '85 Honda Accord--skill, thrift, resourcefulness, and LUCK--or the force on my side with an uncle who has gazillions of parts and tools to help out with. Man was THAT ever a pain. (Though it felt great like nothing else when I succeeded and drove it!)
...blew up 8 months later just shy its 22nd birthday.

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I said nothing about banning SUVs entirely, I do, however, believe that there is absolutely little to no regulation when it comes to the overall reliability and security of SUVs. Rollovers are still a concern with truck-based chassis SUVs, and there is still the piss-poor fuel economy, that although is better than several years ago, is still pathetic. Furthermore, larger SUVs an trucks are essentially military-grade vehicles, and as such, they can be extremely dangerous towards pedestrians and other drivers when in an auto wreck, further increasing auto fatalities
So's my dad's '56 T-bird. That would rip a modern vehicle to shreds. So far as reliability...most tests I know take into account the safety of the driver and passengers on board that vehichle, not in the other drivers and passengers in other vehichles also potentially in the collision. I suppose reliability could be derated if it required more measurements of collateral or outward damage. Which doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon.

Well, unless people are going to start mandatorily paying for the additional engineering, the rollover still does not seem to concern most people. You can put a roll cage on it though. Not many will, but some do.

Quote:
Simply put, the auto companies and the government had the power to regulate SUVs and classify them as commercial trucks, like many pickups. Instead, the allowed the auto companies to buy into a target market cheaply, by selling inefficient, unsafe vehicles, that could have been of higher caliber, without a complete prohibition.
At what point do these considerations to parameters begin to contradict each other as well as interfere with the main design goal of the vehichle?

While I will admit improvements could always be made, some stuff is forgone simply by virtue of what type of vehicle said make model and brand is. Talk to an automotive engineer professor. He/she could tell you more than I ever could.

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Over 1 ton? Isn't that just about every car in existence?
Why it sure is.

My old Honda weighed ~2500-2600 lbs.

My current Subaru Legacy is ~ 2700-3000 I think.

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Originally Posted by Web Rider View Post
Be aware that those things function by making your home more air-tight. This leads to an increased risk of asphyxiation when running heating devices. Essentially, it can be the same as locking yourself in the garage with the car running.
Oh man...if all inspectors were as good as you.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
I wouldn't call a tax an 'incentive' for me at all. Now a tax credit, on the other hand, I could go for.
So could everyone--who wouldn't?

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Originally Posted by mur'phon View Post
My problems with positive incentives is how I have seen them implemented, not the incentives in themselves.
And its unintended drawback that people will do things in expectation of this more and more.



Quote:
Because a major hindrance for making "green" electricity competetive is that sources (wind, sun, rivers etc) are often far away from where it is needed, so improving the grid would make the private sector far more interested in generating green power.
To further your sentiment: That's not even taking into account the shortcomings of each method alone. Which I suspect you too are probably well read on. These might work well on an implementation of "per individual" scale according to his/her own needs. But on large scale I simply do not see it working as well as existing used methods nor do I see it anywhere near supplanting/replacing these as is unrealistically projected. I'd like it to work, I even see a market here...but I do not see enough of/about it to truly inspire me into believing it is a viable large scale alternative.

Again this isn't even accounting for costs to implement. Ugh.


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Originally Posted by Bimmerman View Post
Haha, nope, BMW 325i and Subaru Legacy.....both of which have been modified and do see significant track time, one much more so than the other.
CHEERS!

Quote:
but what consumers provides is insight into what are general problem areas for the models.
Making it possible to do your homework and make informed decisions...now if only people would actually DO it.

Quote:
As far as fuel efficiency goes, there are soooo many factors that go into the ratings to the point it is impossible to tell what car gets better mileage. In general, lower weight, lower Cd, lower frontal area, skinnier tires, less power, smaller engine, different gearing, engine power characteristics, etc all have a large effect on mileage. My racecar gets better mileage than most people's econobox/dd, mine included; it's all in the way the car is designed and geared.
QFT


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