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The American public is turning to SUVs and trucks again, like the Ford F-150 XLT pictured here, although total vehicle sales are still plunging. This could spell trouble for GM, Ford, and Chrysler that plan on slashing large vehicle production for next year.

Sales of foreign and domestic sedans and hybrids, like the Ford Fusion Hybrid, pictured here, are plunging.

2010 Chevy Volt

2008 Honda Civic Si Sedan
Decline in hybrid and small car sales bad news for foreign, domestic automakers alike

Have a taste for big trucks or SUVs?  You're not alone. A new study indicates a reverse in a trend of declining SUV and truck sales.  Automotive website Edmunds.com is reporting that truck and SUV sales will surpass car sales in December.  That's something that hasn't happened since February 2008.

Additionally, hybrid sales are expected to dramatically plunge for December.

Three factors are driving the return to big vehicles, say experts.  The first is the bad winter weather, the second is hot deals thanks to a trouble the economy, and the third, and perhaps most significant, is the much lower gas prices.  Michelle Krebs, Senior Editor of Edmunds' AutoObserver.com describes, "Despite all the public discussion of fuel efficiency, SUVs and trucks are the industry's biggest sellers right now as a remarkable number of buyers seem to be compelled by three factors: great deals, low gas prices and winter weather."

While the report that 51 percent of vehicle sales in December will be SUVs or trucks certainly indicates that sales are up, they have a ways to go to reach their former peaks, which were even higher, according to market observers.  Reports Ms. Toprak, "We don't claim they're back to what they used to be, but it's a reversal of the trend."

The falling sales of trucks and SUVs were a major factor in the fiscal crisis at Chrysler, GM, and Ford.  After focusing on big vehicles for decades, the automakers were blasted by some in the government and the public for failing to follow what the public demands -- small cars.  Those same individuals noted that the domestic automakers foreign competitors like Honda and Toyota posted stronger sales thanks to the increasing demand for small, fuel-efficient cars.

Eventually the automakers secured a $13.4B USD loan, but it was only have government officials sharp scolded the domestic automakers.

While the impact of decreases in home construction and contracting is still pushing sales down, a combination of other factors is making large vehicles irresistible for some, according to researchers.  Edmunds.com reports that on average, trucks this month are coming with $5,200 USD in incentives, making them a hard offer to refuse.  And that's not even including at-dealership price cuts that most buyers negotiate.  States Ms. Toprak, "I can get about $10,000 off a large SUV, there's probably not going to be a better time."

Next year, however, incentives are expected to decline as the domestic automakers tighten up, and supply of big vehicles coming to market falls.

The rise in large vehicle sales could spell trouble in the long run for foreign and domestic automakers, alike.  Companies like Toyota, whose Prius is a best-seller, are expected to post lower hybrid sales for the month.  The Prius is considered by many as the barometer for public reception of hybrids, as it is by far the best selling hybrid in the country.  Now with gas prices falling from a summer peak of $4/gallon to around $1.67/gallon, Prius' are looking less attractive, and sales are expected to sharply drop off.

In previous months this year, there was a waiting list for the Prius.  In November alone, falling gas prices caused a 48 percent drop in sales, and this is expected to continue into December.  All this spells trouble for the hybrid heavy Toyota and Honda.

It also may spell trouble for domestic automakers.  After decades of going their own way, American automakers are now following their foreign competitors, focusing on small fuel efficient cars and hybrids.  With sales down, the domestic automakers may be back to where they started, with the majority of their production geared toward a product the public is not necessarily demanding.

This is evidenced by Edmunds.com's prediction that despite the rise in demand for trucks, GM, Ford, and Chrysler's combined market share is actually expected to fall one point to 51 percent.  Sales overall are likewise expected to be dismal both for the domestics and their foreign competitors.



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Just think about all the people...
By Motoman on 12/26/2008 3:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
...who dumped their SUVs and such at huge losses to buy econo-box cars - which then would take 10 years at $4 gas to make up for the loss anyway.

As it is, my Dodge 3500 quad-cab 4x4 with the HO Cummins turbo diesel gets pretty much the same mileage as our Trailblazer with the 6-cylinder. Unfortunately, diesel being so much higher yet than unleaded, the truck doesn't get much daily use - but, like a very large number of Americans, I *need* a truck (pending wholesale lifestyle change). I race motorcycles...need to pull a big trailer and carry along a few buddies. That means a big pickup truck. My wife breeds, trains, and shows horses - which means we need to pull a big horse trailer, and be able to run and get large amounts of hay and feed in the truck too. We can't be without a truck - and a great many Americans are in the same boat (er, truck).

Soccer moms etc. need the bigger SUVs and such...especially if you're a hockey mom driving in crappy weather where you need 4 wheel drive. People have boats and need a large vehicle to haul them. So on and so forth. All these people are remembering why they needed a big truck/SUV in the first place, and are going out to buy them again.

So while I understand how my urban apartment-dwelling friends who have no need for anything other than a Cooper Mini can get by just fine without a large vehicle, it would really be nice if the rest of the world would stop pretending like it makes perfect sense for everyone to get rid of their large vehicles and drive electric boxes with wheels.




RE: Just think about all the people...
By Bateluer on 12/26/2008 4:49:16 PM , Rating: 1
You represent a very small slice of the American consumer. 99% of people do not need such a vehicle. They want such a vehicle because it's perceived as a status symbol.

The few times the average person needs a truck, they can rent a U-Haul truck for substantially less money than owning their own.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Motoman on 12/26/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just think about all the people...
By bioorganic on 12/26/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just think about all the people...
By ayat101 on 12/26/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just think about all the people...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/26/2008 11:41:56 PM , Rating: 5
By that same logic, we should sell our cars and buy scooters. Sell our private homes and live in communal apartments. They're far more efficient in terms of energy usage-- and no one really needs their own private bedroom or bathroom anyway.

Certainly we don't need vacations either. Trips to concerts, movies, and sporting events are just "wants", not needs as well. So are televisions, MP3 players...and the very computer used to post these messages.

Beyond a cave to scratch our fleas in and a few scrounged roots to eat, everything in our lives is a want, not a need. That's what defines our standard of living, however, and our modern lifestyle.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By GTVic on 12/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just think about all the people...
By Motoman on 12/27/2008 12:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
Way to fundamentally ignore information that doesn't fit into your worldview...

quote:
Way to take it way too far, you fail at logic 101. The guy has an enormous truck to support a couple of recreational activities. There is no need to explain any further.


As noted, my Dodge truck gets about the same mileage as our 6-cylinder Trailblazer. So it makes essentially no difference which one gets driven.

quote:
An enormous percentage of these humongous truck owners barely need them. Most of the time they drive around with empty truck beds and zero passengers in a truck that 15 years ago would have qualified for a monster truck rally.


While there certainly are people who prefer to own a truck to a car simply because they'd rather have a truck, the vast majority of people I know who own trucks *need* them. Which is to say, they'd have to completely abandon their way of life without it. And you clearly have no idea what the hell a monster truck is, and are throwing that in there to imply that all truck owners are rednecks and/or white trash.

quote:
If a small-medium size truck (by today's standard) was good enough to haul a snowmobile 15 years ago, why does someone now need a truck that can't fit in most residential underground parking garages.


What makes more environmental sense...using one truck to haul one trailer with six snowmobiles on it, or six trucks to haul one sled each? Oh wait...forgot who I was talking to. It's better to use one truck. And the reason they don't fit in old garages has to do with the simple fact that over the years manufacturers kept increasing the travel in the suspension to give a better ride and allow for greater hauling capacity...nothing more. You know...so a single truck can haul six sleds at once.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By afkrotch on 12/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just think about all the people...
By Motoman on 12/27/2008 1:59:15 PM , Rating: 5
...since when does a Trailblazer count as a large vehicle? Do you live in Lilliputia?

...and what sense does it make to one 3 vehicles (and pay 3 payments and have 3 maintenance schedules etc.) to do what 2 vehicles can do?

...and I'm sorry, but the very fact that you think a photo of a VW pulling a camper is proof that it's a valid concept to haul anything with a car absolutely establishes your foolishness. Here's your sign.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By afkrotch on 12/27/08, Rating: -1
By FangedRabbit on 12/28/2008 11:39:24 AM , Rating: 2
The former Blazer and current TrailBlazer are both based on compact pickup truck platforms (s10 and Colorado respectively). They are in the same size class as a compact pickup truck and hardly count as a "large" vehicle. The only SUVs smaller are the "cute-utes"; which are generally nothing more than jacked up cars.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By whymeintrouble on 12/29/2008 3:49:37 AM , Rating: 3
so let me get this straight, you put 6000-8000 lbs. on a trailer being pulled by a wannabe mazda pickup. You sir, are not only the most reckless person this side of stupidty but everything you have said has now made everyone reading this that much more stupid. Did you think there might be tow ratings on vehicles? Ya know what, they might even have max weights too! But who cares, we will just weigh the crap out of the mini-pickup while the back of the pickup is sparking on the ground. Then see if we can't kill some people because of some freak accident due to being 4k lbs overweight...Just because you wanted to save a little money on insurance and/or gas. you keep your mini-car, I'll be warm, safe and happy with my Suburban, and so will my boat! :)


By afkrotch on 12/29/2008 6:18:15 AM , Rating: 2
Have you actual read any of these towing capacities? Majority of those using a truck to it's fullest are over their towing capacities.

Seriously, how many different types of trailers have you used? Some put quite a bit of weight onto the truck, while others don't even put 1/4 the weight onto the truck. A nice 4 wheeled flatbed trailer with the weight balanced around the 4 wheels will put lower amount of weight onto the truck.

There's things called trailer brakes too. Allows you to exceed the towing capacity without troubles.

Depending on where you live can also depends on how many ppl are even on the road. For me, it's unlikely that I'd get in an accident with another vehicle. Let alone see another person even on the roads. To put it into perspective, we might get 1 car to pass our house once every 8-12 hours.


By Tamale on 12/29/2008 4:41:11 AM , Rating: 2
has it ever occurred to anyone on this site that people are choosing to live in the countries they're in and the lifestyles associated with the respective place?

if someone wants big sprawling open country, horses, jet skis and a couple huge vehicles to go with it, America is a great place for them. if you like compactness and efficiency lots of places in europe will suit you just fine.. whoop-dee-do.

let's not lose sight of this simple but important distinction.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Nfarce on 12/27/2008 7:59:33 PM , Rating: 5
Motoman, you have to remember that a lot of Europeans really do not understand the concept of living in non-urban areas in America. If you ever travel to Europe, or if you have already, you'll see that their non-urban vs. urban population is far, far lower than that of the US. This is irrespective of the fact that their urban areas and streets/buildings are far smaller than those of the US in general.

Europeans (and others) have an inherent misconception that America is a land of excessiveness. To some degree, that is true, as witnessed by our economic meltdown (which quickly spread globally to show just how important the US economy is to the world). However, a large percentage of Americans always have and always will live in non-urban areas because they can. The same goes with what kinds of vehicles they choose to purchase (keyword CHOOSE there).

People who want a truck/SUV will not change their minds, because Americans celebrate living in far vaster regions with unlimited recreational potential, whether they are a motorcycle racer or horsebreeder like another poster here or just a weekend boat tower like me. Anyone telling anyone else what they need and do not need is nothing less than a fascist, pure and simple. We did not come all this way in our relatively young 232 year history to let a bunch of fascists tell us how to live - whatever their motivation is, be it envy or class warfare.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By OneEng on 12/28/2008 8:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
Good post.

The fact that many Americans choose to drive large SUVs (socker mom's are a good example as is ANY mom having 3 or more kids) or trucks (boat owners, camper owners, horse owners, bike owners, etc, etc) does not mean that these individuals are doing something wrong.

People work hard all their life in order to enjoy these things. It is THE American dream. To belittle it, or demean it, kind of indicates a lack of understanding of the fundamentals of why America is such a great place to live.

I also find it interesting how many attacked the American auto companies for building these large vehicles. Until about 2 years ago, the Asian auto companies were furiously attempting to equal the American auto makers in this area BECAUSE it was the biggest sales segment.

Fuel prices doubled (or more) in under a year. How anyone thinks it is possible to re-engineer a vehicle product line in that amount of time is beyond understanding.

It isn't like Americans woke up one morning and decided "Hey, I want a green small car instead of my roomy, great driving in the snow SUV". Fuel prices prompted this mess.

I am reasonably sure that gas prices will continue to go down and will stay down for the next 5 years. The oil companies and the entire middle east will sell oil to attain 50 cents a gallon gas before they allow America to move to electric vehicles.

SUV's and Trucks will most surely be making a comeback. I personally wish it were not so. The best thing for America is to get off of oil ...... but we are stupid and selfish and greedy and lack foresight in America. Big oil companies and politics will conspire to keep anyone from making the changes needed. It will take a true catastrophe in America to remove big oil from our future.


By MadMan007 on 12/28/2008 9:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
Reading your 3rd and last paragraph back to back is interesting. On the one hand you defend the 'American dream' then you call the same people stupid and greedy.


By Chernobyl68 on 1/2/2009 5:50:13 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I've been seeing prices going back up recently, I seem to recall OPEC cutting production to preserve prices.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Nfarce on 12/27/2008 7:36:57 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
WTF is there a need for 2 large vehicles?


Who TF's business is it of YOURS?


RE: Just think about all the people...
By afkrotch on 12/29/08, Rating: -1
By Nfarce on 12/30/2008 12:59:53 PM , Rating: 1
Wrong again, asshat. I could tell you in a thread that I own 4 big screen TVs an SUV and a pickup truck and it would STILL be none of your damned business why I choose to own such things.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By ayat101 on 12/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just think about all the people...
By Bruneauinfo on 12/27/2008 5:13:27 AM , Rating: 4
quality is subjective.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Myg on 12/27/2008 7:02:06 AM , Rating: 1
Quality of life concerning humans comes down to efficiency.

If you have a "higher" quality of life, generally, your body works more efficiently, your brain works more efficiently, your belongings work more efficiently for you.

It means you can get more out of what you have.

Since we all only live once, that is why it is seen as morally wrong to sit idle and do nothing, or to be excessively wasteful in general.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By ayat101 on 12/27/2008 7:47:50 AM , Rating: 2
I agree in general. Plus, your body will work better if you look after it, and live in a clean and suitable environment.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Bruneauinfo on 12/27/2008 9:15:47 AM , Rating: 5
so efficiency = quality? that's an absurd statement because one side of the equation is logic and the other is opinion.

part of being human and civilized is appreciating aesthetic. horses fall under that heading. i suppose next we'll be getting rid of sports teams/arenas, malls and shopping centers, private property, religion, computers, and everything else that doesn't live up to your opinion of what is and isn't efficient.

i don't own a firearm, and i'm not a republican, but i'd be converting to both if your opinion became the rule.

masher has a point.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By ayat101 on 12/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/28/2008 2:51:02 PM , Rating: 3
Your wasting electricity writing the drivel is neither asthentic nor efficient . . . but since it's your money, if you enjoy doing it, you have every right to do it. Please extend the same courtesy to others with different personal values.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By DM0407 on 12/27/2008 1:54:27 PM , Rating: 5
Preaching about getting the most out of life, while sitting on Dailytech and bicker about other peoples lifestyle...

Priceless


RE: Just think about all the people...
By ayat101 on 12/27/2008 3:27:03 PM , Rating: 2
Don't judge everyone by one's or the same rules. Posting a little and reading these boards does not exclude doing other things in life.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Jim28 on 12/29/2008 11:59:56 PM , Rating: 2
Read your own writing you bigot.

You judge others about there lifestyles and yet do not take valid critisim about yours.

By your logic maximiing effiency means a greater quality of life.
Since when did posting on an the Internet (Or browsing the Internet) become the measure of effieciency.

And lastly who do you think you are? Why do you think it is OK for you to decide what some one else may do with their own life and wealth? Would you like to be subject to someone else's whims and ideals? If not then don't be so quick to want to judge others by yours.

Of course this says it all

Don't judge everyone by one's or the same rules.

Last I heard the definition of a just law or ethic was one that evaulated everyone identically without bias.

Of course a more folksy way to say it is practice what you preach.


By teldar on 12/27/2008 8:20:50 AM , Rating: 1
That's not remotely what you said.
People who breed horses are typically not living beyond their means.

You said eat the horse and sell the trailer.

That's going beyond logic because you are assuming that people who breed horses cannot afford it.

masher's comments were NOT excessive based on your comments.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Motoman on 12/27/2008 11:50:17 AM , Rating: 2
...you're a real piece of work, aren't you?

Come by our place and see how we are "fat and lazy" taking care of the 8 horses on our property. I seriously doubt you'll be able to keep up.

We don't live beyond our means...we live neatly within them.

Horses are not just a hobby...they are also my wife's profession. Motorcycles are my hobby...and that's what I referred to before as "pending wholesale lifestyle change" - Our entire lives would be turned upside-down if we didn't have trucks. Everything we value in life would be gone.

So thank you very much, you hateful pig. I can assure you my quality of life is infinitely better than yours just based on the fact that I don't feel the need to utterly dismiss what other people love because of my own luddite opinions. Please go die now, ass.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By ayat101 on 12/27/08, Rating: -1
By Chernobyl68 on 1/2/2009 5:58:08 PM , Rating: 1
You're right...I should have swum to Hawaii last time I visited there. Oh, wait, I had to take the aircraft carrier there.

You can't use "human power" to do everthing. I agree that energy efficiency is very important, but not everyone has the opportunity to live the life of a hippy.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/27/2008 3:38:14 PM , Rating: 5
> "My point is simple and totally logical and capitalistic: do not live beyond your means"

I imagine the average buyer of an Escalade or Hummer can more easily afford his purchase than the average owner of an Aveo or a Kia Rio.

> "My personal point: use your muscles instead whenever you can"

Human muscle power is what drove humanity throughout most of history. It was also responsible for a brutal, barbaric, dehumanizing lifestyle totally incomprehensible to most modern-day people. Do not hope for a return to it -- your wish may come true.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By foolsgambit11 on 12/28/2008 9:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
> "My point is simple and totally logical and capitalistic: do not live beyond your means"

I imagine the average buyer of an Escalade or Hummer can more easily afford his purchase than the average owner of an Aveo or a Kia Rio
Assuming that's true, it is nearly irrelevant. The key for tools (like a vehicle) is weighing the purchase price versus the increase in means it provides. At least, until you have the disposable income to purchase a vehicle as a luxury item. So if you work with horses, or do construction, or whatever, then a bare-bones truck makes sense. But if you get your truck repossessed, and it has leather seats, TV screens in the headrests, or whatever else, I have no pity. Same with any luxury car, too. But it is tragic to find a person who can't afford a Kia Rio getting it repossessed - that negatively affects their earning potential. Ditto for bare-bones trucks that get taken by the bank (assuming the 'owner' was using the truck to increase their means, and losing it will decrease their means).

There are plenty of counterarguments to be made to the principles I just outlined, I know. But I think it's fundamentally sound.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/29/2008 7:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
Why is the owner of a barebones F-150 and a barebones Kia wagon, costing $30k combined any more pitiable than someone who planned ahead and combined the two purchases into one Explorer or a Highlander that is adequate for both his cargo and people transportation needs, plus ability to overcome snow, etc., for comparable amount of purchase money, and less in terms of insurance and tag fees.


By William Gaatjes on 12/27/2008 3:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
I found an interesting documentary about Liquid Fluoride Thorium reactors.
Quite interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHs2Ugxo7-8


By Major HooHaa on 12/30/2008 7:19:56 PM , Rating: 1
ayat101, can I politely enquire? What kind of vehicle, horse or scooter do you drive and what kind of family vehicle would you think is acceptable / practical in this day and age?


RE: Just think about all the people...
By TomZ on 12/27/2008 1:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
By that same logic, we should sell our cars and buy scooters....
Great post - but these days, DT is being overrun by libtards, which is why it got downrated. I think some folks around here would like to see humans living in caves.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By afkrotch on 12/27/2008 1:26:37 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, but those caves would have 1 gig fiber lines.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/27/2008 3:42:27 PM , Rating: 5
I am reminded of an old cartoon depicting a couple of cavemen squatting around a campfire. One turns to the other and says, "something is just not right here. Our air is clean, our water pure, we get plenty of exercise, everything we eat is organic and free range -- yet no one lives past age 30".

It's human nature to romanticize the past. The reality, however, was substantially different.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By icanhascpu on 12/29/2008 3:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think that's a good example at all, as pure water, food, air ect was highly unlikely in such a scenario.

If it truly clean water and air and the meat wasn't rancid, people would live much longer today due to medicines and common sense. Not to mention a touch of evolution. The lifestyle we live hardly is the most healthy one. To measure that by length of life alone is short sighted.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/29/2008 7:28:09 PM , Rating: 2
Rapid evolution usually select for shorter life span, not longer. The gene for early reproductive maturity coincides with shorter life span. Early reproductive maturity allows the population respond to environmental stress more quickly. Longevity is not one of the things that evolution selects for, unless the population has a propensity to allocat young girls with healthy reproductive systems to reall really old men.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By djc208 on 12/27/2008 9:08:55 AM , Rating: 5
Oh please. Your "reckless consumption" is what drives most of the global economy. This person honestly makes enough money to pursue these hobbies (and the horses and racing can make money depending on how serious he is) then he is more than entitled to do so. He wasn't whining about all the money he has to spend, just that for things he does a truck is necessary.

But he puts more money into play in buying trailers for horses and motorcycles, buying horses and motorcycles, and all the support businesses that go along with those pursuits, than you and your "simple life" would. So no, he doesn't "need" them to live. But your employer might not "need" you or your job at all if people like him weren't out there with their "reckless consumption".

The basis of a lot of this global recession/depression is that people aren't buying things they don't "need", and therefore pulling huge amounts of money out of the economy. People may not need much of the stuff we have and use, but the world needs us to need stuff if we want to keep the world out of an even worse financial crisis.


By Motoman on 12/27/2008 12:04:04 PM , Rating: 3
...wait a minute. Someone just posted something that makes sense. Now I'm really confused...


By Motoman on 12/27/2008 11:53:31 AM , Rating: 2
You are an idiot. Among the reasons why America (and Canada and other first-world countries) are so great is the right to "pursue happiness." You are an absolute ass for declaring that people who ride snowmobiles, ATVs, motorcycles, horses, go boating, whatever, should not have the right to pursue that happiness.

Pol Pot just called. He thinks you're his long-lost brother.

Holy crap people...I think you'd all be happier in China. When did you all become so hateful?


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Guttersnipe on 12/28/2008 3:12:27 AM , Rating: 5
you know nothing. its not the size of the truck anyways, its missing the point. a soccer mom driving 2 children effectively triples her trip efficiency over a single yuppy driving a prius and end up emitting basically the same if not less carbon. if the yuppy decides to take a vacation overseas well, there goes any argument against the truck in a flash. concentrating on a demon vehicle really misses the point. esp if the truck lasts and lasts, and the prius or whatever the yuppy constantly upgrades to is basically in a short use cycle/replacement.

as for the know nothing talking about towing tons of stuff with cars or motorcycles, you can tow some stuff yes. but at the cost of putting massive wear on your transmission and other bits not made to endure loads of that type. as before if you do that and have to replace your car over and over, your total carbon output is once again, higher than a truck.

as for europe. if you consider for a moment the carrying capacity of the land and the biomass/carbonsink per person for a country, most european countries really are overpopulated and no matter how frugal they are they by default are over consuming just through overpopulation.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By boogle on 12/28/2008 5:08:56 AM , Rating: 2
While I appreciate the need for trucks, especially those who live in areas with bad terrain etc. 'Soccer Mom' is not a reason for getting a truck, I can only think of a few reasons one would want a truck for that reason:

1) Show off to other soccor moms how rich she is
2) More interior space to deal with screaming / wriggling kids

However, I fail to see why one is needed? A standard car (in the UK) has 5 seats including driver, assuming you've got (just role with this) fat kids that leaves 3 seats that can be comfortably used. The boot (trunk) has plenty of room for balls, kit, etc. Soccer is a very popular sport in the UK, and the vast majority of people use standard cars. The people with large 4x4s are in group 1 and get derided for it. The people in group 2 usually use an 'enlarged' car, like the Megane Scenic.

'if the yuppy decides to take a vacation overseas well, there goes any argument against the truck in a flash.' What? Are you just trying to jump on the emissions bandwagon? Or fuel consumption bandwagon? Either way, its a poor point since you can easily turn around and say 'the truck driver with all his excess consumption is then added to the consumption of the aircraft, its a double-whammy!'. On a related note, as long as the plane is mostly full, its much more efficient than any car, per-person to a massive degree. You travel hundreds / thousands of miles for a (per capita) very small amount of fuel.

As for the last argument, that's a poor argument. I've never seen people stick with the same truck for a very long time. Same with cars. You get exception in both camps, so there are some very old cars and very old trucks out there - but not a common occurance.

We are heavily overpopulated in much of Europe :( Especially the UK.

Going to extremes is fun, but lets have a little more balance here shall we? No name calling, no direct assaults on people. There are people who need trucks - only a fool would argue against them. But there are people who have trucks who don't need them and are therefore an unneccesary drain on resources - those are the people many have a problem with.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By mindless1 on 12/29/2008 2:47:45 PM , Rating: 2
I could see a family with more than one vehicle needing one truck or SUV, not 2 or 3, but you are correct that a soccer mom does not need an SUV at all. Even with the argument of needing more seats, that is why a van exists, a van the same size as the SUV has more seats!

However, let's stop pretending the majority of people are soccer moms as if this rare example of someone who actually hauls more than 4 kids at a time is commonplace, and I mention 4 since any midsized automobile can haul 4 kids around fine.

Bottom line, people don't ever "need" a truck or other gas guzzling vehicle, they choose to own and use one, choose to live a life where they waste more resources instead of finding activities that aren't so wasteful. Certainly there are plenty of other activities besides driving an automobile that this applies to, it's not that any one alone should be singled out, nor any one dismissed because "want" is not "need".


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/29/2008 7:38:28 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously you never had kids yourself. Where would the other parent sit in a family outing when you have 4 kids occupying all four passenger seats? What about the baby sitter or grand-parent doing the baby sitting? Try fit a double-stroller into the trunk of a car, any car.

The manufacturers have curtailed wagon production for over a decade, thanks to CAFE Standards, another brainchild of the cluless pro-regulation busybodies. It's been mostly either Minivan or SUV's, because they qualify as "trucks" under CAFE laws. Midsize SUV's are popular because they are shorter than full-size minivans, and easier to park. A lot of times, midsize SUV's actually consume less gas than minivans based on the same platform.

The pro-regulation crowd really need to grow up, and think of other people as adults capable of thinking for themselves, instead of living in a dream world where everyone else just take your orders instead of figuring out ways to get around your irrational orders.


By mindless1 on 12/29/2008 2:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
I can't speak for where you are, but everywhere I've ever been, people do keep trucks longer. They end up owning a truck and a car and the car gets replaced years sooner into it's lifespan. Perhaps you don't realize how old some trucks are out on the road? Around here it's common to see mid-80's to 90's trucks but not so much cars that old except in the poorer sections of town.


By RoberTx on 12/28/2008 11:36:35 AM , Rating: 2
Screw you. if I pay for the gas its mine to with as I damn well please. If you don't like it then stick your head back up Al Gore's butt.


By decapitator666 on 1/1/2009 9:46:08 AM , Rating: 2
I have no pity for those SUV fools.. they haven't learned a thing.. in half a year gas prices may be up again and the whining starts all over again.. Then they will be forced to sell them again.. and then they whine and complain even more when they get the pink slip and go bankrupt..


RE: Just think about all the people...
By oab on 12/26/2008 11:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
In Europe they manage to do all those things, and not have truck sales be as gigantic they are here in North America.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By headbox on 12/27/2008 2:03:21 AM , Rating: 3
no, they don't do "all" those things.

Travel Europe, travel the USA. There's a big difference: space. Most American cities boomed after the auto was invented. LA had subways, but they were bought up and closed down by auto makers. NYC sticks out as one of the few places with mass transit that sort of works, and is still clogged with cabs instead of bikes.

Americans travel great distances to get to work, visit friends, do activities, etc. There are also much greater resources for outdoor activities like exploring vast national parks, big game hunting, fishing in tens of thousands of lakes, massive states like Wyoming and Montana that have fewer people than a single European town. Lifestyles are very different. Population density is different. Resources are different. $ per capita and taxes are different.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By BZDTemp on 12/27/2008 8:39:04 AM , Rating: 2
Well we have more money and less space that is true. We also use half the amount of energy per capita than the US.

Sure the urban sprawl problem means you travel a lot of miles which again calls for cars that are like sofas on wheels. However it is not like there aren't great outdoor activities in Europe. We too climb mountains, go sailing (but sail boats are preferred rather than power boats), mountain biking, hunting, fishing.... however few of us can be bothered to drive trucks as cars are preferred. And if 4x4 is needed even the smallest cars come with that option.

I'm not sure what you mean about $ per capita but where I live someone working at MacD earns $17 an hour plus there is extra pay for evening, weekends and 5 weeks of payed vacation.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/27/2008 5:58:55 PM , Rating: 5
> "Well we have more money and less space that is true"

Per-capita wealth in Europe is still only a little more than half what it is in the USA. The gap used to be much larger, but many European nations have slowly grown more free-market, while the neo-socialism marches steadily onward in the US.

> "where I live someone working at MacD earns $17 an hour plus there is extra pay for evening, weekends and 5 weeks of payed vacation."

Which ensures that many people will be content working their entire lives there, and never aspire to anything greater. This is a good thing?


By BZDTemp on 12/28/2008 3:39:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Which ensures that many people will be content working their entire lives there, and never aspire to anything greater. This is a good thing?


You missed the point. Nobody over here want to work at MacD or do any of the similar jobs. MacD is paying just minimum wages.

My point is that $6 for Gas is not so much when even a lousy job pays $17 an hour.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Gary Right On on 12/27/2008 1:45:31 PM , Rating: 2
"In Europe they manage to do all those things, and not have truck sales be as gigantic they are here in North America."

They also have averaged double digit inflation, double digit unemployment and recently elected a French conservative to change things!

If Europe is so great why is everyone busting our borders to get in?


RE: Just think about all the people...
By afkrotch on 12/27/2008 1:57:15 PM , Rating: 5
double digit unemployment. Big reason for that is their welfare system is much better than ours. You can live a fairly good life on welfare, but as soon as you get a job. That welfare is gone. So some ppl simply don't get jobs and leech off others.

I hate welfare systems...period.


By otispunkmeyer on 12/28/2008 9:00:49 AM , Rating: 2
yup, benefits here in the UK can be rediculous.

and for some, just having another kid makes more financial sense than getting a job. so long as they are unemployed and have kids to look after the council provide money and housing.

if you get a job, and lets face it its gonna be a bottom of the barrel minimum wager, then they expect you to start paying your way and you quickly find you cant pay rent, buy food and look after the kids. true you should maybe stick the job out and move up the ladder, but many cant be bothered and many see that in the short term, life will be harder so they dont wanna do it.

so yeah, makes more sense to just scrounge the benefits ... they'll be better off.


By William Gaatjes on 1/2/2009 7:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
We are stripping the welfare down to the point that you have to work. You can say no a few times but when you say no too often you will sooner or later have to accept a job cause your welfare will steadily be lowered to a serious minimum. Sooner or later you won't be able to pay all your luxury bills and you have to live a really spartan lifestyle. Something that has to be done because to much people in europe think that because of welfare you do not need to work. Welfare is for people who had some bad luck in life and need some help to crawl back on their feet. Not for lazy bastards. People who are permanently physical disabled or mentally handicaped and are who not able to work are judged on different sets of rules. They receive more welfare or as far as i know the mamimum account. Poor mom's witch fled a beating husband afcourse also more protected and are also a good example of someone that needs some help. Then we have the elderly that worked hard all their lives... Thing to take seriously...


RE: Just think about all the people...
By BZDTemp on 12/27/2008 2:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
? where did you dream up those stats?

The average annual inflation for the EU countries by November 2008 was 2.1% and in 6 years of data if found in a jiff using google never showed anything higher than 4% (which was this summer) and usually numbers are between 1.9% and 2.4%.

As for unemployment no EU countries have had above 10% for years with the exception of Poland and Slovakia which are both new members are also states which used to be behind the iron curtain. The average unemployment in the EU for March was 6.7% with two member states above 9.0%.

And as for the French conservative. Firstly a conservative in Europe is pretty much a socialist by US standards and secondly is it not natural that France has a French president? Surely you did not think he was the president of the EU! FYI the current President of the EU commission is from Portugal and the current President of the EU parliament is from Germany.

YOU NEED TO GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT!

Finally where do you get that everyone is busting in your borders? I guess by everyone you mean Mexico. In the EU it's people from Africa, the Middle East, the former soviet union...


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Merry on 12/27/2008 9:20:21 PM , Rating: 2
At last. Thank you for that. If you want more detailed figures head on over to eurostat. They'll support your findings.

As for the topic, I would presume new car sales are generally down, regardless of type. I still dont, nor will ever until I a) go to rural America or b) find a genuine need for one, understand the point of massive trucks. I was stood next to one the other day, here in the UK, and it just looked daft. As others have mentioned, we have farmers and thrill seekers too. They manage and they manage with rather ordinary cars or much smaller pickups. In this regard the guy who posted the pictures above has a point. My car is tiny, yet I still use it to transport my kart and assorted other stuff around, with the help of a trailer.

The question is, if I had the option to 'upgrade' or buy a big truck would I? My answer is no, however, I suspect, much in the same way as big houses are status symbols, that cars and these trucks will be too, so to many, if they could they would.

Whether they should is another question entirely and gets you into a whole world of ideological battle......


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Motoman on 12/27/2008 11:57:34 AM , Rating: 5
...it's amazing how stupid some people can be. Literally about half of the people I know would require major lifestyle changes if they couldn't have trucks...yet you rate my post down to zero, and the jackass who says only 1% of people need a truck gets up to 4?

Way to go, self-righteous asses. I'll be sure to check with you for permission before the next time I breathe.

And here I thought we lived in a country where people had the right to do the things that make them happy...like ride horses and/or motorcycles. Silly me - I thought that applied to me & my wife too - obviously it doesn't.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By SamuelW on 12/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just think about all the people...
By Motoman on 12/27/2008 4:54:56 PM , Rating: 2
...unless my dictionary is broken, the greater Twin Cities metro, where I live, is pretty much all "suburban area." And yes, there are people who have SUVs who haven't got much need for them, but the people *I* know live in the suburbs with everybody else, and they have their sleds and the ATVs and their boats and whatever. This isn't exactly the fringes of society...this is a very large proportion of suburban dwellers.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By SamuelW on 12/27/2008 5:24:39 PM , Rating: 2
Minnesota has a population of about five million. Take your pick: California, Texas, New York, Florida. All of these states have populations approaching 4x or more that of Minnesota.

Your suburban is my rural.


By Motoman on 12/27/2008 8:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
...once again into the dictionary. "Rural" and "Suburban" are not based on population...they are based on relative placement near major cities (like Minneapolis/St. Paul) and the "type" of community...i.e. one built around dependance on the services of the major metro, like suburbs, or one built to be independantly self-sufficient because it's in the middle of nowhere...like rural areas.

Keep working at it though. Some day you'll master English as a second language.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/27/2008 4:57:27 PM , Rating: 5
> "Most people who own these don't need these"

Most people don't need 99% of the things in their own homes, you yourself included. Should you be denied the freedom to buy them, simply because you lack the "need"?

> " They also increase the demand for gas more than other types of vehicles "

One of my neighbors own three small cars (one a Hybrid), yet he spends over twice as much a month on gas than I do. Which of us is increasing the demand for gasoline the most?

> "SUVs are only safer because not everyone drives them "

Untrue. Hit a moose or a deer in a subcompact and you'll understand why not. This isn't as rare as you might think...in a state like Maine, more people are killed from collisions with large animals than they are in multi-car collisions.

> "SUVs shouldn't even be sold"

Freedom is such an outmoded concept, isn't it?


By SamuelW on 12/27/2008 5:16:58 PM , Rating: 1
Point 1- About the only thing that is at all valid in this. But as I outlined the downsides should in any reasonable thought process outweigh the "want".

Point 2- Skewed comparison, driving more increases gas consumption regardless of the vehicle. Fact remains, if you drove as much as that person did you would be purchasing larger quantities of gas. It's the difference between running 15 CFLs and 2 incandescent light bulbs.

Point 3- BS. Such accidents are a tiny fraction of total fatalities, as in a couple of hundred to tens of thousands.

Point 4- They're a public health risk and suitable alternatives are readily available in the form of minivans. Large commercial vehicles are illegal to drive in many suburban areas for the additional road maintenance and safety risks they involve, as many or most SUVs are as heavy as these banned vehicles they shouldn't be sold since they're primarily personal use vehicles.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By MrX8503 on 12/28/2008 11:45:05 AM , Rating: 1
One of my neighbors own three small cars (one a Hybrid), yet he spends over twice as much a month on gas than I do. Which of us is increasing the demand for gasoline the most?

Maybe your neighbor owns small cars because he has to travel long distances, can you imagine how much he would spend if he was driving your SUV? Also I'm sure you and your neighbor is proof enough for the rest of America's driving habits.

Most people don't need 99% of the things in their own homes, you yourself included. Should you be denied the freedom to buy them, simply because you lack the "need"? Freedom is such an outmoded concept, isn't it?

How much freedom does America really need to be happy? We have followed a culture where we should have anything we want, whenever we want. Now we have become a gluttonous country that consumes every energy source in sight. It's true that most of the things we own are probably wants rather than needs if you want to get technical, but does owning large vehicles again really worth it only to have gas go from ~$1.50 back up to ~$4.00 again? Is it really worth it to consume whatever we want whenever we want now and then crap our pants later when our energy source runs out?

Yes, you have your freedom to own or have whatever you want just as do every American, which is what makes this country great. But just because you have the privilege of freedom where many countries do not, that does not mean you should abuse it.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/28/2008 2:56:58 PM , Rating: 3
Wasting electricity spouting political opinions is not a freedom that many in the world have. That does not mean however Americans should muzzle themselves in the name of saving electricity. People want to live better lives, including those in parts of the world that can not yet afford the good life thanks to their over-regulating governments.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By MrX8503 on 12/29/2008 3:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that many people want to live better lives, but does living a better life equate to wasting energy?

I'd like to see how much a better life it would be when we're paying $4 plus a gallon again just so I can drive my pimped out SUV.

Why must we continue the same path of energy consumption and somehow expect a different outcome?


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/29/2008 6:42:58 PM , Rating: 2
Values are subjective. What is legit enjoyment to you is waste to another person. Just look at all the sportscar drivers who are all self-righteous and pick on the SUV's . . . when SUV's actually serve a functional transportation purpose that sedans do not deliver whereas sportscars deliver nothing extra at all as far as transportation at legal speed is concerned. Shall we ban all engines that is not a fuel miser?

When gas hits $4+ a gallon or $40+ a gallon, everyone will rejig their priorities accordingly. Some may even choose not to drive their own personal vehicle at all but move close to place of work. Until then, everyone is entitled to their own forms of enjoyment, be it a sporty car, an SUV or a home garden or lawn to attend on weekends, so long as they can afford it by selling the rest of us goods or services of value. That's the beauty of a free market.


By Brillow on 12/31/2008 4:01:21 PM , Rating: 2
I dislike SUV's and gas guzzlers, but I'm not about to tell others to sell, scrap, or switch to something small or green.

I agree with N1's statement from the standpoint that we need to let the market adjustments in the cost of goods and services change our spending and lifestyle habbits rather than brow beatings which do nothing more than foster discrimination and anger.

Is excess a bad thing, yes, but excess is subjective. Your conservative is my liberal. The majority opinion is what is ultimately going to decide what's hot and what's not. Outside of that, we've got no right to judge others right or wrong based on the lifestyle choices made by individuals who were given the rights to make those decisions based on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That should NOT however, detract from the need for creative and constructive debate. :) discuss....


By Motoman on 12/29/2008 1:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
...I just felt compelled to adjust my comment as I watch this thread over time. This is kind of fascinating - I've never seen a DT thread do this. Over the past couple days, my first post (and ones directly below) vacillate from 5 to -1, up and done, almost like a tide...correlating with the rating of the sinless ones disagreeing with me.

Never have seen such movement like that. It's really almost like the tide, or waves, moving boats up and down in the harbor...how relaxing.


By Shining Arcanine on 12/28/2008 4:39:40 AM , Rating: 2
Why cannot cars do this?


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Penti on 12/29/2008 12:39:11 AM , Rating: 2
They are plenty of big cars in NYC all around from what I can tell (I've haven't been there, but hey I still talk to people who has and seen pictures).

Having grown up in a family of 5 in Sweden, living in a small town and here plenty of people got boats, motor cross-bikes, trailers/caravans and in northern Sweden snowmobiles. I can safely say most people get by with 5 seat cars. My family has got by with 5 seat Sedans for most of the time, and a few hatchbacks, normal 4-5 door cars with engines less then 2.0l. We have still hauled home stuff like beds and sofas from Ikea on the roof and on trailer since many cars here have tow hooks even small ones. So we've been able to move even without renting a truck using cars like Renault 19. You can tow your horse with your 1.8 or 2.0L sedan too. People here do it all the time.

Suvs are around, not many compared to normal cars though (V70 and 9-5s sell like butter here). Trucks like the F150 are something that hardly exists here though, no professionals use them. They use light trucks like those from VW, Skôda and Citroen with truck beds (pickups) or vans like VW Caddy Van. You know normal commercial vehicles (trucks/cars) that has no V8s. 2.0 L tops.

For example the XC90 was basically an export commodity of Sweden and there aren't that many around on the roads here, S80 are more common around here. And cars like the Ford Explorer only got 5 seats any way. Basically people here doesn't see the need or use of them. Farmers got tractors not V8 family cars. People who do construction work on their homes got trailers to haul.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By captblue1 on 12/26/2008 5:23:06 PM , Rating: 3
I just checked out the prices for U-haul pickups. Not counting gas, it would cost me about $54 plus taxes. I take the jet-skis out just about every weekend during the summer(NJ). So $54 * 4 days a month = 216 plus gas. I think I am better off having a SUV. Also i couldn't tell if the U-haul has a hitch on it. And it doesn't look like it has 4 wheel drive. That is very nice to have on a wet ramp.

I have a Jeep Wrangler by the way. I NEED to go off roading too. Don't think U-Haul would like that.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Belard on 12/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just think about all the people...
By captblue1 on 12/27/2008 10:21:41 AM , Rating: 3
I wish i lived in your world. 20 - 50 to rent a ski for a couple hours??? Any lake, river, ocean rents them??? The closest place to me is twice the distance away. I believe it is about 100 for an hour. Plus i have utility trailer that i haul dirt bikes with. Are you going to tell me that the woods rents dirt bikes? Not everyone NEEDS an SUV or truck but some actually do.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Motoman on 12/27/2008 12:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
No point in arguing with these people. They're like grammar-capable clones of PLAYSTATION THREE.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Belard on 12/27/08, Rating: -1
By Motoman on 12/27/2008 8:09:33 PM , Rating: 3
Yup. And then you don't have to risk going outside where the sun might get on you.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By afkrotch on 12/27/2008 1:48:23 PM , Rating: 2
96 Impreza. Can haul crap and go off-roading. Course, I'm sure I do a different kind of off-roading. The kind that involves your car barreling down a dirt road at 60 mph and going sideways on turns. I find more pleasure doing that than driving 1 mph over bumps in the dirt.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/28/2008 3:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
And somehow, your little Impreza doesn't burn gas while you barrel down a dirt road at 60mph and going sideways on turns? If you are doing all that on private roads for pleasure, it's "unnecessary" waste of gas. If you do all that on public roads, you are most probably violating laws against speeding. When you crash, which is quite inevitable if driven like that on public roads, you will be wasting even more resources when the EMT have to show up in their gas guzzling emergency vehicles, and cut you out of the mangled car.

As for "haul crap," I can agree; I wouldn't put anything other than crap to be hauled by a car that has only 99inch wheel base . . . at least I wouldn't want to drive behind any trailer hauled by a car with such a short wheelbase. You, sir, are a menace to public safety.


By Shining Arcanine on 12/29/2008 12:55:38 AM , Rating: 1
You NEED to go off road? Okay, keep a record of when you do, where you do and what do you do when you go offroad and come back in a year. We will see if you really NEED to go off road or if any of the incidents in which you do could have been done in a sedan, which I have done in severe traffic conditions.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By farscape on 12/26/2008 7:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
It seems as if most people pushing the toy electric cars are single and/or without something called children. Have more than 2 and forget the idea of a Civic. Try having a 3 yr old and 2 6 mo. old twins, plus car seats, and all of the stuff that goes with them, as a friend of mine has. 3 car seats across the back of an Equinox is a no go.
I have a disabled son. I drive a Ford Sport Trac ( I don't need a full size). It gives us the room WE NEED. I hunt. Sorry but a deer and gear is a no-go in a Prius. I do home remodeling - I need to tote materials around. Yeah, the big stuff gets delivered, but my time too valuable to have to wait for the truck to show up.
How about families that need wheelchair vans - wait for the bus company to show up - you've never had to deal with it.
So should we discard our kids, or never have any. Give up our hobbies, don't do work on our homes, tell our neighbors - sorry we can't help take their kids to the football game because there's no extra room in the trunk - if you have one that is.
There will always be the need for a bigger vehicle. It would be really short-sighted to think otherwise. I deal with many families that have handicapped/disabled loved ones. To tell them that they/we need to give up our freedoms, and sit around and wait and wait and wait till the spare Prius shows up is absurd.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Belard on 12/27/2008 5:41:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I drive a Ford Sport Trac ( I don't need a full size). It gives us the room WE NEED. I hunt. Sorry but a deer and gear is a no-go in a Prius. I do home remodeling - I need to tote materials around. Yeah, the big stuff gets delivered, but my time too valuable to have to wait for the truck to show up.


The Sport Tack is a pretty good design (IMHO)- I used to own a Ford Exploder (which I did enjoy), as of today I do like my sports car better. Anyways, the Sport Track would have been a better choice for a friend of mine who bought a basic pick-up truck... yet he has two kids! I shook my head. But as I saw, if YOU really need space for kids - get a mini-van. They have a lot more space, better gas (not great, but in terms of space/weight/gas - they do). When you need to load up the kids, you can press a remote button and the rear doors can slide open... And yes, you can put a dear in the back (but could be messy on the inside) or rent a u-haul trailer for the weekend. By the wya, I'm not saying YOU should do this - just that its an option for anyone.

I have a son, and I can't wait to afford to buy a 2nd vec, and it will be a MINI-VAN. Easier to load him up or others as well as my bike(s) to go riding. Then for short hops and everything else - I'd use the sports car.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/28/2008 3:02:18 PM , Rating: 3
Why a Minivan? What's so sacred about minivan? Why not a station wagon? with a roof box when you need it?

Sportscar? Did I hear sportscar? Talk about something that is absolutely not necessary! A regular sedan would delivery every single transportation funciton of a sportscar, and consume less gas and tires while doing it. Speeding and driving for the fun of it (cruising) are against the law, in addition to being "unnecessary."

Of course, the point I'm making above is quite tongue in cheek. If you enjoy driving sportscar, that's your right to do so on your own dime. Why not extend the same courtesy to owners of other types of vehicles?


By Belard on 12/30/2008 10:12:07 AM , Rating: 2
Minivan, wagon, SUV... whatever works dude.

Howabout the car companies simply learn to build a better car?

quote:
Sportscar? Did I hear sportscar? Talk about something that is absolutely not necessary! Speeding and driving for the fun of it are against the law, in addition to being "unnecessary


Eh? My SUV was getting about 15mpg. My car does 25~30mpg in comparison. Its small and didn't cost me much. I guess I should have used a better word. Like "sporty" since it has a weak V6 engine compared to the likes of a Mustang or Corvette. Speeding? I think I've taken the care up to 100+MPH twice when I first got it 4 years ago. I drive about the speed limit (65mph)and driving very fast drinks a lot more gas. But overall, it does pretty good around 60MPH.

Driving for fun is against the law? Man you must live in a sucky part of the USA or something. So, driving to go to the movies, could be considered "fun" and is illegal? Driving through a national park is "fun" and also illegal (should tear up them roads the, eh?)

So, uh - you're saying that a lumbering 3~4TON SUV has no ability to speed? I think in the REAL world, you'll find more people driving SUVs to "cruise" and show off bling and never EVER leave pavement, muchless ever use their cargo area for anything else than to carry a Plasma TV or getting laid... which are things I can do in my sports car!

I already stated on this article... Someone who has boats, moves cargo, does work that hauls, lots of people in the home... actually use a truck as a truck... is not a problem. But most people DO NOT own boats. And if a person simply needs a people-mover with a large family - A mini-van does a better job, hands down. I think if the industy changed the name of "mini-van" to CUV, it would shake that 80's small-boxy van image. CUV=City Utility Vec.

When my car was in shop (The front end got run over by a caddy-SUV, sissy driver did a hit&Run, but had the cops caught him, it would have included DUI), the rental paid for a Dodge Mini-van. It was quite nice, better than my Explorer, handled better and easier to move to the back and around, load up the baby, etc. Face it, most SUVs are nothing more than raised-cars with big hoods.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By goku on 12/29/2008 3:24:55 AM , Rating: 1
That's bullshit, I grew up in a family with 3 other siblings and we were driven around in a sedan... (Seats 5) For a family road trip (which never happens) we'd take the SUV. It's not that SUVs have no use per se, it's just that a single individual commuting in an SUV to work is just being wasteful plain and simple. It's one thing to waste money, but to waste a finite resource and polluting excessively changes everything which is why you see so many people trying to tell others how to live their lives and what to drive.

If there was no consequence to driving a large, gas guzzling vehicle except pain in your pocket book, I don't think there would be complaining about them. The truth of the matter is, there is a lot to hate about oversized vehicles from posing a danger to others, to taking up two parking spaces and finally polluting far more than any car is what makes them basically a menace.

You don't hear too much complaining about individuals who eat out every night despite it costing lots of $$$ because there isn't really a whole negative consequence to doing so unless you're just a deadbeat who expects the government to bail them out because they're living beyond their means.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/29/2008 6:52:49 PM , Rating: 2
Food actually takes a lot of petroleum product to grow. The idea that oil is finite, while technically correct, is akin to saying that the sun's radiation energy is finite.

Most families do not have the luxury of having three dedicated vehicles for road trips and the two parents' commute separately. One of the parents has to drive that darn family vehicle on daily basis. I'm not entirely convinced that having separate cars dedicated to commute and family functions would have a smaller impact on the environment . . . because the making of cars are horrendously polluting.

As for menace to other drivers, I'd be more worried about the nutty sportscar drivers that are so fond of doing "60mph on dirt road" and "going through turns sideways." Besides, as long as 18-wheelers are all over the place on the road, small cars have something else to worry about besides SUV's . . . a little like motorcyclists have little justification for complaining too many 4-wheelers on the road when they insist on strapping themselves to 2-wheelers for whatever reason.


By Belard on 12/31/2008 2:53:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The idea that oil is finite, while technically correct, is akin to saying that the sun's radiation energy is finite.


Er... no. The sun will run out of fuel, eventually. Long after we have exhausted our oil reserves and mankind is long-gone and oil created again through natual causes.

If I remember correctly, around 2030~2040 - Oil output will be very low. We have long since past our crest in oil output. Technology is used to find the smallest and deepest reserves left.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Noya on 12/26/2008 10:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree with you, 90% of the people I know who have a truck or SUV never use its capabilities (unless helping someone get their new big screen home once a year counts). But hey, if people want to get 12mpg and crap resale value, more power to them.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By rudolphna on 12/27/2008 12:14:00 AM , Rating: 2
What about people with large families that need the space? I have to transport 5 people, a large dog, now 2 kittens, hundreds of miles away, often towing a jeep, or trailer of some sort. A mini van? No way. never, those things are ugly, and stupid. By the way, mr ignorant, most SUVs dont get terribly awful mileage on the highway. Granted, city driving usually isnt great, but highway is decent. In my 03 expedition I get 13/17MPG City/hwy. thats not bad. Besides, maybe some people dont like small cars. maybe you enjoy driving your mini cooper or honda civic, but some people like having some room, and be a little higher off the ground. Hell, after driving my truck for so many years, driving my fusion makes me feel like my butt should be dragging on the ground.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By SamuelW on 12/27/2008 5:03:22 PM , Rating: 1
Your insistence about 13/17mpg being "not bad" just shows you have a distorted view of what constitutes good gas mileage. There are hummers with better gas mileage and most minivans by not can at least come close to a combined 20 instead of the combined 15 you get.

Any decent economy car is getting at least 10 mpg more combined and more and more are getting twice as much or better. I'm sorry but being "a little higher off the ground" isn't a good reason to buy a particular kind of vehicle.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Finn Maccool on 12/27/2008 5:13:50 PM , Rating: 3
Tell you what. When you let me pick what kinds of clothes you can buy, I'll let you pick what kind of car I can buy. Deal, friend?


RE: Just think about all the people...
By SamuelW on 12/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/28/2008 3:17:19 PM , Rating: 3
a) did you see his choice of Explorer? Most economy cars are imported. How many miles have to be driven to make up for trade deficit difference that the initial car itself make? Keep in mind, the US only imports a little over half of its oil consumption

b) having a high gas consumption car actually makes the person contribute more to road maintenance. Haven't you heard that the politicians are upset that all the fuel mizers are reducing road maintenance fund? Apparently the fuel mizers are the ones paying less than their fair share of road maintenance in today's gas tax road maintenance scheme.

c) Read that fearless 96 Impreza dude above, barrelling down the dirt road at 60mph, going sideways in turns, and hauling trailer . . . now, that's risk to other motorists.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/28/2008 3:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
There are SUV's that can deliver 23-27mpg, such as RAV4. Not sure why everyone has to be stuffed into a economy car to make you happy. Why don't you go drive a 70mpg scooter or something?


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Rev1 on 12/27/2008 9:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
99% Huh? You obviously dont have more than 1 kid you need to cart around. You must live in a bubble because most people that buy suv's actually need them, because other than fuel efficiency a suv is more practical than a car if you live in a rural area and or have a decent sized family.


By RoberTx on 12/28/2008 4:18:48 PM , Rating: 2
I would bet dollars to donuts you have a lot of status symbols you don't need also. Get rid of them. All you need is a little food, a little bit of shelter, and that's about it. Quit being a hypocrite, get rid of all of your status symbols. Be a shining example for the rest of us. You don't need that giant screen TV. It'll just wind up poisoning someone anyway. Get rid of that computer. All you need is a stick and a bare patch of land to scratch out your figures. You don't need electricity, and that street light is a waste also. You don't need that stuff. It's all status stuff anyway. Don't you dare spend your money on something you would like to have. You are only allowed to spend it what you really need, nothing else. Biscuits and a bed is all you need. Get rid of everything else or wear the hypocrite badge.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By SiliconAddict on 12/27/2008 2:08:27 AM , Rating: 2
I swear to god. I love this country, but the people who inhabit really are clueless dipshits who really can't see 6 months to a year down the road. The reason the damn price is where it is, is because the country is in a complete recession. Guess what will happen in 2010...more bitching by the dumbshits who purchased these gas guzzlers when the price goes back to $3.50 - $4.00 a gallon, because you know what? China's apatite for cheap gas ain't going away.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Belard on 12/27/2008 5:33:04 AM , Rating: 2
No duh!

Wow, gas is $1.38 a gallon now in my area... and it feels pretty good on my budget, even with my sports car. $4.00 a gallon was killing me.

And people in the business KNOW that these sub $2.00 gallon gas prices IS NOT GOING TO LAST.

1 - Oil is not infinite. We will run out, period... and we need OIL for things OTHER than putting it into our cars... but its cars (this includes trucks) that drinks our supplies.

2 - Once we're working again in the USA... pricing for gas will be up $3-4 a gallon again. Expect around 2015 gas prices to hit around $6~7 a gallon!

3 - Buying these -10MPG trucks only helps to suck up world oil reserves... which means higher prices in the future will happen quicker.

4 - As an EX-OWNER of an SUV from a few years ago, I rarely need something like a truck... other than transporting my bike or some large boxes... but ya know what, I can still fit a 56" LCD/plasma TV box in the back of my car when I drop my seats... which is about the most I see in the back of pick-up trucks. PS: I owned both car & truck at the same time and quickly liked the car better. Far better handling and fun to drive. When truck got damaged in an accident, I got my money for it and put it to better use.

5 - It doesn't matter IF YOU do NOT believe in global warming... pollution is generated from cars... and during manufacturing. The H2 creates a lot more pollution than a Honda Civic, even before it drives its first mile. Pollution is NOT good, its NOT healthy for us and its NOT healthy for our children. Besides, there is SO MUCH indicators of pollution in this world with overall human health and effects to plants and animals.

6 - Explain why a 5'-10" guy needs to drive a 3-4ton 7MPG truck just to go anywhere? What are you? 500lbs? About 90% of my driving, is alone in a 3000lb sports car that can only hold kids in the back seat. I'm still able to transport 4PCs at a time if I have to, etc... most SUVs are just big - but not really much usable interior space.

*IF* you really need interior space, want to save on some gas, better handling. Get a mini-van. These drive great and EASILY have more room than ANY SUV. It can't pull a boat - then again many and MOST SUV owners can't/don't anyways.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/27/2008 4:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
> "Explain why a 5'-10" guy needs to drive a 3-4ton 7MPG truck just to go anywhere?"

Why does that guy need a 5-passenger auto to go anywhere? Why not a two-seater...or better yet, a small motorcycle? Let's face facts-- nearly all the cars you see on your morning commute are much larger than they "need" to be -- even your own.

> "The H2 creates a lot more pollution than a Honda Civic"

An H2 driven 5,000 miles (about my annual mileage when I had one) generates less pollution than a Civic driven 25,000 miles...and I know some people who drive twice that or more annually.

In fact, if the H2 is driven conservatively whereas the Civic driven hard, the difference could be much smaller. The small two-seater I replaced my H2 with is rated a combined MPG of 20. In my actual driving, I get around 15...not that much better than the 11 MPG my H2 averaged, due to the different manner in which I drove each vehicle.

> "PS: I owned both car & truck at the same time and quickly liked the car better."

I trust you can understand that tastes differ. Luckily, we still live in a nation where freedom exists to choose our own vehicles, rather than have it enforced upon us.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Belard on 12/27/2008 6:23:37 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Why not a two-seater...or better yet, a small motorcycle? ....


As stated... when I need to go into downtown, I can hop a train for $2. Get in and out faster than any car during day traffic. Honestly, I'd like to move into a new area that has about everything I need, within walking distance. Most of USA is designed to have places far away (and people are lazy)... I grew up in Chicago in which taking the train or bus was the mode of transportation.

But much of my work has me on call, where I need to be somewhere in 30mins, maybe at 2am... and I have filled my car to the brim ;)

quote:
An H2 driven 5,000 miles (about my annual mileage when I had one) generates less pollution than a Civic driven 25,000 mile


Ya know how dumb that sounds? Obviously you/someone needed to drive 25K miles. So what if you didn't have the civic? YOu'd have driven your hummer 30K miles? By your statement - even you had issues of driving you H2.

20MPG on your Civic? Something is wrong with your car. Mine has crappy mileage... yet I still get about 25MPG. My onboard computer is fairly accurate when it calculates my MPG and distance/miles left in the tank. Perhaps you should drive your Honda like a H2?

quote:
Luckily, we still live in a nation where freedom exists to choose our own vehicles

If you don't have "freedom" of expression or other rights which we've losts these past 8 years... driving a shiney car can be the least of your problems... or when gas prices hit $6~8 per gallon, then what? When our country (USA)was in WWII, the ability to buy cars and such was very limited... our industry was converted to the war effort. We lived on rations, people donated metal to help build bombers, tanks and bullets, etc.

I don't really care much if you or anyone else has to have a $80K H2 truck to feel like a man. It doesn't impress me. I used to do work for a multi-millionaire a few years ago ($50+ mil at least), he did own a Rolls for rare/special events. What did he drive? A normal mini-van. He didn't need to show the world he had money or to impress anyone.

The issue is NOT that there are trucks like SUV/Pickups... is that it looks silly to buy a fancy work-horse designed truck for looks - that is not going anywhere. Pickup beds that are never used. The "utility" is not used...

If I had the money... I'd like to own a Ferrari.
:)


By masher2 (blog) on 12/27/2008 9:24:48 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Ya know how dumb that sounds? Obviously you/someone needed to drive 25K miles. So what if you didn't have the civic?
You've missed the point. Nearly everyone with annual mileage of 25 or even 50 thousand miles doesn't need to drive that much. They choose to -- by buying a home far from work, and/or making large amounts of pleasure trips.

The notion that your choice of vehicle is the most important factor in fuel consumption is wrong. How far you drive is much more of a factor....and your driving style isn't far behind.

quote:
I don't really care much if you or anyone else has to have a $80K H2 truck to feel like a man...If I had the money, I'd like to own a Ferrari.
Do you really not see the ironic dichotomy between those two statements?

quote:
20MPG on your Civic? Something is wrong with your car
If you thought I said I had a Civic, or that I got 20mph while driving it, you misread my post.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/29/2008 7:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
Belard,

Stop contradicting yourself, please. You'd buy a Ferrari if you had the money? Why? What happened to that minivan-driving multi-millionair that you want everyone else to emulate?

For what it's worth, I can buy any car rolling off the production line today, including the Rolls, with cash . . . but Ferraris or any other sports cars do not appeal to me. I want something that is like a minivan in terms of safety (anonymity is part of safety) and cargo capacity, yet able to maintain mobility in snow storms (and the aftermath of town plows: snow bank blocking driveway). There is only one AWD minivan on the market today with decent reliability: Toyota Sienna AWD . . . It's a full foot longer than a typical mid-size SUV like Highlander or RAV4, harder to park and consumes more gas! The RAV4 actually consumes less gas than the wagon I have right now.


By Belard on 12/30/2008 10:19:29 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah... most people who have Ferrari's are multi-millionaires. Oh... and yeah, I'd still have the mini-van to use every-day or another car. But since I don't care to drive a stick anyways, driving a Ferrari could be difficult. A porche Boxer would be easier and comes in an Automatic while on the low-end for a Porche.

So you drive a wagon? RAV4 are cute little car-trucks. I'd consider them a bit more dangerous with such a short wheel-base, making them top-heavy issue a bit worse.

Since you have cash that is getting dusty and needs to be loved... could you buy me a Mini-van? Safety eh? Well, theres the Cross-overs (which you talked about I think), which in reality - if you think about it, are slightly raised stationwagons. :) A friend bought one, a Chrysler... it very nice inside & out. But they quit making it, and sell it as a Dodge for that MEAN look.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/28/2008 3:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
The most gas guzzling personal vehicles are not SUV's, but sportscars! Those damn lambos doing 10mpg or less.

Sportscars are actually a complete waste of gas as they deliver no addtional transportation function that a sedan costing less both in purchase and gas can already deliver.

Speeding and driving for the fun of it (cruising) are both illegal.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/28/2008 3:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
Why do you keep insisting on me getting a Minivan when an SUV built on a shortened version of the same platform can deliver better gas mileage and is easier to park? e.g. Sienna vs. Highlander vs. RX350 vs. RAV4: 22 vs. 23 vs. 24 vs. 26


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Belard on 12/27/2008 6:30:18 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
ut, like a very large number of Americans, I *need* a truck


Uh... no. Very Very few Americans (I am in Texas) actually *NEED* a truck. They are usually a stupid status symbol, nothing more. Gotta get my bling-crap, etc. I used to own a ford Exploder, and it was handy and useful. But for most of the time, I do just fine with my sports-car... and if I need to haul something I can ask a friend to borrow his truck - just as some of mine had asked me to bring mine when I had it.

I can cramp 5 adults into my car (not fun), but that has happened... twice in 4 years since I bought my car. Most cars and trucks have only 1 person in the car.

Look at other countries, Japan, Europe... they have SMALL cars, they get around... or they take a train. *I* take a light-rail train when I can since it saves me (1) Gas (2) Parking fees (3) Driving in rush hour traffice which (4) saves me time and (5) more time to do other things.

When I needed to move, I rented a UHaul truck for $60~90 for the day - which blows away ANY SUV.

quote:
it would really be nice if the rest of the world would stop pretending like it makes perfect sense for everyone to get rid of their large vehicles and drive electric boxes with wheels.


Its not just the rest of the world... stop pretending that theres a real need for most people to drive 3-4ton trucks to move a 300lbs person. Who cares if the car is electric or even air? Its gets you to POINT A to POINT B. I'd bet you a million dollars that your Dodge 3500 truck would lose to an eletric rail/commuter train every time... you'd scrape the paint off its coupler and bumpers.

quote:
Soccer moms etc. need the bigger SUVs and such...especially if you're a hockey mom driving in crappy weather


If someone needs more space, a Mini-van or station wagon can usually hold as much as a SUV, if not more. Guess what, if my son was a foot-ball player (He's only 4), he and his sports bag with equipment would still EASILY fit in my 2-door sports car. Most soccer moms are transporting 1 maybe 2 kids... if they need more space, mini-van... there is FAR more "utility" in a mini-van than a SUV.

Let's look at som SUV's... Lexus, Lincoln, Honda & Acura, Caddilac, BMW, Mercedes, Porche, Jeep and of course Hummers - they are "luxury" big station wagons called "SUVs" because it sounds cooler. People drive these things that NEVER EVER drive off-road. I've seen these WIMPS in such trucks drive SO-SO slowly over speed bumps (Might break something) - that I have to drive around them in my low-to-the ground sports car... so I'm not wasting my life behind a wimp for the next 2-5 speed-bumps up front... never mind many of them can't park the big things. Bad enough many people can't drive a small car... much less a big one.

Motoman.... YOU need such a truck. YOU have things to pull, people to carry, horses to transport. You actually USE your truck for what it is designed for... as a TRUCK. That is fine, understandable and respectable. I used to need my SUV, for a while. My car does what I need... and like today, it allowed me to carry 3 passengers while we went shopping. An SUV wouldn't have made my life any easier.

Pick-up trucks (and SUV- or covered-pick up trucks) were designed for WORK. Pulling trailers, carrying heavy things (tools, hardware, supplies, workers). Look at this Caddy: http://www.cadillac.com/cadillacjsp/model/landing.... That is a $60~70 toy that is about boosting your image, putting on 20" rims and getting laid by some drugged out club-girl. I still get dates with my used $5000 car... ;) Do you think that ANYONE who actually buys this truck is going to have a horse trailer or motorcycle trailer being attached to it? I don't think so.

Remember back in the OLD days...? The Pickup truck was also cheaper to buy than a car, usually. Afterall, trucks like the F150 didn't change much. You have the rail-frame, same engine, a cab and a basic bed. Simple design... you could work on it. Today, the F150 is mostly luxury truck. MSRP at $20~40K depending on the bling... A Ford Focus is $16,000.. a Fusion is $20K... both will transport 1-4 adults just as easily.

We need to reduce our need for oil, especially from the middle-east. Driving a 4-ton truck to buy a case of beer and look "cool" - isn't cool... especially if it take 1-2 gallons of gas to do it.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By TheSpaniard on 12/27/2008 9:14:40 AM , Rating: 2
too true.

in Florida I saw trucks and SUVs lowered to the ground to make them as high as cars! those honestly need to be removed.

however welcome to Iowa where they only scrape the snow off of the major streets and leave a lovely 2-3ft snow bank blocking the side streets. having to get out and clear a path in -2F and you will realize that a truck is a much better idea for the situation. Well at least for me it is: yippie on new H3s being near 10k off of MSRP


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Belard on 12/30/2008 10:23:33 AM , Rating: 2
When I was refering to guys in SUVs & PU-Trucks going slow over the speed bumps... the trucks were in stock condition. NOT lowered to the ground. My current card is quite low to the ground... About 8" of clearence... Scrapping that engine/tranny on the bottom makes me cringe... But its a rare thing.

Hey... there are places for trucks. If I live in an area that would simply kill a car... I'd get a truck, easily.


By TheSpaniard on 12/31/2008 8:18:32 AM , Rating: 2
8 inches is pretty high compared to most cars that really top out at 6 inches(XC70)

the vehicle I traded in was 4 inches and came with an approach angle warning for ramps


By William Gaatjes on 12/27/2008 9:38:22 AM , Rating: 2
Excellent explanation, i totally agree with you.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By FITCamaro on 12/27/2008 10:59:17 AM , Rating: 1
People in Europe and Japan typically don't have the large families that people in the US do either.

Yes you might only see an SUV with 1-2 people in it when you're driving around. But on the weekend that person might have 5-6 people in it. Cramming 3 kids into the back seat of a Camry is a good recipe for road rage as the parents get pissed off at the kids fighting with each other. A smaller SUV (yes they're car based) is fine for these families. It lets the kids spread out a little more and can haul more crap. Plus minivans get the same mileage as smaller SUVs. And I love it how you make the generalization that all American's weigh 300 pounds.

I drive a 2 door sports car too. But I don't have a family. If I did, I'd get a Vue or something similar for the wife. And keep my sports car. But I also don't plan to have a big family. Hopefully just 2. Nor do I plan to need to tow a bunch of stuff.

And if we put our research money into where it should be on things like algae, we can all drive fun to drive diesels forever. Without spending billions to completely change our infrastructure. Or billions on batteries that wear out, are toxic, and don't have the range (and likely never will) that a fuel does. It is doubtful we will ever have a battery that is environmentally friendly, can go 300 miles on a charge, and can be recharged to 90%+ capacity in under 10 minutes. At least and be in a vehicle useful to anyone except a tiny, single person vehicle that spells death should they get in a crash.


By afkrotch on 12/27/2008 1:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes you might only see an SUV with 1-2 people in it when you're driving around. But on the weekend that person might have 5-6 people in it. Cramming 3 kids into the back seat of a Camry is a good recipe for road rage as the parents get pissed off at the kids fighting with each other. A smaller SUV (yes they're car based) is fine for these families.


How the hell is a smaller SUV any different than a Camry? They're the same size on the inside. Look at something like the Dodge Durango. Damn thing has about as much seating room inside as my old Impreza Coupe.

Rather go with a minivan. Easy to drive, relatively safe, and easy on the pocketbook when it comes to insurance.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Belard on 12/27/2008 6:45:53 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
People in Europe and Japan typically don't have the large families that people in the US do either.


1-2 kids is about the avg... lets see, most cars hold... 4 people at least.

quote:
ramming 3 kids into the back seat of a Camry is a good recipe for road rage


Cramming 3 kids into anything can be a problem... and you don't need to have kids in your car/truck to create road-rage. Quite a few jerks (being nice with my words) in large trucks like to push people around. They have an ego problem, most likely a small penis (like 2" I'd guess).

Besides... the H3 is tiny on the inside... the H2 doesn't have that much more room. A mini-van has more open space than ANY HUMMER.

quote:
I love it how you make the generalization that all American's weigh 300 pounds.


Well, a lot of *us* Americans are fat. I'm 20lbs overweight (10lbs because of Holidays... heheh) - so my use of that is "is it because you're so heavy ya need a big truck to haul your fat ass?" A 300+lb friend of mine used to own a dodge PU... then he went to a Ford Focus (still not sure how he fit inside).

PS: quote me where I said "all Americans are 300lbs".

Yes, we need something better... its been 25+ years without any major changes to our engine tech. Goodyear's design to have motors in the wheels can be an improvement. But cars are designed to cost money to operate. They are overly complex, designed to fail. To make money in repairs for the automaker... that is the problem. Besides, it should be the OIL companies that bail them out since they help push gas into our car industry. If the batteries last a log longer that the thousands and thousands of gallons of gas we use up - then it can be better.

If everyone had plug-in electric cars, the problem of pollution is then moved into coal plants... doh.

If we want to help the enviroment (which we live in), the car needs to be self-contained as possible. Every home should have solar power (not saying we are 100% Solar powered), to recharge the car and power the home as needed. Solar tech is exploding. With Solar, Wind, Oceans, rivers powering up our homes/cars - then we are able to reduce our pollution.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By FITCamaro on 12/27/2008 10:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
Where did I say buy an H2 or H3?


By Belard on 12/30/2008 10:27:19 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't say you did. I was making a point in general... I've been inside H2s (even stretched ones) and H3s... I don't feel the "magic" and the H3 feels like I'm in a tiny car raised in the air.

Or how about the older Chevy/GMC (or was it the Excursion) that had its spare tire... in the CARGO area inside the truck itself! Funny, as big as the truck was, it wasn't big enough to hold its spare outside under the truck or in the floor-board! Bwahahaha


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/28/2008 3:33:36 PM , Rating: 2
Belard,

Methinks you are projecting. No American actually "NEED" a sportscar . . . to paraphrase yourself, "they are usually a stupid status symbol, nothing more," and probably a lot less compared to sedans built on comparable platforms.

I have an SUV, a Highlander. Our other car in the family is a wagon, so status is the least of our concerns. We bought the SUV because the wagon got stuck in snow too many times due to lack of ground clearance.

When Station Wagons were first introduced as the family hauler back in the 1920's and 1930's, they were at the height of today's SUV's. Modern low riding cars were the creation of GM back in the 50's, when "lower, wider and longer" was the mantra, resulting in "sporty" but totally impractical cars. With today's congested highways rendering "sporty" driving at illegally high speed impractical, I see the emergence of fuel efficient unibody SUV's as a sensible return to practical transportation.


By Belard on 12/30/2008 10:36:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No American actually "NEED" a sportscar


Hmmm... Nobody actually needs a SUV either... we have survied before without them. Or we bought JEEPS or Landrovers. :) Or who really needs 24" Rims with 2" tires glued to them? Not exactly off-roadable.

I'm in Texas... we don't get much snow down here. And in the city, over 90% of SUV drivers never go off-road. Hell, I've done a few things in my Explorer that I can't imagine some wimp doing in his H2.... driving over curbs to cross different parking lots. A hard joit and those hummer-wheels fall off.

Where you live, it helps to have SUV. I have family that live up north in Snow country. Some have SUV, but most have cars... when the snow hits, the city snow-plows do their job... and little cars like the Ford Escort are still able to get people to work and school. out in the country, that would be a different matter, and if snow is even higher - there comes a point that even a Snow plow can't move...


By FITCamaro on 12/27/2008 10:44:46 AM , Rating: 1
Yes but environmentalists want to demonize people like you. They don't want you racing or your wife raising horses (<liberal> they should run free </liberal> ).

I'm the first to say a soccer mom doesn't need a Tahoe. But I can see needing a smaller SUV. And yes people in the north are more likely to want an SUV due to snow. While I love Subarus, I don't care how good they are in the snow, they can't make it through 3-4 feet of snow on the road like an SUV can.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By afkrotch on 12/27/2008 1:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I *need* a truck (pending wholesale lifestyle change). I race motorcycles...need to pull a big trailer and carry along a few buddies. That means a big pickup truck. My wife breeds, trains, and shows horses - which means we need to pull a big horse trailer, and be able to run and get large amounts of hay and feed in the truck too. We can't be without a truck - and a great many Americans are in the same boat (er, truck).


Small SUV. You have trailers. Tow everything you need if the inside becomes too cramped.

quote:
Soccer moms etc. need the bigger SUVs and such...especially if you're a hockey mom driving in crappy weather where you need 4 wheel drive.


AWD station wagon.

quote:
So while I understand how my urban apartment-dwelling friends who have no need for anything other than a Cooper Mini can get by just fine without a large vehicle, it would really be nice if the rest of the world would stop pretending like it makes perfect sense for everyone to get rid of their large vehicles and drive electric boxes with wheels.


Ever been to Europe? Asia? They haul horse trailers, boats, yachts, and the like with nothing more than a sedan, station wagon, or van. You rarely see a truck. You do see the rich ppl and their Benz/BMW/Porsche SUV. The non-rich think a bit more economical than us, given that they've always had high gas prices.

I understand that a large truck is helpful, but I'd hardly say you actually "need" it. Sedans, wagons, and vans can easily tow large amounts of weight. Even a smaller 4 cyclinder truck would work.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/27/2008 4:18:57 PM , Rating: 2
> "Tow everything you need if the inside becomes too cramped...Sedans, wagons, and vans can easily tow large amounts of weight. "

Your average car or minivan has a towing capacity of between 1,500 to 3,500 pounds. A large truck/SUV generally starts around 4,500 pounds and can go above 15,000 pounds on some models and packages.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Belard on 12/27/2008 6:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
But how many H2, Caddy-SUV owners DO YOU SEE ever PULLING anything or have any cargo besides a plasma TV? And most stores will deliver your TV to you for $25 or so.... so lets see... A few extra hundred dollars a month in gas vs a rare delivery charge...

If someone has a boat that needs to be transported, that is not the issue. Yes, they are about 4~10k lbs. on average.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/27/2008 9:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
> "how many H2, Caddy-SUV owners DO YOU SEE ever PULLING anything "

I see plenty of Durango/Expedition/Tahoe class SUVs towing loads far too heavy for your average car.

The Hummer/Escalade set is somewhat of a different market segment. While those get far less towing duty, I often see them on Friday and Saturday nights downtown, loaded up with 4-8 young adults. On Saturday afternoon soccer and baseball games, they also do fair duty carring loads of kids and sports gear.

Still, this is all besides the point. When you can justify to me why you need a private bedroom and bathroom, then you can tell other people they don't need a large vehicle.

> "And most stores will deliver [for] $25 or so..."

Actually, having sold my Hummer, I can tell you that Best Buy charges $70, not $25. Between there, Home Depot, and a few other places, I'm spending about $400/year on delivery charges.

But that's not nearly as bad as the loss of time. Each delivery requires me to be present at home for at least a 4-hour window...a loss of time that costs me ten times as much as the delivery fee. That's if they actually show up on time, and don't wind up rescheduling.

In fact, the annoyance factor is so high that next year I plan to buy a truck or SUV just to use for deliveries, and regardless of what the extra insurance and gas may cost.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By Spuke on 12/29/2008 1:41:00 PM , Rating: 2
Masher, I'm glad you've (and FITCamaro) decided to post in this thread. I saw it and, quite frankly, I'm tired of the "debates" so you'll notice no posts from me (other than this one). It's just such a waste of time and energy for me. Good luck to you.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/28/2008 3:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
But what's the frequency of your car having any passenger besides the driver yourself? less than 5% of the total miles driven?

What's the frequency of you taking your sportscar to the race track? less than 0.5% of the total miles driven?


By TheInternal on 12/27/2008 11:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm from Texas, where tons of folks own pickup trucks that they use as cars. Hell, I think some folks get one just to come up with excuses for things to put in the back.
For people who haul or tow multiple times a week, it makes a lot of sense to get a truck.
For the majority of people I knew who owned trucks, it was silly more than anything.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By psychobriggsy on 12/28/2008 7:44:57 AM , Rating: 2
Higher fuel taxes might pay for the roads to be repaired so that you don't need an SUV/truck to drive two kids 3 miles to and from school, on roads. There's a real reason why SUV driving "soccer moms" are spoken about with derision. They just make the roads less safe for everyone.

Unless you get really bad winter weather, or actually do off-road work regularly (or carry heavy loads regularly), you don't need an SUV or truck. For occasional use, it is cheaper to rent for those days, and get something totally suited for your needs.


RE: Just think about all the people...
By N1 on 12/28/2008 3:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have a Hertz rental desk in your living room when your car is buried or when the town plow buries the entrance to your driveway?

Does your local Hertz lot suddenly have 10's of thousands of AWD SUV's on those special days of snow storms?


By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/2008 5:45:37 AM , Rating: 1
I think you kids who have appointed yourselves the Daily Tech Car Czars need to drown yourselves, to be perfectly honest. Blaming truck and SUV owners for everything, even the economy, is insanity. The audacity of you to dictate and judge the lifestyles and choices of complete strangers is really just over the line. Were you really raised THAT poorly by your parents ?

So eager to point the fingers first. Instead of bashing truck and SUV owners and telling them what to do, tell me, what exactly have YOU done to make a difference ? As usual this is nothing more than hypocrites who are enjoying the same high standard of living as someone else, but have latched onto some transparent justification for demoizing the other guy.

Besides the glaring faults in the logic and reasoning of your arguments, you are basically just being obnoxious dicks. I have no doubt that if you were put on TV in some form of a commercial, SUV sales would quadruple from all the people just wanting to spite you by spitting in your faces. Hell an SUV has never personally appealed to me, but just reading your crippled attempts at an argument has me wishing I had one so I could rub it in your face by using it to drive 10 miles down the road just to buy a pack of gum. Because I CAN, you retards.

You bring up Europe and Asia a lot I notice. Since its blatantly obvious you don't have a clue about this country, or else you wouldn't be saying half the shit you are, I invite you to go live there. You would no doubt be more happy. And so would the rest of us.

The power of group thinking is alive and well on the Internet unfortunately. It's easy to spout off a bunch of popular sounding emotionally based bullcrap and getting others to go along with it. But maybe if enough people stand up to beat you in the head with logic, reason, and common sense you will snap out of it.

And to Motoman, why are you defending your lifestyle and choices to a bunch of idiot kids on the Internet ? The more you defend yourself and try to prove them wrong, the more you reinforce their false premise. You aren't some criminal on trial thats pleading his case. No matter how much these morons have appointed themselves judge, jury, and executioner.


By radzer0 on 12/30/2008 5:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
OR we can do like the people in england. Buy a little 80hp car. And drag around a 30foot camper untill we crash and blame it on topgear austrailia.


By Chernobyl68 on 1/2/2009 5:34:34 PM , Rating: 2
Oh for crying out loud. "Soccer Moms" don't NEED an 4WD SUV to drive in crappy weather. they need need to drive slower and more carefully. if the weather is that bad, odds are practice is cancelled :)


By jconan on 1/3/2009 6:57:23 AM , Rating: 2
One of the reasons why the gas prices when south was because of drop in demand for fuel spurred by bad economy from loans, rising gas prices, and mortgages like a domino effect. I don't think we have quite learned our lesson yet. Slowly but surely the gas prices are going to come back around or maybe the democrats will think of adding the fuel tax to pay for the financial bailout. Either way the drop in gas price is only temporary so enjoy it while it lasts.


Not Bad News, But Good News
By TomZ on 12/26/08, Rating: 0
RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By William Gaatjes on 12/26/2008 3:41:52 PM , Rating: 5
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you : The king of short term solutions !

Long term solution is going electric. New infrastructure, new cars, New technologies for an improved electric grid. New technologies for electric cars. New roads that allow computerised driving, the use of more energy efficiënt lightning if that is not already in use.
That is what creates jobs. Changes creates jobs for the simple reason you cannot produce the same thing over and over again because the market will eventually get satisfied.
Not so long ago changes where fueled by war. I guess you do not want a war, nobody does... The economic crisis is erfect
to make this change.


By William Gaatjes on 12/26/2008 3:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
Perfect. I mean perfect.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By BladeVenom on 12/26/2008 5:36:11 PM , Rating: 3
I'd love to go electric if we were making nuclear plants for cheap electricity. But too many politicians like Obama and Gore want big expensive windmills.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By Ringold on 12/26/2008 9:39:11 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe I missed it, but so nobody has yet responded to one of these ideologically based posts with much sense yet.

Did anybody ever consider that the average Joe does expect gas prices to return to higher levels sooner or later but despite that sees firesale prices on trucks and SUV's that they like more than smaller cars and that the net present value of higher expected fuel prices outweighs the current large savings on such vehicles? I've considered buying a used truck for months; the thousands of dollars saved outweighs a hell of a lot of the extra fuel that would be consumed spread out over the many years I'd own it, again using net present value, which everybody calculates subconsciously when weighing large purchases but I being a nerd actually do with a calculator..

But of course nobody so far has considered that, because liberals only see what they want to see: American's are stupid, SUV's are stupid, and anybody that would buy a truck who doesn't haul a dozen horses between ranches 7 days a week is stupid. Therefore, even though the trucks are cheap right now, the buyers are stupid because, damnit, Al Gore said so.

As for short term vs. long term solutions, obviously new technology is key for the long term. Thank you, King of the Obvious. Unfortunately, the public buy vehicles on a continuous basis. Looking at current sales has no real place in a discussion about long term solutions. As for short term solutions, what is the bailout of the Big Three but a short term solution? Cash is fungible, it doesn't matter much to these companies if the cash comes from SUVs or Uncle Sam. And as far this crisis being a good time to make changes, yes. Good companies will indeed be laying the groundwork for the future right now; I recall Cessna forged ahead during the last recession with plans for glass cockpits, now a hugely popular option to those who can afford it, even though their sales were plunging at the time. The relevant point there though, bringing it back to the SUV example, is that Cessna had to continue to sell conventional cockpit panels in its planes while waiting for the glass technology to be ready. If all their customers simply waited for the "next big thing" or Cessna's "long term solution," Cessna would've died on the vine in the mean time.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By William Gaatjes on 12/27/2008 9:28:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Did anybody ever consider that the average Joe does expect gas prices to return to higher levels sooner or later but despite that sees firesale prices on trucks and SUV's that they like more than smaller cars and that the net present value of higher expected fuel prices outweighs the current large savings on such vehicles? I've considered buying a used truck for months; the thousands of dollars saved outweighs a hell of a lot of the extra fuel that would be consumed spread out over the many years I'd own it, again using net present value, which everybody calculates subconsciously when weighing large purchases but I being a nerd actually do with a calculator..


People buy new cars for a reason. Practial people buy what they need. People who want to have a nicer car then the neighbours for sure do not buy a used car.

quote:
But of course nobody so far has considered that, because liberals only see what they want to see: American's are stupid, SUV's are stupid, and anybody that would buy a truck who doesn't haul a dozen horses between ranches 7 days a week is stupid. Therefore, even though the trucks are cheap right now, the buyers are stupid because, damnit, Al Gore said so.


Your pavlov programmed hate for this man is not really and advantage.

quote:
As for short term vs. long term solutions, obviously new technology is key for the long term. Thank you, King of the Obvious. Unfortunately, the public buy vehicles on a continuous basis. Looking at current sales has no real place in a discussion about long term solutions. As for short term solutions, what is the bailout of the Big Three but a short term solution?


I would not mind being called king of the obvious if your statement was true. We both know, that the price is more important then the long term solution. And that is why most new technologies do not appear or do not appear because of patents rights. Simple example EV-1 to come back to the big three. Another example is a by the oil industry heavily patented technique for ICE to be 20 % more fuel economic.
Another example is stevia. A plant from brazil 300 times more sweeter then sugar. In europe it is not used because of the already existing sugar industry lobbying efforts to make sure it's not used although it's health effects are more pronounced when compared to ordinary sugar. Stevia can be used as a natural sweetener. But now the aspartaam industry is also making sure that stevia does not get it's place. I read about this plant more then 10 years ago in a technological magazine called EOS. Although it is a plant and not a technological finding it still represents that greed is more important then long term solutions. I think of health diseases caused because sugar is added to everything. These diseases cost health ensurrance companies and companies where people with these diseases have to work a lot of money. To put it simply, war makes money too, but it sure is like selling your soul to the devil... And i am an atheist in the original sense of the word.

And if i would have to decide over the bailout, i demand government control and a policy for fuel economic cars for the next 50 years. The problem is not the size of the car but what it consumes. Most people do not need a truck to carry a large heavy load but do need space. I see a market for big light cars that do not need large amount of fuel. 3 kids and 2 persons does not equal a load of 2000 kg.
For all of you who start thinking batteries way much too, i know that batteries way a lot for electronic cars but every day a new breakthrough in battery technology is found. If only all these intelligent minds could be brought together in a similair fashion as the manhattan project, then we would have our electricity storage build of batteries and supercapacitors in no time.
There is more energy in carbohydrogen chains at the moment, no doubt about that. But the ICE is loosing most of that energy through heat. It is a balance shifting everyday a little more in favour of electric cars. And when we have those for a hunderd years, a new technological breakthrough wil happen. It is human nature to improve life. Accept it.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By Ringold on 12/27/2008 8:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People buy new cars for a reason. Practial people buy what they need.


People buy what they want, subject to a number of factors. To paraphrase Jesus, let he who is without a car and rides city buses from the suburbs cast the first stone! Do we need radios? CD players? Do we need power windows? Do we need power seats, or leather seats, all common and popular options in the US? Of course not. All we "need," at most, is 4 wheels attached to 4 seats. Many people don't even "need" that.

quote:
Simple example EV-1 to come back to the big three. Another example is a by the oil industry heavily patented technique for ICE to be 20 % more fuel economic.


That you bother to bring up the EV-1 FUD/lies/propaganda greatly diminishes my desire to seriously debate you, because those aren't serious topics anyone outside of paranoid left-wing groups even talk about.

And then you bring up "greed," and go on and on without making any legitimate economic arguments, citing any fundamental economic theories, etc... That all might get your left-wing buddies to nod their head in unthinking agreement, but it's not even worth responding to here. There's no argument even being made, just projection of emotion, fear, paranoia and ignorance of how business works and ideas can propagate. Just for example, the whole patent protection is bunk. Ask any pharma company how well their patents hold up in the real world of Africa and parts of Asia, for example. If locals can figure out how to make something, and they're poor, then they make it anyway, the government often supports them, and the rich world often doesn't get too upset because they are poor. I don't hear of any electric cars or a hyper-efficient cars rolling around in Kenya.

quote:
And if i would have to decide over the bailout, i demand government control and a policy for fuel economic cars for the next 50 years.


Ah. At least ideological honesty. I too would prefer if the Democrats were just honest and cut to the chase instead of these half-hearted solutions. Either let them fail, or force them together and nationalize them, renaming them the Obama-Pelosi-UAW Motor Company of the United States. :P


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By William Gaatjes on 12/28/2008 5:50:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
People buy what they want, subject to a number of factors. To paraphrase Jesus, let he who is without a car and rides city buses from the suburbs cast the first stone! Do we need radios? CD players? Do we need power windows? Do we need power seats, or leather seats, all common and popular options in the US? Of course not. All we "need," at most, is 4 wheels attached to 4 seats. Many people don't even "need" that.


That is your simplistic point of view. My point of view is there is nothing wrong with luxury, But i do feel there is something wrong with keep using inefficiënt automobiles while we have better solutions. If tomorrow, news is cited that an ICE is being developed that converts all the fuel in to torgue instead of heat and that it outputs only breathable oxygen and some solid carbon bricks you have to unload at home for example. Then for me that is efficiënt enough to say that the balance towards electric cars has shifted into the favour of ICE automobiles. In short it has to do with being practical and thinking long term. Also a wider view of the matter comes in handy. I do not look only at these matters from my own point of view that is the difference between you and me i guess. And using the name jesus has no effect on me. I study history as a hobby because there is much to learn about humanity. And not knowing or denying the important aspect of religion (is giving people hope)is just being foolish. A lot of people around the world have faith in Obama for example, that is because they feel he gives them their hope back. And i hope he does not break under that burden. because if anything goes wrong he is the scape goat. GW was a scapegoat too, but in a different manner than you, me or the "lefty's" will probably ever will find out.

quote:
That you bother to bring up the EV-1 FUD/lies/propaganda greatly diminishes my desire to seriously debate you, because those aren't serious topics anyone outside of paranoid left-wing groups even talk about.


It was new technology. Period.

quote:
And then you bring up "greed," and go on and on without making any legitimate economic arguments, citing any fundamental economic theories, etc... That all might get your left-wing buddies to nod their head in unthinking agreement, but it's not even worth responding to here. There's no argument even being made, just projection of emotion, fear, paranoia and ignorance of how business works and ideas can propagate.


When i examine your words i do find that you are the one emotionally charged. Your Pavlov programmed hate against anybody with a different view then your own is obvious.
You feel there is something wrong and you need someone to blame instead of being constructive. In your case left wing people. I am not a left or right person. I do not fit in with any of those because i do not blindly agree with everything both parties have to say. Kind of scary, not belonging to a group would you not think... I myself have much peace with it. Being constructive is to come with solutions even though some may be far fetched as some of my own solutions. I am just hoping that some researcher might read this and think of a solution for his or hers own research.
You claim i have no arguments but i do give enough examples for you to google or at least to think. For example i for myself do not always agree with Mr Asher (and not only him) but after reading his posts and doing some background research i do acknowledge that he is sometimes right and i am dead wrong. But that is logical, nobody can be right all the time.

quote:
Just for example, the whole patent protection is bunk. Ask any pharma company how well their patents hold up in the real world of Africa and parts of Asia, for example.

Altough some countries in the continent of Africa are finally developing they are in no way coming close to our technological advancements. And to make things clear, give them some blueprints for the most common medicines( they are already getting them free) that way they can start to build a sef supporting sociëty. Most people in africa sure want to live in peace and in health. It has been ignorance (and greed) equal as your own ignorance that caused the problems over there. When it comes to asia, they have being copying for as i know the last 25 years at least. And not every copy was a good copy. When china for example really prospered, it was that western specialists went there to educate. Now we have a lot of bright young Chinese students here that will return with there knowledge to start a company of their own. Not all Chinese students, some of them...

quote:
If locals can figure out how to make something, and they're poor, then they make it anyway, the government often supports them, and the rich world often doesn't get too upset because they are poor. I don't hear of any electric cars or a hyper-efficient cars rolling around in Kenya.


Here in the western world we do not build devices because we find them to expensive to build or because the research aka knowledge is to expensive. And you are saying poor countries that do not have the money or the knowledge can build them. I find you amusing.

And i see your Pavlov programmed hate once more :
Democrats(left) > Obama(democrat president) > Kenya (Father of Obama). I had to look this up to confirm it but it seems you did your homework already :).

quote:
Ah. At least ideological honesty. I too would prefer if the Democrats were just honest and cut to the chase instead of these half-hearted solutions. Either let them fail, or force them together and nationalize them, renaming them the Obama-Pelosi-UAW Motor Company of the United States. :P


I use simple logic, if you want to borrow money from me i want to have an insurrance that i see some results otherwise you are not getting any. The big three are not going to make that much money soon and in such a long time they will have the time to become profitable , pay the loans they obviously have back and pay the tax payers money back. That is my main concern, because that money sure can be used for other issues as well. I do not want history repeated. The executives and managers are not that much different from really working people who cheer that the gass prices are down and are already looking to buy a gas guzzler again. But this is all in my very imaginative mind :).



RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By Ringold on 12/29/2008 7:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And i see your Pavlov programmed hate once more : Democrats(left) > Obama(democrat president) > Kenya (Father of Obama).


FFS, I can't win for losing. You're looking too deep here to suit your own preconceived notion. I chose Kenya because it's economy is somewhat more advanced that many others in Africa and could probably support auto manufacturing. I considered South Africa, but they are too advanced in that they might give in to protecting IP. I also considered Egypt, but I tend not to consider them African, as they're more involved in the Middle East. Morocco might've worked, but for whatever reason, I never think of Morocco. Some other countries I ruled out merely due to proximity to Zimbabwe, an unfolding disaster that could destabilize the region. As far as larger countries go, that left Kenya.

If you absolutely refuse to see any African example because Africa=Black=Obama, then here. China would build such vehicles or technology and not give a damn about IP either, if it were truly valuable.

But I'm not responding to any other points. It goes back to you making broad, some times philosophical arguments, and my desire to stick to hard economic theory and facts. You're arguing as though you've got a degree in political science or philosophy, I'm arguing from the perspective of economics. For example, you stick to your propaganda with the EV-1, but fail to offer accepted economic argument as to why GM would shoot itself in the foot with crushing it or why another country would not steal and develop a clone to capture the profit given up by GM and others. (You can't, because no such economic rationale exists.) It's not pavolavian programmed "hate" on my part, it's adherence to reality, fact, established theory, etc, not these paranoid examples you cite. I'm surprised you didn't blame the Illuminati or Free Masons. We're not going to come together.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By TomZ on 12/26/2008 9:42:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Long term solution is going electric. New infrastructure, new cars, New technologies for an improved electric grid. New technologies for electric cars.

Electric cars are not going to happen. They are nowhere near practical on a large scale. You people are all living in some kind of dream world.

The kind of dream world where "Arnold" drives his hydrogen-powered Hummer around, but where nobody (including him) can answer the question as to how to make the infrastructure happen.

Who in this thread can make a solid business case for making one of these "dream" core infrastructure changes? That is, without pissing away a trillion dollars of taxpayer money?

Look folks, if consumers wanted to pay for it, businesses would provide it, right away. But the reality is that people are not willing to pay for the kinds of changes you simpletons dream about.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By William Gaatjes on 12/27/2008 7:32:17 AM , Rating: 2
And that negative additude will get you nowhere.

That is the problem nowadays. I do not have the opinion that we should not have luxury or any toys like boats, motorcycles etcetera. But i do feel we need to progress.
The one thing people used to think what make Amerika a great place was that through hard work you could become someone that can make a change. That is as it seems all in the past.

quote:
Who in this thread can make a solid business case for making one of these "dream" core infrastructure changes? That is, without pissing away a trillion dollars of taxpayer money?


All you people do is complain. But you are forgetting that eveything needs maintenance and needs to be replaced sooner or later. This costs money. Since you need to look forward you might as well plan ahead. As i see it you have been pissing away dollars anyway for years, might as well start pissing dollars in a more contructive manner.

quote:
Look folks, if consumers wanted to pay for it, businesses would provide it, right away. But the reality is that people are not willing to pay for the kinds of changes you simpletons dream about.


I can understand that most people do not have the time to read about all there is to know. I don't have that time either. But i will enlighten you anyway with what i do know. As it seems, Germany is one of the biggest boosters of sustainable energy(is alternative energy). This could not have been the case if Hermann Scheer did not had been fighting for that cause for more then 20 years and it shows on him to finally see his lifes work becoming a reality.
To stimulate the public the german goverment created a law that energy companies have to buy the electrical energy created by for example solarpanels and inverters back from the customers. In this way the public is stimulated to use alternative energy sources.

in the Netherlands it is Ad van Wijk of E-concern who devotes all his efforts to create clean sustainable energy supplies. And for some reason Mr van Wijk is perfectly able to get investors to invest for the simple reason that the facts he presents are very real. The calculations he makes shows that sustainable energy in the long run is cheaper. He also shows that small changes in the infrastructure can make a large differences in energy consumption. All the plans are there and more industries are working on it. A simple example is the door bell, it is continuously powered and we have techniques like piëzo crystals used in lighters to genereate enough energy to activate an electronic circuit that on it's turn activates an transformer to deliver the juice to wring a doorbell. Or use a tiny solarpanel with a small accu. Or use a linear moving dynamo. If we use this approach for every home in europe alone that has a doorbell we have saved enough energy to close 2 coal powerplants. That is right, we are running 2 powerplants in europe alone just to power something we use only 1 hour a year. Seems like some optmizing can be done there. The amount of electricity of 50kWh a year times 200 million people is saved when this get's implemented. You do the math. And this is just 1 example.

I am thinking because the entire sociëty is influenced by it. By means of health changes, simple psychological effects , or less waste to dispose off and therefore less waste disposal industry sociëty benefits from it.

Sometimes consumers are misinformed, comsumers are purposely left in the dark. The best example is the use of nuclear energy to generate electricity.

That Amerika where you could have a dream it is gone it seems... To bad.. Luckily there are more countries in the world that do think that changes are possible. Hope is something very important. There is no energy problem but a transition problem. Deal with it. We can harvest energy from everywhere but as i sad before : Blind green hippies and greedy mindless pleasure cravers should not hold intelligent people back.


By William Gaatjes on 12/27/2008 7:40:43 AM , Rating: 2
In my haste i made some typing errors. After prove reading i still overlooked it. Excuse me for that.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/2008 5:57:15 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
And that negative additude will get you nowhere.


Its called realism. Not negativity.

quote:
All you people do is complain.


You have literally wrote thousands of words bitching about the car purchases in a country thats not even your own. And WE'RE complaining ?

William give it up, get a life, and learn how to spell AMERICA before you decide to preach to us. Pompous ass.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By William Gaatjes on 12/29/2008 1:47:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Its called realism. Not negativity.


Your negativity is very real.

quote:
You have literally wrote thousands of words bitching about the car purchases in a country thats not even your own. And WE'RE complaining ? William give it up, get a life, and learn how to spell AMERICA before you decide to preach to us. Pompous ass.


As is your lack of intelligence.
No hard facts just playing at the man and not going for the ball. Seems like a typical president election don't you agree.

Oh well, i can behave the same.
It's People like you that get humanity nowhere.
It's people like you that make other people hate aMeriCha.
It's for sure not because of people like you why so many non US of E people still think Amireqa is a great country.

I would like to see you come up with some constructive idea's. But i would not be surprised that you have the kind of character like the US Banking executives who sell bundles of mortgages to other foreign banks while knowing that the people who engaged these mortgages can never pay them back because of the fluctuating interest rates that are coupled to the loanes between banks. Something that is happening everywhere. One of the many reasons the whole world economy has been influenced. Take what you need and and run for the hill. I see progress anyway and i like to share that what i have learned . Progress not because of you my dear caveman...


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/2008 5:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your negativity is very real.


I believe in the good and noble principles my country was built on. Freedom, personal liberties, responsibility, the power to make yourself better and follow your dreams. Compared to the contrast of your arguments, I don't see how thats being negative.

quote:
As is your lack of intelligence.


This is why I called you pompous. Everyone who doesn't agree with you, you belittle and call them less intelligent than you. There is really NOTHING so amazingly intelligent about what you are saying.

quote:
I would like to see you come up with some constructive idea's.


Where the hell are YOURS !? Calling SUV and truck buyers selfish idiots, blaming them for everything, and telling people in another country what they should buy. These are constructive ideas ??

quote:
I see progress anyway and i like to share that what i have learned . Progress not because of you my dear caveman...


Again, pompous and an egomaniac. Share the progress you have learned huh ? And who, exactly, are you again ?

Engaging in class warfare, finger pointing, and flat out lying to back your position isn't progressive thinking, positive, and constructive. And that is the only thing you are doing here.

Its Daily Tech, not a government blog. Do yourself, and us, a favor and stop trying to save the world.


By William Gaatjes on 12/30/2008 1:25:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I believe in the good and noble principles my country was built on. Freedom, personal liberties, responsibility, the power to make yourself better and follow your dreams. Compared to the contrast of your arguments, I don't see how thats being negative.


responsibility , that says it all.

quote:
This is why I called you pompous. Everyone who doesn't agree with you, you belittle and call them less intelligent than you. There is really NOTHING so amazingly intelligent about what you are saying.


I do not belittle anybody. And i for sure do not call them any names by lack of any found argument. While you however...

quote:
Where the hell are YOURS !? Calling SUV and truck buyers selfish idiots, blaming them for everything, and telling people in another country what they should buy. These are constructive ideas ??


quote:
Where the hell are YOURS !? Calling SUV and truck buyers selfish idiots, blaming them for everything, and telling people in another country what they should buy. These are constructive ideas ??


And this is why is say you have a lack in intelligence.
I have never mentioned such a thing. I understand if it is bussines related or when you live in a difficult rural area where such a vehile can be handy. Do you really think that outside of the US there is no need for trucks or heavy vehicles ? Come on, you have to no better then that. But when you live in the city and jump out to clean the mud of your truck or SUV the second when it get's dirty you surely don't need one in my believe.

quote:
Again, pompous and an egomaniac. Share the progress you have learned huh ? And who, exactly, are you again ? Engaging in class warfare, finger pointing, and flat out lying to back your position isn't progressive thinking, positive, and constructive. And that is the only thing you are doing here. Its Daily Tech, not a government blog. Do yourself, and us, a favor and stop trying to save the world.


All you do is call me names and do not give any constructive idea's. Nor do you give any examples of progress. I look beyond my borders because i believe we are all equal and that the only way we can make progress as a human race is to work together. That means that for me country borders do not exist. I believe in education and development. Because that is where the progress is found.
You on the other hand it is very clear what your idea's are
...
About people from other countries or people who do not agree with you.

you speak a lot of words but are still wasting your breath.
You start immediately attacking with the use of empty words anyone who does not agree with you. I have to work now but i will come back to write some more.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By bioorganic on 12/26/2008 9:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds great.... but until you have a source of electricity that's cost-competitive with oil, you're SOL. All this hype towards making electric cars should be redirected towards engineering fusion reactors. Once we have cheep and clean electricity, electric cars will be trivial to implement.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By masher2 (blog) on 12/26/2008 11:25:53 PM , Rating: 3
Nuclear or even clean coal plants could provide the energy, cheaper even than today's fire-sale gasoline prices. However, in today's environment, we're not building those plants...and if electric cars ever caught on in a big way, we'd be overloading generating capacity and the grid itself in fairly short order, even if most people did nothing but charge at night.

And of course, the old problems of energy density/range and recharge time still exist.

Rather than seeing lower gas prices as a negative, I believe we should view them as a positive. It allows us the additional time needed for battery technology to mature, without us being strangled by high fuel prices in the interim. There are so many other advantages to advanced battery tech that any notion of research halting due to low gas prices seems quite far-fetched.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By TSS on 12/27/2008 7:48:33 AM , Rating: 2
overloading generating capacity? i'd think if charging in the evening you'll be overloading the grid period.

besides the fact that if everybody who drives now goes to drive electric, there will be a ton more electricity needed to fuel all that. i'm not talking enviroment here, but pure capacity.

now i'm sure that with a few more nuclear power plants (and a few diesel/petrol based too that's the beauty of it) the power could be generated. but i've heard alot about the american powerlines grid (DT has discussed it as well) that can barely handle the extra *solar/wind power* that's beeing generated right now, let alone a few full blown nuclear plants.

go imagine this: it's winter now, and where on the fewest hours of daylight in the year. every evening around 7 it gets dark, making *everybody* turn their lights on, it's cold, making everybody turn their heating on, and in the future, they all come home around 5 and plug in the old car for a good 10-12 hours. that's alot of power requested at the same time solar stops giving. and even if you are able to generate all that power, how are you going to get it to people's homes with transmission lines based on an oil burning society?

in my oppinion, i'd rather use hydrogen. yes it costs some additional energy to generate it, however electricity *is* the energy, while hydrogen is a great carrier for electricity (liquid batterys, if you will). thus the current logistics of gaspumps can remain in effect, which saves a huge bundle of cost. adjusting gas trucks to carry hydrogen is more efficient then building new powerlines to every gas pump in the nation so they can use more power to charge vehicles.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By masher2 (blog) on 12/27/2008 3:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but i've heard alot about the american powerlines grid (DT has discussed it as well) that can barely handle the extra *solar/wind power* that's beeing generated right now, let alone a few full blown nuclear plants
Solar and wind plants typically have availability factors of 1/3 or less. That means that you not only 3X the generating capacity to fill a load, but you need 3X the grid capacity to carry it.

Nuclear and coal plants have AFs in the 80-90% range, meaning you need much less grid capacity to support them.


By William Gaatjes on 12/27/2008 8:02:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
and if electric cars ever caught on in a big way, we'd be overloading generating capacity and the grid itself in fairly short order, even if most people did nothing but charge at night.


And that is why localized energy production is so important. We are then talking of a real grid like structure of electricity delivery systems. And these systems can be anything as long as it's sustainable and in my personal view, nuclear energy is part of sustainable energy. I once noted in a post long ago that a rubbiatron in combination with solar and wind for every city or village would be ideal. When the solar and wind electricity generators deliver enough power, the rubbiatron can be lowered in it's output power. Something conventional nuclear plants or coal plants cannot do. When electricity demand rises, just let the rubbiatron output more electricity. We need to update sooner or later, we might as well do it with the future in mind. Unfortunately, this conflicts with the very essence of a true free market without control : Long term solutions make less short term profits. And that is for true free market entrepreneurs undesirable...


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By SAbd on 12/28/2008 7:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
"However, in today's environment, we're not building those plants"

Ever heard of the saying necessity is the mother of invention? Without high oil prices, there is little motivation to invest in alternative energy. Why spend the money improving America's infrastructure when it can be better spent buying bombs...


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By TechLuster on 12/26/2008 3:46:13 PM , Rating: 5
When gas prices go back up (which they surely will eventually), the improvident morons who started buying gas guzzlers again will be hurting. This means they will have less money to spend elsewhere in our economy, and this money that gets sucked out is going straight to Iran, Russia, Venezuela, etc.

Yeah Tom, this sounds fantastic!</sarcasm>


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By protosv on 12/26/2008 3:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
Except that these low gas prices are temporary, due to worldwide economic recession with a resulting decrease in the demand for oil. When we pull out of this recession, which will happen eventually, demand for oil from major developing countries like China and India as well as the United States will skyrocket once again, and prices will come right back up. Meanwhile, people will be left with their gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks they bought when gas was cheap, only to get screwed once again when the prices come back up. Purchasing fuel-inefficient vehicles at this time is shortsighted.

Also, another reason gas prices/oil demand is low is that it's assumed that at this time of recession, people can't afford to spend lots on gas. If they kept the prices at previous levels, then nobody would buy any gas at all. Even when we pull out of this recession, when gas prices come up to previous levels, $4 a gallon still takes a hefty bite out of anyone's budget. If on top of that, your vehicle gets crappy gas mileage, then you'll just find yourself back where you started before this recession and shelling out major $$$ for gas all over again.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/2008 11:44:51 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Meanwhile, people will be left with their gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks they bought when gas was cheap, only to get screwed once again when the prices come back up. Purchasing fuel-inefficient vehicles at this time is shortsighted.


Did it ever occur to you guys that even at $4 a gallon gas is still affordable for the huge majority of drivers ?

The only thing thats shortsighted is the past 40 years of this countries energy policy of NOT drilling for domestic oil and building new refineries as they were needed. The problem is NOT peoples choice of vehicle. You would think we had learned this in the 70's.

quote:
$4 a gallon still takes a hefty bite out of anyone's budget. If on top of that, your vehicle gets crappy gas mileage, then you'll just find yourself back where you started before this recession and shelling out major $$$ for gas all over again.


Gas prices "hurts" EVERYONE. Not just SUV drivers. My daily commute is twice as far as my co-workers. I drive a small 4 cylinder car, and I was paying more for gas.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By jlips6 on 12/26/2008 3:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
unless, of course, the rise in fuel usage spurs gasoline to jump right back to where it was.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By retrospooty on 12/26/2008 4:03:42 PM , Rating: 2
"Unless?"

That isnt a question, its inevitable. It WILL happen


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By Lord 666 on 12/26/2008 4:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
The crude price surge was all based on speculative purchasing based on insider trading information of the coming recession and poor corporate performance.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By retrospooty on 12/26/2008 4:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, and as time goes by, and Oil becomes more and more difficult/expensive to find/produce it will happen. The ONLY way oil wont get rediculously expensive is if we move away from it. If we go back to gas guzzling SUV's it WILL happen again.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By BZDTemp on 12/26/2008 8:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
You should read up on "peak oil" and you will find what sort of "speculation" made the prices go up.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By Ringold on 12/26/2008 9:20:02 PM , Rating: 4
Much better reading would be an economics textbook; supply and demand, along with a side dish of inflation and tulip-bulb syndrome, explain it fully, and that material would not be nearly so steeped in paranoia and extremism as most of the peak oil literature out there.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By BZDTemp on 12/28/2008 3:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. It's just that reading only about "peak oil" is a quicker read which seems to be important in this case. Unfortunately it seems facts and research is of little interest for many these days.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By jlips6 on 12/27/2008 9:37:04 AM , Rating: 2
yes, pardon me, that should be a when. that being said, I figured it had been said enough already on here. Obviously not enough though.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By bigboxes on 12/26/2008 9:56:40 PM , Rating: 1
Stupid is as stupid does. Sheesh Tom. I usually agree with you, but it seems to me the answer is to create a different business model where one compnay doesn't rely on their survival on models that cannot be viable in the long term. Most people don't need a pickup or SUV. I live in Texas and no how valuable pickups are in rural areas. They are essential. But in the city they are just sucking gas. SUV's? They are just buses driven by solatary women. Nobody wants to be seen in station wagons and minivans. I understand that. But the fact of the matter is that most don't need pickups and SUV's.

My brother in law has a minivan. I kidded him on why he doesn't have an SUV. His reply? I never really go off-road. So, if you suck up your pride you'll realize you don't NEED a SUV and should do what is best for your family.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By TomZ on 12/27/2008 1:13:11 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But the fact of the matter is that most don't need pickups and SUV's.
Here's an idea - why not let people decide for themselves what they want and need, rather than you deciding for them. That's the basic principle of freedom.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By Gary Right On on 12/27/2008 2:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Here's an idea - why not let people decide for themselves what they want and need, rather than you deciding for them. That's the basic principle of freedom.

It seems as if someone already posted that comment a few years back, "they are endowned by the Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By mmatis on 12/27/2008 6:34:02 PM , Rating: 1
Not any more. The filthy maggot swill running this country are going to decide what you need, and you damn well better like it and thank them for it! And the GD pigs will bow and scrape before their Masters and make sure you don't try to get anything Our Great Leader doesn't want you to have. The only unalienable right you have now is to praise the Great One and ask: "Thank you sir! May I please have another?" like the pledges in Animal House. For that is what we have become.


RE: Not Bad News, But Good News
By Sandok on 12/27/2008 7:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
Problem with that kind of thinking is that you let people who make wrong choices keep on making wrong choices and society doesn't progress.

People in every developed country have the choice to buy what they want where they want when they want but in some countries, people fear their goverments and in others, people love their goverments and take their advice. And yes, it's ADVICE, not a law or a rule.


By HostileEffect on 12/28/2008 10:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
Until the standard changes and you get forced off the road, or get attacked/vandalized by a go-green person. As for Mmatis comments about the people deciding who needs what, I think a lot of people are going to decide that they do not need someone running their lives or dictating what they can and cannot buy.


Deep Thoughts.
By Mitch101 on 12/26/2008 3:28:57 PM , Rating: 5
One should at least assume that Gas will not remain at what the current low price to what it was only months ago.

However

"The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." — Albert Einstein

Einstein's Theory of stupidity: "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not so sure about the universe."

"There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, it's probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. It fool me. We can't get fooled again." - President Bush




RE: Deep Thoughts.
By retrospooty on 12/26/2008 3:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
sigh... We will never learn. It will take a total catastrophy for anything or anyone to change.


RE: Deep Thoughts.
By nosfe on 12/26/2008 3:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
but who's more stupid i wonder, people because they jump back to gas guzzlers or the companies that started reducing the production of SUV's thinking that the sheep wouldn't return to SUV's once the price of gas would fall


RE: Deep Thoughts.
By retrospooty on 12/26/2008 3:48:03 PM , Rating: 5
Both... Because it will rise again, and higher than ever... Putting us int he same boat again. We need to get off foreign Oil for 4 reasons, in order.
1. National Security - We are too involved with too many hostile Arab countries, creating hate against us.
2. Political - we need not deal with those that we don't need. Right now we need to much from too many hostile countries.
3. Economic. - Obvious as to why.
4. Environment. (I say a distant 4th) - Polluting the air cant be a good thing. I dont mean global warming, just breathing the smog that exists in all major cities cant be good for anyone.


RE: Deep Thoughts.
By deadrats on 12/26/2008 6:58:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
but who's more stupid i wonder, people because they jump back to gas guzzlers or the companies that started reducing the production of SUV's thinking that the sheep wouldn't return to SUV's once the price of gas would fall


here's the thing with pickup trucks, once you own one it's very hard to go back to driving a small prius sized car for a number of reasons, including:

1) ground clearance. there's nothing like being able to go over a pot filled road and not have to worry about destroying the exhaust system of your car (i worked in a garage for 5 years and in a honda dealership for 1 year and you would be suprised at how often it happens).

2) the on demand 4 wheel drive (this goes hand in hand with the ground clearnance above). there is nothing like being able to get around even when mother nature lays a smak down on you. there are a number of roads that routinely flood with 1-2 feet of water and there is nothing like being able to drive right through it without having to worry if it gets sucked into your engine or the car stalling out or the water leaking in through the door to the interior. same thing with snow, both of the following are true stories:

here in nj a few years back we got hit with a blizzard that dropped 2 feet of snow on us, when i woke up the next morning thanks to snow drifts my driveway about 40 feet long was under about 4 feet of snow and i really needed to go somewhere, there wasn't the option of rescheduling. there was no way on God's green earth i was shoveling all that snow so i made my way to the garage, jumped into my 2003 supercharged frontier, put it into 4 wheel drive low and drove right out of that mess (that 4-wheel drive has come in handy more times than you can imagine).

on another occassion, my stand alone freezer died and it was full of all kinds of meats, so i went out to see if i could buy one. after trying both lowe's and home depot and discovering i would have to wait about a week to have one delivered i went into a pc richards and likewise was informed i would have to wait about a week, unless i was willing to drive out to the warehouse (about 50 miles away) and pick it up myself. i bought the freezer, had them give me the necessary paperwork, and drove on a snowy day to the warehouse, had them load the freezer onto the back of my pickup truck, and in a driving snow i drove all the way back home with my freezer.

that's why people buy pickup trucks, some suv's (granted some are just status symbols) and jeeps, it's because of the go anywhere, do anything freedom that they give you.

more importantly, the fact that as soon as gas prices dropped people started buy trucks again should be a clear sign of what the consumers demand, given a choice, they will choose a truck and quite frankly the true stupidity is not giving them what they want.

the u.s. automakers (and many foreign automakers) are in the financial trouble that they are because aside from letting the unions bend them over a barrel they also tried to compete with the japanese on their terms, i.e. building smaller cars which most people don't want to drive given a choice.

what they should have done, started at least ten years ago, was researching alternative fuels, such as bio-diesels that can be manufactured from algae, as well as focusing on the small truck market (where the frontier, tacoma, ranger) compete and developed small 4 cylinder, twin turbo engines, with highly sophisticated transmissions (with the right gearing you can do alot with just 180hp), dual speed rear differentials (like those used in the big trucks).

there's absolutely no reason why you can't get 30mpg out of a mid-sized pickup, and one last thing: those that think that gas is going to go right back where it was, think again: there are numerous analysts that think crude oil will go all the way down to 20-30 dollars a barrel, and quite frankly there is nothing that OPEC can do about it.

the weakening global economy is driving demand from commerial markets through the floor and the surplus of crude oil currently exceeds the demand by a significant amount. as the world economies get smaller and weaker (and they will continue to plummet for maybe another 2 years) china's and india's economies, built on producing cheap goods at cheap rates) will likewise plummet and their consumption and demand for crude will likewise plummet. remove those two half-assed economies from the market for crude and the prices will tank.

the good news for those of us in the u.s. is that in 2 years, we will look back at these hard times and realize that they were a blessing in disguise. the american dollar, due to the clinton administration's repeated cutting of interest rates (which is always done by "printing paper", i.e. printing more currency which devalues the currency currently in circulation) and the bush administration's printing of vast amounts of paper to pay for the 2 wars we are currently in, has tanked in value, in relation to foreign currencies and goods (and domestic goods).

if the cost of goods is low, especially raw goods such as crude oil, then it results in the increase of the buying power of money and thus the increase of the value of the american dollar.

basically i really believe in 2 years we will find that the american dollar is on a more equal footing with the euro and pound and that it has significantly greater buying power of foreign goods, which should result in significantly lower prices for americans across the board.

of course the obama administation will get the credit for the improvements, despite the fact that they would have happened no matter who was in office, but as long as i don't have to pay $4 for a gallon of milk, i don't care who gets the credit.


RE: Deep Thoughts.
By ebakke on 12/27/2008 3:06:09 AM , Rating: 3
Slow day at the office?


RE: Deep Thoughts.
By Belard on 12/27/2008 7:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
Well.. a certain group of retards stopped development and push for something besides gas for our cars for the past 8 years. Oh yeah, guys who are in the OIL business. Duh.


RE: Deep Thoughts.
By kellehair on 12/29/2008 1:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
Your posts illustrates a certain freedom that most people overlook. Living in Europe and not owning a car or living in the US and now owning a large car or truck prevents you from doing a lot of things. It may not be every day, it may not even be every month, but wanting to do something and having the right vehicle to do it is a great feeling.


RE: Deep Thoughts.
By Hiawa23 on 12/26/2008 10:43:19 PM , Rating: 4
Damn, here I thought when gas reached $5/gallon, we would have learned. We know gas prices will once again go back up, if they learned nothing this past year then shame on them.


RE: Deep Thoughts.
By SiliconAddict on 12/27/2008 2:12:04 AM , Rating: 2
*shrugs* That's always the way it works. I look forward to the end of civilization and humanity. I just hope it comes soon enough that I can say I told you so.


RE: Deep Thoughts.
By retrospooty on 12/27/2008 10:15:38 AM , Rating: 2
LOL - good point... YOu post reminds me of Tool's "Aenima" and George Carlin's "save the planet".

screw it, we suck hoplessly and endlessly. Lets just move on and give the apes a chance.


RE: Deep Thoughts.
By djc208 on 12/27/2008 8:58:34 AM , Rating: 2
I think most of the people out there buying these vehicles understand that gas prices are going back up. But if you have a truck/SUV and need or want to keep it, now is a good time to buy.

It's pure speculation that low gas prices are fueling this trend. But if you have an older truck or SUV and can get credit now would be great time to buy a new one. The market is soft, incentives are huge, and the people who want and need them still want and need them.

Despite what a lot of people here seem to think there are lots of people who do use a truck regularly (for truck duty), or need more capability than a mini-van while still hauling lots of people.


mobility
By EasyAce on 12/26/2008 7:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
While the cost of gas is indeed a large factor, a lot of people in Oregon are finding out that if it snows like it has been then without a truck or SUV they're stuck at home waiting for the snow to melt. I've just been out for the first time in two weeks, because I've been unable to go anywhere unless I walk. When I did get desperate enough to walk into town (which is no short distance) I noticed that the only people on the road were driving trucks and SUVs. One was on a snowmobile, but that's not very practical.

I'm sure gas is a factor, however not being stranded probably has more to do with it then people care to admit.

Now if you'll excuse me I think I'll go rev-up my Z28 Camaro to see if I can kick start global warming again.




RE: mobility
By Noya on 12/26/2008 10:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
I too was in the Oregon snow, and my Honda Accord with chains (that I put on myself in about 10min) got me everywhere I needed to go.

A Camaro driver in Oregon...big surprise. Rednecks, illegal Mexicans and meth heads seem to makeup 90% of Oregonians.


RE: mobility
By rudolphna on 12/27/2008 12:20:20 AM , Rating: 2
wow. you know whats easier? I turn a knob, and poof! instantly 4 hi. I need 4 lo? I shift into neutral, turn the knob another click, and then drive. and then, even better! I put it in automatic 4WD, and if the wheels spin, it automatically shifts into 4hi. Thats a hell of a lot easier than chains. not to mention, if your primary drive wheels lose traction, you have 2 other wheels likely to have traction somewhere. the problem with alot of SUV owners is that they mistakenly think that 4WD makes them immune to slipping/sliding. no. It just helps keep wheels from spinning. While that by extension may make the car slide less, it does not eliminate it entirely


RE: mobility
By ebakke on 12/27/2008 3:11:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
the problem with alot of SUV owners is that they mistakenly think that 4WD makes them immune to slipping/sliding.
They also think it helps with braking/stopping.


RE: mobility
By mherlund on 12/29/2008 4:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They also think it helps with braking/stopping.


Very true. But on the bright side, it will get through inches of snow much better than a Civic.


RE: mobility
By ebakke on 12/31/2008 5:21:27 PM , Rating: 2
Them are fightin words!


RE: mobility
By Jim28 on 12/27/2008 1:05:01 AM , Rating: 2
You must not very many places. TO top it off you are one generalizing stereo-typing judgmental idiot as well.


RE: mobility
By N1 on 12/28/2008 3:45:52 PM , Rating: 2
Chains are not legal on public roads in most states.


Typical Americans
By geokilla on 12/26/2008 4:16:24 PM , Rating: 3
When will you guys learn. Not to be mean or anything, but I find it stupid how you guys think SUVs are safer when in fact they could be more dangerous. They're more prone to rollovers, consume a lot of fuel, are big and heavy, and pose a threat to pedestrians. Fuel prices won't stay at this level for a long time. I think they'd go back up to what it was over the summer in around a year or two.

Ask yourself one question before buying a SUV or pickup truck. Do you really need a SUV/pickup truck? Or can you get along just fine in a midsize family sedan?




RE: Typical Americans
By Bateluer on 12/26/2008 4:50:38 PM , Rating: 2
To piggy back on your post: Can you rent a truck or pick up truck to satisfy the need for the few times you do?


RE: Typical Americans
By deadrats on 12/26/2008 10:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When will you guys learn. Not to be mean or anything, but I find it stupid how you guys think SUVs are safer when in fact they could be more dangerous. They're more prone to rollovers, consume a lot of fuel, are big and heavy, and pose a threat to pedestrians. Fuel prices won't stay at this level for a long time. I think they'd go back up to what it was over the summer in around a year or two.


1) the idiotic claim of the higher propensity for a roll over in an SUV. i have yet to see an SUV roll over, and as i said i worked in a garage for 5 years and a car dealership for another year, SUV roll overs don't happen anywhere near as often or as easily as you seem to think, as a matter of fact, i have seen more people flip over a "ricer" or a small sports car while racing, than i have seen people flip over an SUV. furthermore SUV's are less likely to flip over and are safer, primarily because as you pointed out they are bigger and heavier, meaning they have a higher inertia than a lighter car and thus require more torque (the rotational counterpart to force) to roll them over.

furthermore, an SUV is also much safer than a small car because it absorbs more kinetic energy during a crash than a small car can (by virtue of all the additional mass), so it's much safer for the passengers.

as far as being more dangerous to pedestrians, kinetic energy is 1/2mv^2, where m is mass and v is velocity, hence the speed you are travelling at plays a much bigger role in how much kinetic energy is transferred to a pedestrian if you were to hit him/her.

and lastly, pedestrians really need to start taking some responsibility for their own actions. i don't know where you live, but here in hudson county nj (and in nyc) people have this retarded habit of just walking (and in some cases running) right in the middle of traffic, regardless of how many cars are passing by and regardless of what the light is or even of there's a cross walk, i'm actually suprised that we don't have more incidents of pedestrians being mowed down.

the fact of the matter is that if you design a car that is safe for a pedestrian if you hit him/her (like one VW commercial that showed a pedestrian getting hit by a jetta and the jetta's hood just caved in like tissue, but the pedestrian was ok) then by definition it won't be safe for the passenger if you hit some black ice and hit a concrete barrier or a dump truck plows into you.

if you want to make pedestrians safer then let's kill all the fucking trial lawyers that have fucked this country and rework our laws so that pedestrians don't automatically have the right of way, no matter how stupid their actions are.

quote:
Ask yourself one question before buying a SUV or pickup truck. Do you really need a SUV/pickup truck? Or can you get along just fine in a midsize family sedan?


first things first, you are kidding yourself if you think that a mid-sized family sedan gets significantly better gas mileage than a mid-sized pickup or a full sized diesel truck. i have owned numerous mid-sized cars as well as small pickup trucks and my current frontier (6 cyl, supercharged) gets some damn good fuel economy (interesting side note: it actually gets better economy with the premium rather than regular gas).

and secondly, who are you to tell anyone what kind of car they should be driving? i don't remember reading that God went on vacation and left you King Shit.

by your logic i'm sure most people, if they really, really tried, could get along just find with a scooter, why not advocate everyone drive around on one of them?