Author Topic: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs  (Read 8235 times)

FireLane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
  • Location: NYC
American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« on: January 21, 2018, 12:14:34 PM »
If this article is true, I may have bought my last American-made car. It says that the big Detroit automakers are planning to stop manufacturing almost all their small and mid-size passenger cars, ceding that market to Japanese and Korean companies like Toyota, and switching exclusively to trucks and SUVs which make them more money. Chrysler has already done this and GM and Ford are likely to follow suit:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-01-16/why-the-american-sedan-is-marked-for-death

Quote
Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne started it off by killing the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 to reorient Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV around Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups. The profit boom thatís followed has emboldened Detroitís other CEOs to consider snuffing out sedans such as the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Impala.

ďThe industry thought Sergio was a mad man when he did that, and now he looks like a genius,Ē said Jeff Schuster, an analyst with LMC Automotive. ďHe paved the way for everyone. Now, with the Detroit brands, virtually every car is under review.Ē

It quotes some corporate suits who insist that environmentally minded types don't need to worry, because SUVs' fuel mileage isn't quite as bad as it used to be. But that misses the point. The reason Detroit likes these cars is because they're more profitable to the auto makers, i.e., they cost more!

This strategy is in direct opposition to the Mustachian mindset of buying the least amount of car you need, rather than tooling around town in a big, ugly, hard-to-maneuver SUV clown car whose extra storage space is unnecessary for 99% of the times you need to use it.

I have a Ford Fusion hybrid that's been economical and reliable, and I plan to drive it into the ground. But when the day comes that I need to replace it, I guess this means I'm getting a Prius. (Or a Tesla, if there are some good used ones on the market by then.)

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2835
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 01:05:25 PM »
Companies are free to make marketing decisions. They will have to accept the consequences of those decisions. Considering the globalization of the auto industry in all respects, I don't think it really matters what the brand is anymore.

ohsnap

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2018, 04:37:49 PM »
The authors acknowledge the cyclical nature of the US car & truck market which is influenced by gas prices & governmental policy.  Yet the entire article is premised on quotes like this one: "This market is going SUV and not looking back."  I'm old enough to remember several swings from gas-guzzlers to gas-sippers, including the one from just a few years ago.  I'm skeptical. 

Here's an article from last year that discusses the largest states accelerating increased CAFE standards despite the current administration's attempt to decrease them.  Ford has to sell Fusions in CA and NY to sell F150s there.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/business/energy-environment/california-upholds-emissions-standards-setting-up-face-off-with-trump.html

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2598
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2018, 05:20:07 PM »
Won't this mean that the fuel efficient cars they do sell will be cheap in order to meet CAFE?

facepalm

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 248
  • Location: California
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2018, 09:19:17 PM »
Won't this mean that the fuel efficient cars they do sell will be cheap in order to meet CAFE?
Yeah, no mention on how they will meet CAFE standards. Good luck with that.

The Guru

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Great Lakes
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 07:44:51 AM »
This might not be as troubling as it seems on the surface, as I assume that smaller car-based crossovers are included under the SUV heading. OTOH, since it seems that Size= Price= Profit, those might be next on the chopping block. Time will tell.

Regardless, it typifies the short-sightedness of (what's left of) the domestic auto industry. I started driving around  the time of the Arab oil embargo and remember well how the US manufacturers- especially FiatChrysler's parent company- were caught flat-footed by the shift in demand. They rushed subcompacts to market; reengineered existing models with too-small engines and too-tall axle ratios and introduced "badge-engineered" imports, all while Toyota, Datsun (Nissan), Volkswagen and fledgling Honda ate their lunch. Car buyers were no wiser then than now, caught in a cycle of:

- Scramble to unload the old gas hog
- Substitute something smaller and more fuel-efficient until ...
- Fuel prices came down (but rarely back to what they had been when the crisis began) or until they got used to the higher prices, then
- "Upgrade" to something bigger and repeat

It's been forty plus years now, and neither car builders nor car buyers have apparently wised up. The fact that there's nothing on the horizon that suggests fuel prices are likely to rise anytime soon is immaterial; rise they will, and an embarrassing number of drivers and businesses will be astonished at the fact.

jfolsen

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 103
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 08:51:10 AM »
Won't this mean that the fuel efficient cars they do sell will be cheap in order to meet CAFE?
Yeah, no mention on how they will meet CAFE standards. Good luck with that.

Perhaps they have some assurance from the current administration that CAFE will be loosened or eliminated? That would seem to be the direction they are headed.

Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 11:16:51 AM »
Incredible. We really do live in the United States of Amnesia. Does anyone not remember higher gas prices just 2.5 years ago!!!??????

Does anyone think that gas prices won't rise to 4$ or even 5$ and stay there for quite a while?

Cranky

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 977
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2018, 12:55:34 PM »
Well, I think they are counting on a sharp increase in the percentage of electric cars, and expect the price of gas to become increasingly irrelevant.

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2902
  • Location: Canada
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2018, 02:04:55 PM »
Incredible. We really do live in the United States of Amnesia. Does anyone not remember higher gas prices just 2.5 years ago!!!??????

Does anyone think that gas prices won't rise to 4$ or even 5$ and stay there for quite a while?

I think you overestimate the amount people care :P

Here, petrol is $1.14 Canadian a litre... err... so $3.44 a US gallon. In the UK it is more than $5 a US gallon already. People still drive. In Canada (again: much higher prices than the US), small car sales are falling and 'light truck' (not sure if that includes things like minivans - I know my van says Dodge light truck so...) sales are *booming*.

I mean - people will bitch and moan (about the government taxing them), but behaviour change? Meeeeh.

Well, until electric gets sexy. Hopefully Tesla can bring out an electric pickup truck sharpish, and have the gearheads go... wow, that is actually better than a V8.

Hopefully.
Chase SouthWest Visa if you get to 110k points, you get a companion pass - you can get 40k from this sign up offer (spend 1k), and another 60k from the business version. I'm working on getting this myself!

Purple Economist

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2018, 02:39:17 PM »
Incredible. We really do live in the United States of Amnesia. Does anyone not remember higher gas prices just 2.5 years ago!!!??????

Does anyone think that gas prices won't rise to 4$ or even 5$ and stay there for quite a while?

I don't remember higher gas prices from 2.5 years ago.  I mean it peaked at like $2.50 here, which was not a big deal to me and not much higher than the $2.31 it is now.

I don't think gas prices will rise to $4 or $5 and stay there for quite a while.  If anything, I think it is more likely we have already hit peak oil prices and future prices are likely to be lower.

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2902
  • Location: Canada
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2018, 02:53:31 PM »
I mean - people will bitch and moan (about the government taxing them), but behaviour change? Meeeeh.
Except that when gas prices were over $4/gallon in the United States there was a drop-off in driving and people did start to shift over to more fuel efficient vehicles. Over in Europe most vehicles already take into account fuel prices (ex., engines turn off when stopped, engines tend to be smaller as well) and people are more likely to use public transit than the United States as well. Not exactly an even comparison.

https://www.motorists.org/blog/how-do-gasoline-prices-affect-driving-behavior/

A drop, yes, but not much of one, really.

Europe is much better for public transport because there are towns and cities all close by each other. The US and Canada are built, pretty much, around the car.
Chase SouthWest Visa if you get to 110k points, you get a companion pass - you can get 40k from this sign up offer (spend 1k), and another 60k from the business version. I'm working on getting this myself!

Travis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2194
  • Location: Tempe, AZ
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2018, 03:41:54 PM »
Incredible. We really do live in the United States of Amnesia. Does anyone not remember higher gas prices just 2.5 years ago!!!??????

Does anyone think that gas prices won't rise to 4$ or even 5$ and stay there for quite a while?

I think you overestimate the amount people care :P

Here, petrol is $1.14 Canadian a litre... err... so $3.44 a US gallon. In the UK it is more than $5 a US gallon already. People still drive. In Canada (again: much higher prices than the US), small car sales are falling and 'light truck' (not sure if that includes things like minivans - I know my van says Dodge light truck so...) sales are *booming*.

I mean - people will bitch and moan (about the government taxing them), but behaviour change? Meeeeh.

Well, until electric gets sexy. Hopefully Tesla can bring out an electric pickup truck sharpish, and have the gearheads go... wow, that is actually better than a V8.

Hopefully.

The Ford F-150 is one of the most popular vehicles in the US.  In my many trips to Europe I struggled to find one that wasn't owned by the local government or an American.  I think cheap oil and our shitty advertising are rubbing off on you guys up north.
My Journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/will-i-or-won't-i-a-home-run-or-a-base-hit/

Unlike some other tech companies or skilled-labor industries, we're always hiring.

www.goarmy.com

rosarugosa

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 96
  • Location: Eastern Massachusetts
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2018, 04:18:18 PM »
 I came of age during the fuel lines of the seventies and I guess it made an impression on me.  No matter how cheap or plentiful gas might be at any given time, I can't imagine why I would want to spend any more on it than I need to spend.  Even if gas were $1.00/gallon, the less gallons I need to buy, the more dollars I get to keep.

jinga nation

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
  • Location: 'Murica's Wang
  • Left, Right, Peddlin' Shite
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 06:41:20 AM »
Incredible. We really do live in the United States of Amnesia. Does anyone not remember higher gas prices just 2.5 years ago!!!??????

Does anyone think that gas prices won't rise to 4$ or even 5$ and stay there for quite a while?

I think you overestimate the amount people care :P

Here, petrol is $1.14 Canadian a litre... err... so $3.44 a US gallon. In the UK it is more than $5 a US gallon already. People still drive. In Canada (again: much higher prices than the US), small car sales are falling and 'light truck' (not sure if that includes things like minivans - I know my van says Dodge light truck so...) sales are *booming*.

I mean - people will bitch and moan (about the government taxing them), but behaviour change? Meeeeh.

Well, until electric gets sexy. Hopefully Tesla can bring out an electric pickup truck sharpish, and have the gearheads go... wow, that is actually better than a V8.

Hopefully.

The Ford F-150 is one of the most popular vehicles in the US.  In my many trips to Europe I struggled to find one that wasn't owned by the local government or an American.  I think cheap oil and our shitty advertising are rubbing off on you guys up north.
Recently found out, via Pistonheads' Gassing Forums, that there's a whole sub-industry devoted to converting muscle cars to right-hand drive for UK use. Plus for the last couple of years the Wheeler Dealers show has gone from purchasing and fixing reliable cars to buying "Yank tanks" and American muscle and importing to UK.

Meanwhile, my in-laws purchased two gently used SUVs in the UK and had them exported to East Africa.

I have been informed this helps keep the total vehicle ground weight constant in the UK and prevents the Isles from sinking.
Signature worthless. I'm worth more dead than alive. Wife and kids will collect. Or Uncle Sam will, you can rely on Him.

fattest_foot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 529
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2018, 03:34:15 PM »
I don't remember higher gas prices from 2.5 years ago.  I mean it peaked at like $2.50 here, which was not a big deal to me and not much higher than the $2.31 it is now.

I don't think gas prices will rise to $4 or $5 and stay there for quite a while.  If anything, I think it is more likely we have already hit peak oil prices and future prices are likely to be lower.

Weird, because here in California we were up around $4 for a while just a few years ago. It's back down in the upper $2 range now.

ohsnap

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2018, 03:38:20 PM »
Won't this mean that the fuel efficient cars they do sell will be cheap in order to meet CAFE?
Yeah, no mention on how they will meet CAFE standards. Good luck with that.

Perhaps they have some assurance from the current administration that CAFE will be loosened or eliminated? That would seem to be the direction they are headed.

But the biggest states will keep or accelerate the goals - I posted a link upthread.  I'm not sure if this is something the feds can/will override.

Just Joe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1844
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2018, 07:56:36 AM »
Hopefully the next time gas prices leap - and they will eventually - American car companies will be able to certify existing models being sold overseas by them quickly enough to be useful.

This similar sequence of events has happened so many times before. Eggs all in one basket.

Purple Economist

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2018, 09:15:11 PM »
I don't remember higher gas prices from 2.5 years ago.  I mean it peaked at like $2.50 here, which was not a big deal to me and not much higher than the $2.31 it is now.

I don't think gas prices will rise to $4 or $5 and stay there for quite a while.  If anything, I think it is more likely we have already hit peak oil prices and future prices are likely to be lower.

Weird, because here in California we were up around $4 for a while just a few years ago. It's back down in the upper $2 range now.

I don't think it's weird that California and Kansas have different gas prices.  At one point a couple years ago gas was below $1.50 here.

aasdfadsf

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2018, 09:59:10 PM »
Ah, come on. It's been years since the US auto industry brought itself to the verge of bankruptcy because it failed to prepare for a high oil price and low demand environment. Almost a whole decade! You can't expect them to remember back that far.

jinga nation

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
  • Location: 'Murica's Wang
  • Left, Right, Peddlin' Shite
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2018, 06:57:06 AM »
Ah, come on. It's been years since the US auto industry brought itself to the verge of bankruptcy because it failed to prepare for a high oil price and low demand environment. Almost a whole decade! You can't expect them to remember back that far.
Seems they have incorporated bankruptcies into their business cycle. Maybe they want to try that #TooBigToFail stunt again.
Signature worthless. I'm worth more dead than alive. Wife and kids will collect. Or Uncle Sam will, you can rely on Him.

WhiteTrashCash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1128
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2018, 05:47:52 PM »
Ford would be incredibly stupid to axe the Ford Fusion, since they sell 300,000 of them per year. That's a lot of cars. The people buying Ford Fusion aren't suddenly going to buy a Ford Escape. No, they are going to buy a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. Ford is run by idiots.

The_Dude

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 171
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2018, 06:01:36 PM »
I feel like either the article or the OP trolled the forum with this one. 

Maybe I missed it but I didn't see the article credibility explain that American Car companies are dropping everything for SUV's.  Dropping a single passenger car type does not equal dropping all passenger cars.  What a bunch of nonsense.

As a counter point here is an October 2017 article about GM planning to go all electric in the future.  Including plans to have 18 different electric cars by 2023. 
https://www.wired.com/story/general-motors-electric-cars-plan-gm/

facepalm

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 248
  • Location: California
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2018, 07:50:19 PM »
Well, I think they are counting on a sharp increase in the percentage of electric cars, and expect the price of gas to become increasingly irrelevant.
That scenario does make sense. EVs can achieve well over 100 MPG (equivalent), so if CAFE categorizes EV or hybrid vehicles similar to ICE, that may solve their problem.

Racer X

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2018, 07:51:48 AM »
Ford would be incredibly stupid to axe the Ford Fusion, since they sell 300,000 of them per year. That's a lot of cars. The people buying Ford Fusion aren't suddenly going to buy a Ford Escape. No, they are going to buy a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. Ford is run by idiots.

Itís not the volume, itís the profit margin per vehicle.

dycker1978

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 767
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2018, 07:54:40 AM »
This doesn't surprise me, with people on the fourm recommending a pathfinder for a family with three kids.


RWD

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1942
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2018, 08:07:09 AM »
I wouldn't say American companies are abandoning efficient cars...
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/10/gm-plans-add-20-new-electric-fuel-cell-cars-lineup-2023/

Pizzabrewer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2018, 08:11:06 AM »
I always shake my head when those huge pickups race away at a green light or pull a power acceleration to pass me on the highway (yes, I'm one of those "slow" drivers who only do 5 over the limit). Those drivers obviously don't care about the price of gas.

RFAAOATB

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 538
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2018, 11:25:35 AM »
I always shake my head when those huge pickups race away at a green light or pull a power acceleration to pass me on the highway (yes, I'm one of those "slow" drivers who only do 5 over the limit). Those drivers obviously don't care about the price of gas.

One of the signs that I maybe had enough money in my life was when I stopped caring about the price of gas.

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3600
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2018, 11:38:03 AM »
If this is true, I'm going to be more outraged when auto companies ask for a bailout in 10-15 years.

Just Joe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1844
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2018, 12:55:14 PM »
I wouldn't say American companies are abandoning efficient cars...
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/10/gm-plans-add-20-new-electric-fuel-cell-cars-lineup-2023/

I thought fuel cell cars still were not very durable with the expensive fuel cell itself needing replacement often.

RWD

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1942
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2018, 12:59:19 PM »
I wouldn't say American companies are abandoning efficient cars...
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/10/gm-plans-add-20-new-electric-fuel-cell-cars-lineup-2023/

I thought fuel cell cars still were not very durable with the expensive fuel cell itself needing replacement often.

There's still a lot of work to be done to make them even remotely close to economically viable. I personally wouldn't want a hydrogen powered car. I'm hoping most their research goes towards just normal electric cars.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7002
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2018, 05:41:09 AM »
Incredible. We really do live in the United States of Amnesia. Does anyone not remember higher gas prices just 2.5 years ago!!!??????

Does anyone think that gas prices won't rise to 4$ or even 5$ and stay there for quite a while?

1. people dont care
2. i dont think we'll see gas that high again any time soon - electrification is coming - oil is being over produced still - 100 dollar barrel and oil MAY exist again once everything is electrified and production is throttled to control price to that level.

jinga nation

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
  • Location: 'Murica's Wang
  • Left, Right, Peddlin' Shite
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2018, 07:57:37 AM »
Incredible. We really do live in the United States of Amnesia. Does anyone not remember higher gas prices just 2.5 years ago!!!??????

Does anyone think that gas prices won't rise to 4$ or even 5$ and stay there for quite a while?

1. people dont care
2. i dont think we'll see gas that high again any time soon - electrification is coming - oil is being over produced still - 100 dollar barrel and oil MAY exist again once everything is electrified and production is throttled to control price to that level.
Gas prices for regular jumped by 12 cents/gal this week. All of a sudden local media reporting on gas prices, public freaking out (probably those with less than $400 saved). Stop interviewing the posers with leased trucks at the gas stations with aftermarkets rims that can be rented. This happens every few months, the last big freakout was in Sept/Oct 2017.

Florida is number one state in the United States of Amnesia. So much winning that we're tired of it.
Signature worthless. I'm worth more dead than alive. Wife and kids will collect. Or Uncle Sam will, you can rely on Him.

zoltani

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1153
  • Location: PNW
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2018, 01:55:18 PM »
I feel like either the article or the OP trolled the forum with this one. 

Maybe I missed it but I didn't see the article credibility explain that American Car companies are dropping everything for SUV's.  Dropping a single passenger car type does not equal dropping all passenger cars.  What a bunch of nonsense.

As a counter point here is an October 2017 article about GM planning to go all electric in the future.  Including plans to have 18 different electric cars by 2023. 
https://www.wired.com/story/general-motors-electric-cars-plan-gm/

Yep! Ford is investing heavily in EV as well. The OP is manufacturing outrage.

"The carmaker (Ford) will shell out $11 billion bringing 40 electrified vehicles to market by 2022, Jim Farley, president of global markets, said during a presentation at the Detroit auto show. Thatís up from the $4.5 billion that Ford said in late 2015 it would invest through the end of the decade."

ďThe hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. Itís so easy to make it complex. Whatís important is leading an examined life.Ē

Yvon Chouinard

Just Joe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1844
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2018, 02:23:03 PM »
I have to wonder if car makers are going TOO deep on EVs. Some folks are still going to want a gasoline powered vehicle - either for trips or just because.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7002
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2018, 02:36:27 PM »
I have to wonder if car makers are going TOO deep on EVs. Some folks are still going to want a gasoline powered vehicle - either for trips or just because.

just b/c you want it doesnt mean you will get it - or it will cost you a very high price to obtain and you wont have anywere to put your fuel in it.

penguintroopers

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2018, 12:08:47 PM »
I have to wonder if car makers are going TOO deep on EVs. Some folks are still going to want a gasoline powered vehicle - either for trips or just because.

just b/c you want it doesnt mean you will get it - or it will cost you a very high price to obtain and you wont have anywere to put your fuel in it.

Sounds like we have the opposite issue facing EV's right now, at least for my husband and I. More than we're willing to pay for a car at the moment, and we have no place to plug it in thanks to being renters.

BDWW

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 357
  • Location: MT
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2018, 04:17:01 PM »
Ford would be incredibly stupid to axe the Ford Fusion, since they sell 300,000 of them per year. That's a lot of cars. The people buying Ford Fusion aren't suddenly going to buy a Ford Escape. No, they are going to buy a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. Ford is run by idiots.

Itís not the volume, itís the profit margin per vehicle.

I think you guys are reading way too much into a completely speculative article. I'd bet money the fusion isn't going anywhere.

Kashmani

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2018, 05:27:40 PM »
The article should be read in context. I think there are three factors at play,

1) CAFE standards are more lenient for light trucks than for cars. That gives manufacturers an incentive to "truckify" ordinary family cars. Two early prime examples are the original Dodge Caravan and the PT Cruiser. Both were "trucks", invented primarily to get around CAFE standards.

2) Profit margin. 20 years ago you could buy a Taurus sedan or, for around $1,000 or $2,000 more, a Taurus wagon. Now, you can buy a Taurus sedan or, for $10,000 more, an Explorer. Same bloody car, but the "truckification" adds enough perceived value that people a much higher price difference than was common 20 years ago for the bigger trunk.

3) Comfort with debt. Nobody buys a car based on total price anymore. With people being comfortable with a monthly payment approach, nobody is balking at the extra cost of a crossover, so why offer a cheap wagon when you can offer an expensive crossover?

It also doesn't help that any hatchback or wagon now offered is made "sporty", i.e. impractical. These days, the choices pretty much are sedans or cross-overs, and people buy what is advertised. Sedans are largely money-losers, and the profit margin is in crossovers that have the price difference. So commercially, I can see how abandoning cars could work. More so if your cars are duds like the Chrysler 200 or 300 that are basically fleet staples with few consumer sales.

That said, Chrysler tried the same strategy 10 years ago and it backfired royally. If there is a gas price spike, an all-SUV lineup is very risky. I certainly would not be inclined to buy Fiat-Chryster stock right now. But what choice does Sergio Marchionne have? He tried to shop around for a buyer on multiple occasions but never found any takers. So maximizing current profits based on a "truckification" strategy is probably the least bad decision he could have made.

I have personally given up on cheap wagons ever making a comeback and paid the premium for a crossover a few years ago.

Just Joe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1844
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2018, 08:28:45 AM »
We have an older sedan and a newer crossover that get almost the same fuel economy. If I was entering a sedan/wagon and generally driving a 100+ miles I'd think it was grand. Because most of our trips are short (around town) - we surely prefer the crossover for entering and exiting. Parking is not an issue here - not like I've seen in famous cities I've visited.

I'd rate both our vehicles similar for difficulty to park.

The right answer for an around town as DW and I age would be a small crossover like the HRV/Juke/CH-R/Trax/Encore or the older, smaller CRV.

When we were younger, more flexible and really skinny us climbing into a tiny car was not a problem. Now we are middle aged and our backseat is carries almost an adult and a teen going through a growth spurt. 

A tiny compact car no longer gets the job done comfortably. Our teen has a car like that and its a trick to fit us all inside. The backseat is not fun for me. Roof is low, door opening is smallish, legroom is smallish.

Further clouding the issue is that some of the mid-sized crossovers are approaching early 2000s car like fuel economy. 

I get the idea of buying the most efficient, tiniest car to speed FIRE along but I think we can accomplish the same by buying very used vehicles and keeping it forever.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7002
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2018, 10:51:56 AM »
I have to wonder if car makers are going TOO deep on EVs. Some folks are still going to want a gasoline powered vehicle - either for trips or just because.

just b/c you want it doesnt mean you will get it - or it will cost you a very high price to obtain and you wont have anywere to put your fuel in it.

Sounds like we have the opposite issue facing EV's right now, at least for my husband and I. More than we're willing to pay for a car at the moment, and we have no place to plug it in thanks to being renters.

correct we're talking about a dynamic shift infrastructure up to and including owning a car at all.  and its not nearly as far away as people think.

coldestcat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2018, 11:55:33 AM »
I have to wonder if car makers are going TOO deep on EVs. Some folks are still going to want a gasoline powered vehicle - either for trips or just because.

just b/c you want it doesnt mean you will get it - or it will cost you a very high price to obtain and you wont have anywere to put your fuel in it.

Sounds like we have the opposite issue facing EV's right now, at least for my husband and I. More than we're willing to pay for a car at the moment, and we have no place to plug it in thanks to being renters.

Im with boarder. I also rent and my wife and I bought a chevy Spark. It works great for our circumstances being able to charge it at work some times (If the port is available), and I understand not everyone has that. However I think it is so much better driving not to mention all the reason why we NEED to shift to electric. My father in law also just bought a gas car, not even a hybrid, because I dont know..old dog trick reasons I guess...

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2139
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2018, 08:29:21 AM »
Why would anyone buy American cars anyway? Outside the US, for as longs as I can remember "american cars" was a joke and just synonymous with poorly engineered, janky and horrendously unreliable pieces of junk. Also comically huge and drive like a boats. When Asian cars are cheaper and more reliable I don't see any reason to buy american, I don't understand it

Just Joe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1844
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2018, 08:46:34 AM »
Not always. One side of the family buys GM, the other side Fords/Chrysler/Dodge. The GM cars were always good to about 200K miles with a few repairs.

The other side replaces cars far sooner so I don't know how long those might last. ;) Ooops - getting close to 100K miles, time to replace (in a time where most cars will go 250K miles with some TLC).

We have an older GM sedan purchased cheap and used. Its required a few repairs but it is reliable and VERY cheap to own. Sort of bland but I like it for the work it gets done for us on the cheap.

Imports: Asian brands have been good to us. European imports have been more maintenance/repair intensive than even the American domestics. Not a big deal if you can DIY the repairs on the cheap.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 08:51:12 AM by Just Joe »

Clean Shaven

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 740
  • Location: Wild Wild West
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2018, 08:52:07 AM »
Why would anyone buy American cars anyway? Outside the US, for as longs as I can remember "american cars" was a joke and just synonymous with poorly engineered, janky and horrendously unreliable pieces of junk. Also comically huge and drive like a boats. When Asian cars are cheaper and more reliable I don't see any reason to buy american, I don't understand it
In Europe, apparently VW is considered quite reliable. In the US, it's the opposite. (Your opinion may vary.)

Some of it is familiarity with the cars or parts. Anywhere you go in the US, you'll find somebody who can fix a Chevy. If you drive a Saab or something even less common, good luck.

zoltani

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1153
  • Location: PNW
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2018, 10:03:42 AM »
Why would anyone buy American cars anyway? Outside the US, for as longs as I can remember "american cars" was a joke and just synonymous with poorly engineered, janky and horrendously unreliable pieces of junk. Also comically huge and drive like a boats. When Asian cars are cheaper and more reliable I don't see any reason to buy american, I don't understand it

American cars in europe come in different smaller models, typically. Ford is actually the #2 brand in europe..

In Europe, apparently VW is considered quite reliable. In the US, it's the opposite. (Your opinion may vary.)

Some of it is familiarity with the cars or parts. Anywhere you go in the US, you'll find somebody who can fix a Chevy. If you drive a Saab or something even less common, good luck.

Except VW was using cheat devices in their cars in europe as well as the US. Other european car manufacturers were also using cheat devices for their diesels. That's why americans scratched their heads for so long wondering how diesel in europe was "cleaner" than the US. If you've spent any time in large cities in europe you will smell the diesel and if you bike around a lot it will affect your lungs. They say approximately 5000 people a year die prematurely from diesel related pollution in europe. I think those european manufacturers have lost the trust of the public.
ďThe hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. Itís so easy to make it complex. Whatís important is leading an examined life.Ē

Yvon Chouinard

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2139
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2018, 10:22:19 AM »
Why would anyone buy American cars anyway? Outside the US, for as longs as I can remember "american cars" was a joke and just synonymous with poorly engineered, janky and horrendously unreliable pieces of junk. Also comically huge and drive like a boats. When Asian cars are cheaper and more reliable I don't see any reason to buy american, I don't understand it

American cars in europe come in different smaller models, typically. Ford is actually the #2 brand in europe..

In Europe, apparently VW is considered quite reliable. In the US, it's the opposite. (Your opinion may vary.)

Some of it is familiarity with the cars or parts. Anywhere you go in the US, you'll find somebody who can fix a Chevy. If you drive a Saab or something even less common, good luck.

Except VW was using cheat devices in their cars in europe as well as the US. Other european car manufacturers were also using cheat devices for their diesels. That's why americans scratched their heads for so long wondering how diesel in europe was "cleaner" than the US. If you've spent any time in large cities in europe you will smell the diesel and if you bike around a lot it will affect your lungs. They say approximately 5000 people a year die prematurely from diesel related pollution in europe. I think those european manufacturers have lost the trust of the public.

Yes, Euopean cars are well-engineered, reasonably reliable, but expensive to buy and repair. Well, really German cars. French cars are cheap junk, as are italian ones. And British ones have always been known the be expensive, and reliability nightmares.

This doesn't change the fact that American cars are just crap. Barely cheaper than Asian ones, but terrible reliability, and shoddily engineered. Yes you can find someone to fix it, which is good I guess since you'll have to go there all the time.. I'd rather just not have to fix my car. You get none of the tight tolerance engineering of European cars, but the same bad reliability and repair issues, yey? Why? Just because they're cheap I guess? But these days that isn't even true anymore. Unless I really needed a car the size of a small apartment I wouldn't drive a Detroit car if I got it for free.

jinga nation

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
  • Location: 'Murica's Wang
  • Left, Right, Peddlin' Shite
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2018, 11:45:02 AM »
Why would anyone buy American cars anyway? Outside the US, for as longs as I can remember "american cars" was a joke and just synonymous with poorly engineered, janky and horrendously unreliable pieces of junk. Also comically huge and drive like a boats. When Asian cars are cheaper and more reliable I don't see any reason to buy american, I don't understand it

American cars in europe come in different smaller models, typically. Ford is actually the #2 brand in europe..

In Europe, apparently VW is considered quite reliable. In the US, it's the opposite. (Your opinion may vary.)

Some of it is familiarity with the cars or parts. Anywhere you go in the US, you'll find somebody who can fix a Chevy. If you drive a Saab or something even less common, good luck.

Except VW was using cheat devices in their cars in europe as well as the US. Other european car manufacturers were also using cheat devices for their diesels. That's why americans scratched their heads for so long wondering how diesel in europe was "cleaner" than the US. If you've spent any time in large cities in europe you will smell the diesel and if you bike around a lot it will affect your lungs. They say approximately 5000 people a year die prematurely from diesel related pollution in europe. I think those european manufacturers have lost the trust of the public.

Yes, Euopean cars are well-engineered, reasonably reliable, but expensive to buy and repair. Well, really German cars. French cars are cheap junk, as are italian ones. And British ones have always been known the be expensive, and reliability nightmares.

This doesn't change the fact that American cars are just crap. Barely cheaper than Asian ones, but terrible reliability, and shoddily engineered. Yes you can find someone to fix it, which is good I guess since you'll have to go there all the time.. I'd rather just not have to fix my car. You get none of the tight tolerance engineering of European cars, but the same bad reliability and repair issues, yey? Why? Just because they're cheap I guess? But these days that isn't even true anymore. Unless I really needed a car the size of a small apartment I wouldn't drive a Detroit car if I got it for free.

Bet you haven't owned a Crown Vic, easy to fix. Get a used one with P71. That thing will keep on rolling.

What British marques? There's ain't none unless it's a McLaren. JLR is owned by the Indians, Mini by ze Germans, same goes for RR and Bentley, Rover's owned by China. Vauxhall was owned by Americans, now it's French.

BTW, my 2006 Honda Accord and Civic were built in USA, with over 70% of content domestic. So is my car American or Japanese? Same for the US-designed and built VW Passat, which is different from the German/International model.

In an era of globalization, is calling a vehicle American, Asian, or European an exercise in futility?

In East Africa, sales of new/used small & large SUVs are increasing while sedan sales are in reverse. So it isn't an American thing only.
Signature worthless. I'm worth more dead than alive. Wife and kids will collect. Or Uncle Sam will, you can rely on Him.

Just Joe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1844
Re: American car companies are dropping everything except SUVs
« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2018, 11:49:58 AM »
I know for a fact that some of the VWs are very different critters from their European built cousins. Different designs, different price points, different parts suppliers, different factories (Mexico). And VWs are better now than they were in the late 90s and early 2000s quality wise.

Years ago when I lived in Europe I was impressed with some of the cars that Ford and GM were building for European markets. What they sold here in the USA was either entirely a different product or watered down.

Just companies chasing profits. Can't blame them for that. They put the effort where the profits are here in the USA which as we all know are in trucks and SUVs.

As much as I've enjoyed my Hondas - they were durable/reliable but not always as refined as they could have been. Put a sixth gear and some sound deadening in already! Honda has gotten better in that regard too.