Author Topic: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars  (Read 6438 times)

solon

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we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« on: April 05, 2018, 01:10:33 PM »
https://www.wsj.com/articles/gm-to-kill-chevrolet-sonic-subcompact-car-1522850577

We're losing the battle for the roads to SUVs and pickups.

Quote
American auto makers are embarking on a historic shift away from passenger cars, as more-profitable sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks continue to expand their share of the market.

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General Motors Co. will end production of the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact as early as this year, according to people familiar with the matter. GM is also considering discontinuing the Chevy Impala big sedan in the next few years, these people said, a decision that would kill a 61-year-old car model.

and

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Ford Motor Co., meanwhile, plans to stop building the Fiesta small car for the U.S. market within the next year, and will discontinue the large Taurus sedan, said people briefed on the plans.

But it's our fault.

Quote
But Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Ford are considering far more aggressive pullbacks from passenger cars because of the respective success of Jeeps and the F-150 pickup truck.

Quote
The company views consumer preference for SUVs over cars as "largely permanent"

Quote
Ford is also shifting. It recently put on sale the EcoSport small crossover SUV in the U.S. at a starting price of $20,000—almost $6,000 more than the Fiesta, with which it shares an underbody.

“The EcoSport is basically the same vehicle and they can charge several thousand dollars more for it,” said George Waikem II, who manages Nissan, Kia and Ford dealerships in northeastern Ohio. Small cars, such as the Fiesta, he said, are “definitely on an island that is sinking.

KCM5

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2018, 01:18:14 PM »
I don’t have a WSJ subscription - did they mention the change in CAFE standards? I feel like we’re just moving into the future - two steps forward, one step back.

trollwithamustache

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2018, 01:23:47 PM »
Chevy makes the Volt. At least in my far left coast state it would be silly to pass up the electric subsidy.

At least I hope that's the reason.

solon

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2018, 01:24:37 PM »
This is the only thing mentioned:

Quote
With the Trump administration planning to roll back fuel-economy standards for auto makers’ fleets, the shift to SUVs and trucks is only likely to continue.

o2bfree

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2018, 01:25:25 PM »
Means it's about time for another oil crisis.

MilesTeg

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2018, 01:27:38 PM »
This is why instead of counter-productive CAFE regulations that do nothing but encourage car makers to play games with car classifications (that SUV is actually a truck, har har!), we need to directly tax vehicles through a formula based on weight, emissions, MPG, CO2 emissions and miles driven. All car infrastructure should be funded directly by vehicle use (which of course would filter down to consumers/indirect use) and we should be funding R&D into alternative fuel vehicles and climate change mitigation (both mitigating the actual change and mitigating the consequences of those changes).

We also need to get people to STOP complaining about things like SUVs. All that does is remove the availability of (relatively) sane choices for completely insane choices, such as a full size truck for occasional towing, hauling and offroading instead of of (relatively) more efficient midsize SUV. Instead of people using compromise vehicles for a mix of uses, they are now more frequently buying specialized vehicles that have been bastardized into abominations (such as the increasingly common 4-door pickup trucks)

trollwithamustache

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2018, 01:28:25 PM »
Means it's about time for another oil crisis.

As a nation we love to celebrate the end of an oil crisis with truck purchases.

solon

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2018, 01:28:57 PM »
Heck, I'll just give you the entire article.

Quote
By Mike Colias and  Christina Rogers
Updated April 4, 2018 9:06 p.m. ET

DETROIT—American auto makers are embarking on a historic shift away from passenger cars, as more-profitable sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks continue to expand their share of the market.

Long thought to be necessary for combating Japanese rivals and catering to budget-minded or young customers, small cars have fallen out of favor amid low gasoline prices and efficiency improvements in SUVs. Now, large sedans also are on the chopping block.

General Motors Co. will end production of the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact as early as this year, according to people familiar with the matter. GM is also considering discontinuing the Chevy Impala big sedan in the next few years, these people said, a decision that would kill a 61-year-old car model.

Ford Motor Co., meanwhile, plans to stop building the Fiesta small car for the U.S. market within the next year, and will discontinue the large Taurus sedan, said people briefed on the plans.

Ford executives are still considering the future of the Ford Fusion, a midsize sedan once billed as an answer to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, these people said.

Sedans, coupes and other car categories accounted for 37% of U.S. sales last year, down from 51% in 2012. With the Trump administration planning to roll back fuel-economy standards for auto makers’ fleets, the shift to SUVs and trucks is only likely to continue.

The U.S. industry’s strategic shift is potentially lucrative, but risky.

While American vehicle makers have long earned the bulk of their profits from pickup trucks and SUVs, GM, Ford and Chrysler have suffered when gasoline prices rise and dealers are left with a stale or limited selection of fuel-efficient offerings. Toyota Motor Corp. , Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. have laid out investments to keep sedans and coupes such as the Civic and Altima fresh even as demand wanes.

GM will continue to sell several small cars, including the compact Chevy Cruze built in Ohio and the electric Chevy Bolt produced in the Michigan factory that also assembles the Sonic. The company also will offer its Chevy Malibu and Buick and Cadillac sedans.

But Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Ford are considering far more aggressive pullbacks from passenger cars because of the respective success of Jeeps and the F-150 pickup truck.

Fiat Chrysler took the first step in killing off small cars several years ago when it discontinued the Chrysler 200 sedan and Dodge Dart compact to free up money and assembly lines for pickup and SUV production. The company is now reporting record profits and has indicated to its suppliers it might be considering an end to larger cars, including the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans, within a few years.

The death of the Sonic is as symbolic as it is strategic. The car, which went on sale in 2011, was heralded as a hit because of features not typically seen on inexpensive small cars, such as heated seats. Chevy sold nearly 100,000 Sonics in 2014, far more than its previous subcompact models, but deliveries dwindled to about 30,000 last year.

The Sonic is built at the Orion Assembly plant in suburban Detroit, which was saved from closure during GM’s 2009 bankruptcy through a $1 billion lifeline of grants and tax incentives from the state of Michigan, local municipalities and the federal government.

Seen as a small-car plant preserved largely by the Obama administration, it was refurbished to represent the Motor City’s renewed commitment to small and efficient automobiles.

The plant, however, produces about one-quarter the number of vehicles that one of the company’s busy truck factories turns out. GM laid off thousands of factory workers last year as the auto maker sought to adjust car production with lower-than-expected demand.

The company views consumer preference for SUVs over cars as “largely permanent” and is assessing “how we best deploy assets in critical passenger-car segments to ensure we’re getting a return,” GM finance chief Chuck Stevens told analysts last year.

Ford is also shifting. It recently put on sale the EcoSport small crossover SUV in the U.S. at a starting price of $20,000—almost $6,000 more than the Fiesta, with which it shares an underbody.

“The EcoSport is basically the same vehicle and they can charge several thousand dollars more for it,” said George Waikem II, who manages Nissan, Kia and Ford dealerships in northeastern Ohio. Small cars, such as the Fiesta, he said, are “definitely on an island that is sinking.”

Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets, said the company will offer fewer models over time. “We are looking at a more rationalized, more thoughtful passenger car lineup, because we want to play where we can win,” he said in a recent interview.

The move away from sedans, coupes and hatchbacks has executives even outside Detroit considering how to respond.

It is a consumer shift “we really haven’t seen before,” Toyota U.S. sales chief Bill Fay said at an industry conference in New York last week. Another Toyota executive forecast the sale of cars shrinking to 30% of the American market in the near future, and said the Japanese auto maker might need to expand its SUV lineup.

—Chester Dawson contributed to this article.

Write to Mike Colias at Mike.Colias@wsj.com and Christina Rogers at christina.rogers@wsj.com

Appeared in the April 5, 2018, print edition as 'Car Makers Step Back From Cars.'

KCM5

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2018, 01:31:15 PM »
This is the only thing mentioned:

Quote
With the Trump administration planning to roll back fuel-economy standards for auto makers’ fleets, the shift to SUVs and trucks is only likely to continue.

Thanks.

Even my relatively pro environment friends seem to favor light SUVs over cars - Subarus or crossovers. So basically without regulations to save us from ourselves we’re screwed.

I was looking at NASA’s climate website the other day and was shocked by the steady increase in atmospheric CO2- I know it’s happening, obviously, but the change in just my lifetime is disheartening.https://climate.nasa.gov


jlcnuke

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2018, 01:33:41 PM »
Heck, I'll just give you the entire article.



As a general rule (applying 99.9% of the time), quoting an entire article is in violation of copyright laws. I recommend not doing so.
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swampwiz

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2018, 02:22:29 PM »
I can see the appeal of a hauler car like a truck or SUV, although as for myself, I have a VW station wagon (wow, remember those?) that can fit just about anything I need to fit (and I just rent a U-Haul anytime it's too small).  I actually like a small car with a low center of gravity.  I think that the efficiency push for the engines in these big vehicles has actually made them almost as economical as all but the slowest "secretary's' car".  Folks who get the small cars get the same engine, and combined with the lower effective aerodynamic drag coefficient, the small cars are peppy as opposed to lumberous.

Mr. Green

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2018, 02:23:08 PM »
Given the United States' rise to #1 oil producer I'm not surprised manufacturers are willing to cut small cars. No one expects to see $4/gallon gas again for a long time because the US has too much influence over oil availability now.
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TheWifeHalf

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2018, 02:29:27 PM »
TheHusbandHalf and I would be dead if we hadn't been in an F150.  With all these 'no driver' cars coming (or whatever they're called) we're going to need something higher up to fight off all the insane non-drivers

MasterStache

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2018, 02:34:57 PM »
Means it's about time for another oil crisis.

This, although I don't see it happening anytime soon. Nothing gets folks switching to more fuel efficient cars like $4-5/gal gas. It's kind of like the economy. When it's going well, folks are stockpiling debt with large houses, new cars, etc. Then when the house of cards collapses, they blame everyone else for their financial ineptitude. Rinse and repeat.
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hadabeardonce

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2018, 02:39:39 PM »
Is there a double-wide car yet? I really need one of those for myself. It would make my 10 mile round trip commute far more luxurious and I would be extremely safe in such a large vehicle.
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fuzzy math

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2018, 02:48:02 PM »
Is there a double-wide car yet? I really need one of those for myself. It would make my 10 mile round trip commute far more luxurious and I would be extremely safe in such a large vehicle.

Perhaps just get a diesel rig and let it idle in the grocery store parking lot for 25 minutes...
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ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2018, 02:52:50 PM »
Aw c'mon, you have to have a 3 ton SUX 6000 to shuttle your little Jeffrey Dahmer Einstein to school and soccer practice, because--safety! I mean, what if it rains????
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 02:57:00 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

Daley

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2018, 02:57:32 PM »
I haven't read the WSJ article, but I had caught a Reuter's TV segment covering the same news. I don't entirely disagree with the stuff quoted up at the beginning here, but I think the answer and reason why the rise of SUVs is a lot simpler than we're willing to admit. There was a little thing wedged in there at the end that pretty much explained all we need to know as to why the shift and push into SUVs in an already saturated market.

Quote
Right now, they can fetch anywhere between one-third and 50% more for SUVs compared to a car without higher production cost. So even if that number gets smaller, that's not the kind of profit margin any automaker is willing to turn down.

They're making SUVs because they can charge more money for nearly the same amount of resources, which provides higher profit margins. When you're selling fewer cars, you gotta keep profits up somewhere. "Screw the planet, we want money."
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ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2018, 03:05:00 PM »
Maybe it's because Muricans are now so fat!!! Especially Gen X!! (my generation BTW, but I am not overweight). Seriously, you see much less obesity and far fewer SUVs in other countries.

It's amazing meeting all my wife's Gen X former classmates who were once thin:

That nerdy kid? FAT!

The prom queen/blonde Barbie cheerleader? FAT!!

The kinda popular girl most people liked, but some hated? FAT!!!

The computer geek who was once rumored to have scored with Amy? FAT!!!!

The jock/football quarterback? FAT!!!!!

Load 'em all up in the SUV!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 03:09:42 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

bacchi

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2018, 03:20:05 PM »
This is why instead of counter-productive CAFE regulations that do nothing but encourage car makers to play games with car classifications (that SUV is actually a truck, har har!), we need to directly tax vehicles through a formula based on weight, emissions, MPG, CO2 emissions and miles driven. All car infrastructure should be funded directly by vehicle use (which of course would filter down to consumers/indirect use) and we should be funding R&D into alternative fuel vehicles and climate change mitigation (both mitigating the actual change and mitigating the consequences of those changes).

While it would certainly curtail SUVs due to higher running costs, it'll never happen because people don't want to face reality. Imagine telling >50% of Americans that they're moochers and owe more for road maintenance than the Civic driver next door. Not gonna happen.

Quote
We also need to get people to STOP complaining about things like SUVs. All that does is remove the availability of (relatively) sane choices for completely insane choices, such as a full size truck for occasional towing, hauling and offroading instead of of (relatively) more efficient midsize SUV. Instead of people using compromise vehicles for a mix of uses, they are now more frequently buying specialized vehicles that have been bastardized into abominations (such as the increasingly common 4-door pickup trucks)

I kinda doubt anyone complaining about SUVs has anything to do with the availability of sane vehicle choices. As Daley noted, SUVs are pushed because of the profit margin. A small minority rolling their eyes at the fabricated SUV/pickup lifestyle has no effect on what Ford/GM/Toyota/etc. does.

Daley

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2018, 05:10:16 PM »
I kinda doubt anyone complaining about SUVs has anything to do with the availability of sane vehicle choices. As Daley noted, SUVs are pushed because of the profit margin. A small minority rolling their eyes at the fabricated SUV/pickup lifestyle has no effect on what Ford/GM/Toyota/etc. does.

Honestly, I find this conversation especially interesting given the community that it's taking place in... one driven by money and profit margins for the benefit of the self. I wonder how many people here who are taking part in market returns and dividends within the auto industry for the sake of their own ability to retire realize that they're the ones driving this market shift in the first place. After all, stock holders are the ones demanding profits and returns, the corporations are simply responding in the only way they know how to meet those demands.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

bacchi

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2018, 06:03:47 PM »
I kinda doubt anyone complaining about SUVs has anything to do with the availability of sane vehicle choices. As Daley noted, SUVs are pushed because of the profit margin. A small minority rolling their eyes at the fabricated SUV/pickup lifestyle has no effect on what Ford/GM/Toyota/etc. does.

Honestly, I find this conversation especially interesting given the community that it's taking place in... one driven by money and profit margins for the benefit of the self. I wonder how many people here who are taking part in market returns and dividends within the auto industry for the sake of their own ability to retire realize that they're the ones driving this market shift in the first place. After all, stock holders are the ones demanding profits and returns, the corporations are simply responding in the only way they know how to meet those demands.

That's not what this site is about.

Daley

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2018, 06:26:18 PM »
I kinda doubt anyone complaining about SUVs has anything to do with the availability of sane vehicle choices. As Daley noted, SUVs are pushed because of the profit margin. A small minority rolling their eyes at the fabricated SUV/pickup lifestyle has no effect on what Ford/GM/Toyota/etc. does.

Honestly, I find this conversation especially interesting given the community that it's taking place in... one driven by money and profit margins for the benefit of the self. I wonder how many people here who are taking part in market returns and dividends within the auto industry for the sake of their own ability to retire realize that they're the ones driving this market shift in the first place. After all, stock holders are the ones demanding profits and returns, the corporations are simply responding in the only way they know how to meet those demands.

That's not what this site is about.

You certain about that? How many here have invested in index funds to enable FIRE and expect market and dividend returns to live off of? How many people here are convinced they have to get their own before they can do good in the world for others?

Note, I'm not trying to convict here. I'm simply pointing out conflicting interests between the heart of the philosophy via seeking material wealth to enable that goal, and the unintended consequences that might come with that.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

bacchi

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2018, 06:31:52 PM »
I kinda doubt anyone complaining about SUVs has anything to do with the availability of sane vehicle choices. As Daley noted, SUVs are pushed because of the profit margin. A small minority rolling their eyes at the fabricated SUV/pickup lifestyle has no effect on what Ford/GM/Toyota/etc. does.

Honestly, I find this conversation especially interesting given the community that it's taking place in... one driven by money and profit margins for the benefit of the self. I wonder how many people here who are taking part in market returns and dividends within the auto industry for the sake of their own ability to retire realize that they're the ones driving this market shift in the first place. After all, stock holders are the ones demanding profits and returns, the corporations are simply responding in the only way they know how to meet those demands.

That's not what this site is about.

You certain about that?

Yes.

Daley

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2018, 06:32:40 PM »
I kinda doubt anyone complaining about SUVs has anything to do with the availability of sane vehicle choices. As Daley noted, SUVs are pushed because of the profit margin. A small minority rolling their eyes at the fabricated SUV/pickup lifestyle has no effect on what Ford/GM/Toyota/etc. does.

Honestly, I find this conversation especially interesting given the community that it's taking place in... one driven by money and profit margins for the benefit of the self. I wonder how many people here who are taking part in market returns and dividends within the auto industry for the sake of their own ability to retire realize that they're the ones driving this market shift in the first place. After all, stock holders are the ones demanding profits and returns, the corporations are simply responding in the only way they know how to meet those demands.

That's not what this site is about.

You certain about that?

Yes.

Nice side-step of every other point made.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

Another Reader

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2018, 08:15:45 PM »
Cars are becoming more like the family room than a mode of transportation because people spend much more of their time in them than in the past.  Driving to work, school, stores, and recreation takes up a lot of waking hours these days.  Traffic everywhere you go and hours spent stuck in it.  Entertainment systems to keep the kids quiet and occupied and the phones for multitasking while inching your way onto the freeway.  Gotta be bigger and taller than the next guy because of the perceived safety advantage.  Cars equal freedom and now comfort and safety.

It's going to be tough to move back to limited car use and public transit.  Nobody wants that when safe, clean, and comfortable private transportation to anywhere is available at any time.

crxpilot

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2018, 08:29:56 PM »
Heck, I'll just give you the entire article.



As a general rule (applying 99.9% of the time), quoting an entire article is in violation of copyright laws. I recommend not doing so.

Oh good grief.  Hows your sister Debbie Downer?

jlcnuke

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2018, 08:35:38 PM »
Heck, I'll just give you the entire article.



As a general rule (applying 99.9% of the time), quoting an entire article is in violation of copyright laws. I recommend not doing so.

Oh good grief.  Hows your sister Debbie Downer?
When the forum gets sued and we can't have these conversations, I'll be sure to note your delight in not caring about copyright law. You rebel you...

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Radagast

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2018, 08:40:41 PM »
I mean F150's are one thing, but it seems like most of these "SUVs" are just taller versions of sedans. Its not that much of a difference except the cost and perception. I would like to see better accounting for externalities like weight, miles, and emissions, but otherwise people can blow their money however they want and I won't cry about it. Especially if they are willfully going far out of their way to spend an extra 6 grand on something totally frivolous. Knock yourselves out kids. Don't blame me later.

Things will get twice as bad when cheap self driving electrics are available. "Migrant workers" will take on a whole different level of meaning. 500 mile daily commutes by RV will not be uncommon.

Paul der Krake

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2018, 12:57:57 AM »
Cars are becoming more like the family room than a mode of transportation because people spend much more of their time in them than in the past.  Driving to work, school, stores, and recreation takes up a lot of waking hours these days.  Traffic everywhere you go and hours spent stuck in it.  Entertainment systems to keep the kids quiet and occupied and the phones for multitasking while inching your way onto the freeway.  Gotta be bigger and taller than the next guy because of the perceived safety advantage.  Cars equal freedom and now comfort and safety.

It's going to be tough to move back to limited car use and public transit.  Nobody wants that when safe, clean, and comfortable private transportation to anywhere is available at any time.
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

Another Reader

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2018, 04:44:53 AM »
Cars are becoming more like the family room than a mode of transportation because people spend much more of their time in them than in the past.  Driving to work, school, stores, and recreation takes up a lot of waking hours these days.  Traffic everywhere you go and hours spent stuck in it.  Entertainment systems to keep the kids quiet and occupied and the phones for multitasking while inching your way onto the freeway.  Gotta be bigger and taller than the next guy because of the perceived safety advantage.  Cars equal freedom and now comfort and safety.

It's going to be tough to move back to limited car use and public transit.  Nobody wants that when safe, clean, and comfortable private transportation to anywhere is available at any time.
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

The people in the cars outnumber you.  People vote for all kinds of tax increases for public transit, in hopes the other guy takes it when it's built so the roads will be clearer.  Unless public transit is safe, clean, reliable, comfortable, and convenient, people that are able to avoid using it will choose to do so.

accolay

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2018, 04:56:55 AM »
I'm waiting for peak oil. Please then only refer to me as "Lord Humungus"

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2018, 06:20:35 AM »
Cars are becoming more like the family room than a mode of transportation because people spend much more of their time in them than in the past.  Driving to work, school, stores, and recreation takes up a lot of waking hours these days.  Traffic everywhere you go and hours spent stuck in it.  Entertainment systems to keep the kids quiet and occupied and the phones for multitasking while inching your way onto the freeway.  Gotta be bigger and taller than the next guy because of the perceived safety advantage.  Cars equal freedom and now comfort and safety.

It's going to be tough to move back to limited car use and public transit.  Nobody wants that when safe, clean, and comfortable private transportation to anywhere is available at any time.
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

The people in the cars outnumber you.  People vote for all kinds of tax increases for public transit, in hopes the other guy takes it when it's built so the roads will be clearer.  Unless public transit is safe, clean, reliable, comfortable, and convenient, people that are able to avoid using it will choose to do so.

Those are my biggest issues with public transmit where I live. Often I won't even consider public transit an option at all because of those two things.

NorthernBlitz

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2018, 07:33:21 AM »
I don’t have a WSJ subscription - did they mention the change in CAFE standards? I feel like we’re just moving into the future - two steps forward, one step back.

Interesting that it talks only about US automakers.

I wonder if this is just because they feel like they can be more competitive in the truck and SUV market instead of sedans which seem to be dominated by Japanese automakers.

Clever Name

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2018, 07:52:36 AM »
I'd never even heard of a Chevy Sonic, so I looked it up and it looks terrible. I would guess that the real reason they killed it is that it couldn't compete with imports in its own segment, but of course Chevy didn't want to say that.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2018, 08:01:14 AM »
I'd never even heard of a Chevy Sonic, so I looked it up and it looks terrible. I would guess that the real reason they killed it is that it couldn't compete with imports in its own segment, but of course Chevy didn't want to say that.

This is a huge part of it, but I think it's less about not wanting to say it, and more about actually refusing to believe it.
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

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ariapluscat

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2018, 08:16:44 AM »
is public transport less safe than driving? ( ゚д゚)""

i think there's also that some of the people who might have bought smaller cars chose instead to not buy any car. a lot of urban centers are very bike and public transport friendly. so you've got the new market filling in the extremes: no car at all and large suv/truck, with fewer people taking the middle of smaller sized car/suv.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2018, 08:20:49 AM »
is public transport less safe than driving? ( ゚д゚)""

i think there's also that some of the people who might have bought smaller cars chose instead to not buy any car. a lot of urban centers are very bike and public transport friendly. so you've got the new market filling in the extremes: no car at all and large suv/truck, with fewer people taking the middle of smaller sized car/suv.

Different kind of safety problems. Cleveland public transit can get kind of stabby from time to time.
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/digging-out-of-a-hole/

neo von retorch

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2018, 09:14:13 AM »
We tend to think about humans and problems rationally, and, in doing so, we assume rational actors. (We know better, but this is more of an initial tendency, and as humans, we do other irrational things, like cling defensively to our first thoughts.) Buying a car is, at surface-level only, a rational decision. How much can I afford without impacting my other goals? What features are required? What will be nice to have? Some of us even succeed in answering these questions, negotiating with cold indifference, and getting a great deal on an apparently near-perfectly suited car for our needs. Many of us... do not.

As you're visiting your parents, eating a meal, you mention that you're car shopping. Your dad rants for a few minutes about how dangerous the interstate has become, and how he'll never drive anything smaller than his truck. Part of your brain remembers that time you were on the highway, and a tractor trailer started coming into your lane. You remember how the snow plow covered your windshield in slush. You feel fear. Your sister boasts about how comfortable her Lexus is. Again. Your mom says "that's such a nice car!" You feel envy.

You research cars. You find several suitably fitting vehicles. You talk to your bank and you determine a limit on what you're going to spend. Does everything go as planned? You visit a dealership. You talk to the dealer about the exact car you want. You take it for a test drive. For some reason, it's a clunker. There's a weird light on the dashboard, and it keeps making a buzzing sound. It just doesn't feel right. You know you should thank the dealer and be on your way to the next car you see, but you decide it can't hurt to drive some other cars just for comparison. While the sub-compact hatchback was a good idea, there's a brand new sub-compact SUV that's only a little more expensive, but roomier, boasts AWD, and you know you'd be one of the first of your friends to have this model. (Your rational brain says this is a stupid thing that you shouldn't listen to, but the voice in your head is drowned out as the salesperson points to the new smartphone connectivity feature in the radio. You don't care, and you largely ignore them. You pull out onto the road.

You feel optimistic about this car. Why weren't you looking into these? This has nice visibility. It seems to move easily and smoothly down the road. Your butt feels good in that warm seat. But that's stupid! You're not going to buy this. You're just taking it out for comparison. You complete your drive and hand the keys back to the salesman. They don't even have to say anything. You ask some more questions about it anyway. You feel excited. They invite you in to talk, just talk, while they check out your trade-in. You crunch some numbers on your calculator app. You double check the pre-approved loan amount. Hours go by, and you don't know why you're still sitting there talking about buying this car. You're hungry and you're ready for this to end. You agree to some things and sign some papers. They hand you a pair of keys...



The automobile manufacturers know all this. They've always known. They can build a Chevrolet Sonic, a Chevrolet Trax and a Buick Encore all based off the same platform and major components. But when it hits the dealer lots, they'll sell for $17k, $23k and $29k respectively. The cost of upgraded trim is almost an afterthought at the factory. When you make your 60 monthly payments, it's $50-100. No big deal. You feel like you made a great choice. You even got that one hint of jealousy when you showed your sister how you could pair your phone up to your new car and use Apple CarPlay. Her slightly used Lexus doesn't have that yet. Your lizard brain won this battle. It often does.

dougules

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2018, 11:08:58 AM »
Those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it.  The US had tons of gas guzzlers, then the oil crises of the 70's hit.  Toyota and Honda came and ate Detroit's lunch after that because they had small efficient cars ready to go. 

Ryancanderson23

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2018, 11:29:10 AM »
Don't blame the automakers, they are a business just like every other business seeking to maximize profits.  The blame goes to consumers who don't give a damn about the environment.  Even though I'm more libertarian than anything, I think raising the gas tax is the only fair and sensible solution.  Let consumers feel the weight of their full external costs.   

iowajes

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #41 on: April 06, 2018, 12:42:54 PM »

You certain about that? How many here have invested in index funds to enable FIRE and expect market and dividend returns to live off of? How many people here are convinced they have to get their own before they can do good in the world for others?

Note, I'm not trying to convict here. I'm simply pointing out conflicting interests between the heart of the philosophy via seeking material wealth to enable that goal, and the unintended consequences that might come with that.

I'm not saying that people on this forum aren't doing these things; but certainly anyone "mustachian" isn't doing this.  If they are only about accumulating wealth, they are misappropriating the name. Pete espouses a philosophy of doing good for others and for the world.  It isn't just about getting as much money as possible.  Heck, half of it is NOT NEEDING nearly as much money as people tell you that you do.  In the process you create fewer emissions, less waste, and use your money for good.

It's because of this site (and the Frugalwoods) that I know about a DAF.  I gave away 1/4 of my gross salary last year and I am on track to do that again.
My husband actually DOES have a small, hybrid, SUV (Escape)- but he bikes to work 80% of the year.

ol1970

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #42 on: April 06, 2018, 12:52:03 PM »
Having made my FIRE stash in the auto industry and still being very connected, I can tell you that the OEM's goal is simply to respond to customer demand.  They literally ship dollars attached to the hoods of small sedans, but make buckets of cash on the vehicles people actually want.  It's crazy to me to read about people being disgusted that a company wants to run as effeciently and profitably as possible.  These same companies are all also making major shifts in their future method of propulsion, so no need to get so worked up, it's all going to work itself out.  Half of these SUV's will be electric in 10 years anyway, maybe more.  I do agree with the whole climate change angle and we are impacting the environment, but then again the exact spot where I live was below 1 mile of ice only 10,000 years ago. (SUV's not the cause of that Ice melting...)

neil

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #43 on: April 06, 2018, 01:15:35 PM »
GM has made a verbal commitment to attack electric and autonomous driving, but you can trust they aren't doing it out of any opinion about managing our resources.  Moving the fleet off gas will probably stabilize buying trends (no longer facing the weekly gas bill and instead lumped into the electric bill and probably ignored) and once these things go full level 6 autonomous, those larger vehicles may start to even feel more necessary as ever as you can now put those larger builds to use (interacting with family, sleeping if it's legal, who knows.) 

Cars are already used ridiculously, but use will probably increase further the more autonomous and cost-obfuscated the car becomes.  Commutes become less relevant to daily user's lifestyles and sprawl will probably increase.

Better?  I dunno, honestly.  In general, I feel progress goes in the right direction but it's not always 100% forward and some costs become permanent.  Embrace the clown! :p

dougules

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #44 on: April 06, 2018, 03:38:02 PM »
Having made my FIRE stash in the auto industry and still being very connected, I can tell you that the OEM's goal is simply to respond to customer demand.  They literally ship dollars attached to the hoods of small sedans, but make buckets of cash on the vehicles people actually want.  It's crazy to me to read about people being disgusted that a company wants to run as effeciently and profitably as possible.  These same companies are all also making major shifts in their future method of propulsion, so no need to get so worked up, it's all going to work itself out.  Half of these SUV's will be electric in 10 years anyway, maybe more.  I do agree with the whole climate change angle and we are impacting the environment, but then again the exact spot where I live was below 1 mile of ice only 10,000 years ago. (SUV's not the cause of that Ice melting...)

Those companies are not responding to customer demand, they're creating it.  Otherwise why would there be truck ads everywhere?

And electric cars don't solve the problem.  The energy still has to come from somewhere. 

GuitarStv

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2018, 03:43:11 PM »
is public transport less safe than driving? ( ゚д゚)""

i think there's also that some of the people who might have bought smaller cars chose instead to not buy any car. a lot of urban centers are very bike and public transport friendly. so you've got the new market filling in the extremes: no car at all and large suv/truck, with fewer people taking the middle of smaller sized car/suv.

Different kind of safety problems. Cleveland public transit can get kind of stabby from time to time.

Speed holes make you go faster though.  (At least the threat of them has always made me go faster)  :P

jinga nation

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #46 on: April 06, 2018, 03:44:20 PM »
I don’t have a WSJ subscription - did they mention the change in CAFE standards? I feel like we’re just moving into the future - two steps forward, one step back.

PRO TIP: If you can't read the entire WSJ article, copy the URL (e.g. https://www.wsj.com/articles/gm-to-kill-chevrolet-sonic-subcompact-car-1522850577) and go to archive.is, paste the URL and search. If there isn't an existing archived copy, you can request it to be archived and it'll be ready for you in about a minute.
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desertadapted

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2018, 04:47:50 PM »
Quote
And electric cars don't solve the problem.  The energy still has to come from somewhere.

Sort of.  Average load in my area is 50% non-carbon.  I'll take that over F-150 fuel usage.  Obviously doesn't win again a bike.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2018, 04:51:07 PM »
And electric cars don't solve the problem.  The energy still has to come from somewhere.

I vote Hydrogen fuel cells. Use the excess energy created by the solar duck curve to generate H2, power the cars and off-hours grid with hydrogen.
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/digging-out-of-a-hole/

robartsd

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #49 on: April 06, 2018, 05:36:05 PM »
The people in the cars outnumber you.  People vote for all kinds of tax increases for public transit, in hopes the other guy takes it when it's built so the roads will be clearer.  Unless public transit is safe, clean, reliable, comfortable, and convenient, people that are able to avoid using it will choose to do so.

Those are my biggest issues with public transmit where I live. Often I won't even consider public transit an option at all because of those two things.
Public Transit is quite often at least as safe as other options, but often fails on the other 5 measures.