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As evidenced by the growing number of nameplates in America, the US market is not going in one direction. The tastes of automobile consumers is heterogenous, and that is reflected in the wide variety of vehicles people purchase.

consider, however, the companies who have expanded with new brands over the past couple of decades, and those who have lost divisions. Chrysler (who got bought out by a foreign company, no less) lost Plymouth and Eagle in the past decade. GM, of course is bidding farewell to the Olds brand after well over 100 years. meanwhile, Acura and Lexus have only grown, as has Infiniti, and Scion is emerging. funny how the Japanese brands just continue to gain ground if they don't know what this market wants. i don't think they are all encompassing, but they do a really good job at hitting the sweet spot in the marketplace. besides, look at the top selling midsize sedans (very important, very lucrative) and tell me what they are. Toyota and Honda. all i'm saying is that instead of hiding and watching, GM needs to be ahead of the game some time, and once again, they're not.
 

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We may yawn at Honda's in general but there is no denying the fact that there engine technology and suspension systems are way ahead of ours for the most part. And i'm sure when hybrids are out for a while they will be pretty reliable too. And speeking of recalls, GM isn't doing too well in that department either!
 

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Originally posted by LINCSAT@Jun 16 2004, 09:27 PM
Oh great another piece of **** honda accord. The current one has 6 recalls now and what when this hybrid together another 10 recalls. Honda has gone to the dogs! and yes this is coming from a past honda customer untill there recall cars and rattle cars came out!
my parents have a 98 accord with only 105,000 miles and have had plenty of problems. the most recent is the catalytic converter going out. altogether cost about $1500 to repair/replace.
 

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Originally posted by dairyboy615@Jun 16 2004, 06:56 PM
yawn or not...like it or not...hybrid is the way cars are headed. They still have a long way to go though. I bet that eventually all cars and trucks will be hybrids. I hate to say it, but once again U.S. car manufacturers are asleep at the wheel when it comes to market trends. Toyota has two hybrid vehicles with more coming soon, honda has two with the Accord coming, etc. The only domestic manufacturer that is currently selling one is ford...and it uses a toyota powertrain? If soon the hybrid market explodes with growth, the imports will already be a few steps ahead of the U.S. manufacturers.
hybrid, schmybrid.

hybrid cars are waaay over-rated. the current prius actually only gets like 42mpg in the city. if you really wanted a fuel-efficient car, you would get a diesel or a small, non-hybrid car. anyone remember the geo metro (yeah, i know it sucked for performance, so do hybrids), it used to get like 48mpg in the city. that's better than any hybrid, and with technology from 15 years ago.

the systems that GM is working on, like DOD, once implemented into the 5.3 V8 and 3.9V V6 (these engines go into millions of vehicles every year) will save infinitely more gas than a few hybrids will. And GM will make money on their technology, unlike the $10K that Toyota loses on every hybrid they sell.
 

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Originally posted by steinravnik@Jun 17 2004, 12:24 PM
hybrid cars are waaay over-rated. the current prius actually only gets like 42mpg in the city. if you really wanted a fuel-efficient car, you would get a diesel or a small, non-hybrid car. anyone remember the geo metro (yeah, i know it sucked for performance, so do hybrids), it used to get like 48mpg in the city. that's better than any hybrid, and with technology from 15 years ago.

the systems that GM is working on, like DOD, once implemented into the 5.3 V8 and 3.9V V6 (these engines go into millions of vehicles every year) will save infinitely more gas than a few hybrids will. And GM will make money on their technology, unlike the $10K that Toyota loses on every hybrid they sell.
The Prius has much more interior room than the Metro -- it is nearly on-par with the mid-sized Camry. To get 42 mpg out of a mid-sized car is quite an accomplishment, no matter how you do it.

Plus, the latest Prius is managing 0-60 times in the 9 - 10 second range. Again, no Z06, but capable of holding its own in normal traffic and competitive with base 4 cylinder mid-sized cars.

The other interesting thing about hybrids is that the even out fuel use -- some like the Prius actually get better economy in town than the do on the highway. So, the Prius may only get 42 mpg, but it will get close to that whether you drive it in town, on the highway or some combination thereof.

You may not want a hybrid or even be interested in fuel economy, but there is a need and a market for these cars. And the engineering behind making them work is just as interesting (and exotic) as anything you will find in a high performance car.

DoD is also an interesting technology (if you note, Honda is also using it on the Accord Hybrid), but simply adding it to a conventional IC engine will only provide an incremental gain in economy in certain conditions. Though -- as you note -- if every car gets this incremental improvement, the overall fuel savings could be quite significant. These are complimentary, not competiting, approaches.
 

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Originally posted by dairyboy615@Jun 16 2004, 06:56 PM
yawn or not...like it or not...hybrid is the way cars are headed. They still have a long way to go though. I bet that eventually all cars and trucks will be hybrids. I hate to say it, but once again U.S. car manufacturers are asleep at the wheel when it comes to market trends. Toyota has two hybrid vehicles with more coming soon, honda has two with the Accord coming, etc. The only domestic manufacturer that is currently selling one is ford...and it uses a toyota powertrain? If soon the hybrid market explodes with growth, the imports will already be a few steps ahead of the U.S. manufacturers.
Tooo trueee. To bad GM missed out on this. They had BETTER be first with hydrogens and use their dealers to distribute it as there won't be many 'hydrogen stations'
 

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The thing I notice about hybrids is that it is a new technology still in its infancy. Diesel has been around a lot longer. That doesn't mean Diesel is bad or anything, but it shows that we are just starting to watch the take-off of hybrid technology - and the Japanese are in the lead. Knowing them, they could probably advance hybrids some more, or introduce a Diesel hybrid for even better fuel efficiency and performance.

I read somewhere that either Toyota or Ford felt that mastering hybrid technology would be a great step into hydrogen technology. I think Toyota felt that what you learn in hybrid technology will prepare you for hydrogen. I know Ford mentioned that it wanted to build its own hybrid system instead of buying it from Toyota so that it could learn for future applications down the road.
 

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Originally posted by surferdude00711+Jun 18 2004, 01:00 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (surferdude00711 @ Jun 18 2004, 01:00 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-dairyboy615@Jun 16 2004, 06:56 PM
yawn or not...like it or not...hybrid is the way cars are headed. They still have a long way to go though. I bet that eventually all cars and trucks will be hybrids. I hate to say it, but once again U.S. car manufacturers are asleep at the wheel when it comes to market trends. Toyota has two hybrid vehicles with more coming soon, honda has two with the Accord coming, etc. The only domestic manufacturer that is currently selling one is ford...and it uses a toyota powertrain? If soon the hybrid market explodes with growth, the imports will already be a few steps ahead of the U.S. manufacturers.
Tooo trueee. To bad GM missed out on this. They had BETTER be first with hydrogens and use their dealers to distribute it as there won't be many 'hydrogen stations' [/b][/quote]
Ford had something on its site a while ago about working with British Petroleum in six test markets in the U.S. for its hydrogen research. I don't know too much about it, but it sounded like Ford had some hydrogen equipped Focus sedans that were tested along with a few BP gas stations offering hyrdogen. I can't remember too much and you guys might know even more, but I remember seeing something like that on Ford's wesite. Maybe Ford is deep in hydrogen research as well.
 

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Originally posted by SUPERBADD75@Jun 17 2004, 02:55 PM
consider, however, the companies who have expanded with new brands over the past couple of decades, and those who have lost divisions. Chrysler (who got bought out by a foreign company, no less) lost Plymouth and Eagle in the past decade. GM, of course is bidding farewell to the Olds brand after well over 100 years. meanwhile, Acura and Lexus have only grown, as has Infiniti, and Scion is emerging. funny how the Japanese brands just continue to gain ground if they don't know what this market wants. i don't think they are all encompassing, but they do a really good job at hitting the sweet spot in the marketplace. besides, look at the top selling midsize sedans (very important, very lucrative) and tell me what they are. Toyota and Honda. all i'm saying is that instead of hiding and watching, GM needs to be ahead of the game some time, and once again, they're not.
When I speak of ever-growing nameplates, I'm not referring to divisions; I refer specifically to models. Since WWII, the number of nameplates has been growing, both from a domestic and import standpoint. As an example, Cadillac's portfolio is growing. Though it lost the Fleetwood, Allante, and Catera, it gained the SRX, CTS, XLR, and Escalade: two sedans and a roadster have been replaced by a sedan, a roadster, a crossover, and a large sport utility. I see that as an example of a continued splintering of the market.

Of course, there will always be large selling vehicles (as you pointed out, the Accord and Camry which each capture 400,000 units in sales per year). Lest you forget economies of scale, GM and Ford certainly have found the sweetspot in trucks: GM moves over 650,000 Silverados per year, and Ford moves close to 850,000 F-series.

There was a recent article (posted on GMInsidenews?!), in which an author correctly identified the growing nameplates in the USA. If you divide the total number of vehicles sold in the USA by the total number of nameplates offered in the USA, you find that each model averages about 85,000 units per year (of course, the standard deviation is whopping). By 2010, with the anticipated number of new nameplates to be added to automakers selling cars in the USA (close to a total of 280), the average unit sales per nameplate should decrease to about 65,000.

I think both the domestics (finally and thankfully) and the imports are playing a role in the continued heterogeneity of the US auto market.
 

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Here's my problem with Toyota Hybrid technology.

It can be expensive enough maintaining/repairing one engine.

Now I've got to pay to maintain and repair 2? How many mechanics out there are going to be able to fix up a hybrid?

Probably only at the dealers, and even those guys, at least for the first few years, will be LEARNING how to fix your electric engine ON YOUR DIME! :YMCA:

I like DoD. I don't sacrifice any power, I get improved gas mileage and on pushrods it just involves using oil pressure to shift a pin, shouldn't be hard for a mechanic to fix.
 

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My boss has a Civic hybrid and he loves it. It drives pretty well too. I'm glad Ford is doing the Escape hybrid, and hopefully that will sell enough to get them moving on getting hybrid motors into those bigger SUVs.. you know, the ones that suck down fuel and empty your wallet. I don't understand why GM hasn't already started placing the Toyota system in their cars. They share platforms, why not share this?

New Mexico, sometimes I think you need to look beyond your politcal hangups and realize what the bottom line is. Eventually we are going to run out of oil. And before that happens gas will be long gone. And before that happens you'll be paying $5.00 a gallon at the pump. Sounds like a blast right? We can greatly prolong the life of the reserves by getting every family car, including SUVs, on the hybrid bandwagon. Obviously vehicles that are used for work, such as pickups and vans for contractors and utility personel, would need to retain higher powered diesel driven versions at least until the hybrid technology catches up in horsepower and torque. It amuses me that you would vote for someone that has a personal interest in the oil business.
 
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