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Collioure  (Level: 102.3 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 8th Jun '09 3:09 PM


Americans are apparently addicted to big cars. Gas at $5 a gallon again isn't far away, but car buyers seem not to care. Gas is relatively cheap for another moment, and they seem to have short memories.

I wasn't exactly enthralled with the Obama admin's rather heavy-handed efforts with the auto industry, but looking at this statistic today, maybe the US needed a high-level executive decision to change the direction of the auto industry from one that preferred to make and market big cars to one that takes into consideration the capacity of worldwide oil production today.

Caramel1  (Level: 125.9 - Posts: 21553)
Mon, 8th Jun '09 3:25 PM

lotsa luck getting folks to buy from Obama Motors. I'm sticking with Ford muyy 99 Escort running just fine. Haven' heard yet f the Supreme Court will hear the case of the 'evil' hedge fund representing retired indiana teachers and police officers when Obama rewrote te law when and took them off the list of preferred share holders. It is all up to Ginsburg whether she refers it to the whole court or gives in=t a thumbs down. Fiat can back out if deal not doe by 6/15 but cannot quite figure out why they would as they are getting 25% of tthe company for nothing-some kind of shill game here seems to me

Caramel1  (Level: 125.9 - Posts: 21553)
Mon, 8th Jun '09 4:42 PM

Good for Ruth at least a closer look is being taken about the legality of what Obama did

Kaufman  (Level: 253.8 - Posts: 3936)
Mon, 8th Jun '09 5:27 PM

Or perhaps Priii don't crap out after two years, so you don't need to run and get a new one practically every week, so everyone who wants one is doing fine.

I know I'm still on my first one ...

Collioure  (Level: 102.3 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 8th Jun '09 5:48 PM

I don't think do, Ken, but you do make an excellent point

(which, however, applies to all Toyota products)

Kaufman  (Level: 253.8 - Posts: 3936)
Mon, 8th Jun '09 5:56 PM

Of course I'm being a bit of a devil's advocate, but there can be a lot of explanations that contribute to a statistic. How have comparable cars (in price, market, style) done over the same period? Were there other factors involved? A price bump? New hybrids providing more true competition?

Collioure  (Level: 102.3 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 8th Jun '09 6:57 PM

You make several good points again, Ken, but total hybrid sales are down 38% vs last year.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Mon, 8th Jun '09 9:51 PM

gas is (relatively) cheap right now. Don't you think sales will rise again when it goes back up, which it surely will?

Collioure  (Level: 102.3 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 9th Jun '09 4:23 AM

Of course, Sandy.

It was one of the factors that did in Chrysler and GM which were tooled up to produce big vehicles. When gas prices peaked, those models clogged up the lots.

Caramel1  (Level: 125.9 - Posts: 21553)
Tue, 9th Jun '09 5:49 AM

The biggest factor that did in GM and Chrysler like it or not was that it could not support the legacy costs negotiated by the unions in good times coupled with the job bank and the work rules. They could not compete with cars made in southern states not bound by those things which are added to the car price. I am from a union city and am a retired union worker and see their plight. They did at the end get current wages ad rules in line with companies like Toyota but it is very difficult to talk about cutting down on something negotiated at one time when someone is now too old to work. I watch with interest this Supreme Court thing as it if heard speaks not only to the bond holder representing teachers and police in Indiana but whether Obama had any right to rewrite the law and put them behind the UAW as creditors-let alone using TARP money to do it. The fact that the closing of dealerhips not making Chrysler any more profitable is being brought to the attention of Congress as well as they got screwed too and they and the economy built around them support many small towns. Do the math. How much money are the taxpayers paying to keep one worker working? Much cheaper to simply write them a check It is an endless government job bank. Even his own people say it will take years at least in the Gm thing for the government to get out if at all. All the while Obama is calling the shots on everything. This whole Fiat deal smells bad-not putting in a dime and look how well things are going for Fiat in Italy? i a interchange of emails with Chrysler Fiat the gut on the Fiat end referred to Treasury Secretary Gheitner as GOD. Now if that does not smell bad what does?

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4286)
Tue, 9th Jun '09 8:01 AM

Gee, I really hate to post this, but I gotta...

After hearing a guest lecturer in one of my classes talk about the carbon footprint of the Prius (the creation of the nickel battery and its disposal) being really bad on the environment, I did a little research. It really burst my bubble, because I thought it would be a really great car (from a "green" perspective). I still think alternative is the way to go, but the battery appears to be a big problem.

Read some of the following, and I think you'll be surprised.

"According to an article posted on The Recorder Online by Chris Demorro, the Toyota Prius, the most popular hybrid is not actually that efficient. "Their ultimate 'green car' is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer." "


Caramel1  (Level: 125.9 - Posts: 21553)
Tue, 9th Jun '09 8:33 AM

The whole thing is lying to get an agenda passed. He does not say that for every '"green" job created 3 or 4 others will be lost nor that most green jobs are temporary. In a "read' which I am sure is still available he painted the fund that represents retired Indiana teachers and police as "evil"" and holding out for more money at the expense of everyone else. He said he did not "STAND" with them I would say he does NOT stand with the middle class as he says he does as the dealerships which are small businesses owners getting screwed proves. My hope is that this current Supreme Court acts on restoring or system of checks and balance as well as toss the quota thing illustrated by the Hartford firefighters. I agree pollution is most likely bad but see no proof that climate change is man-made. Do know Al Gore has gotten very rich or richer by going everywhere and writing everything saying it does. Ruth has until 4 pm today to decide. She is in my thoughts-Linda

Pennwoman  (Level: 151.8 - Posts: 2478)
Tue, 9th Jun '09 9:44 AM

I did a quick check on -- which is a nifty little search engine, I recommend it -- but car sales across the board are down 30% -- The Prius, Toyotas or other wise.

Oddly enough when I typed "supreme court" and "car sales" it lead me to a BLOG site that had nothing to do with Andy's original post.... imagine my shock.

Caramel1  (Level: 125.9 - Posts: 21553)
Tue, 9th Jun '09 9:54 AM

My response was to Andy and his thoughts on what killed GM and Chrysler. They were building the cars that people wanted but more expensive for them to do it. We will see how the American people like the VOLT because Obama is telling them what to build and people what to drive.- Yes, sales of most major ticket items are down-the economy Sucks and changing the numbers to show that stimulus is out there and working when it is not sucks too-threads twist and turn Linda

Fudypatootie  (Level: 194.3 - Posts: 1302)
Tue, 9th Jun '09 12:12 PM

Not to mention that the Prius is just a dorky looking little car. We live in a car culture. We like good-looking cars, whether they are big or small. I wouldn't mind having an electric car, but I'm holding out for one of these:

Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Wed, 10th Jun '09 1:53 PM

I like the Tesla too but it's still electric therefore not really green.

Honda do make this though
- genuinely zero emissions: the only byproduct is water
- hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, so little chance of it running out
- it looks and drives like any other 'normal' car
- using one will really annoy OPEC and all other monopolising energy providers
- driving one will reduce the rate of fossil fuel consumption and put off the eventual moment the last well runs dry, thus allowing you to take out your '68 four-speed Ford Mustang Fastback GT on the weekend and still pretend to be Steve McQueen.

Oldcougar  (Level: 217.3 - Posts: 1935)
Wed, 10th Jun '09 3:16 PM

That Honda Clarity looks really promising Martin. Wonder if someone will come up with a green 4 x 4 truck, which it what I need to haul hay, wood, boats, etc. What would be really nice is if they found a way to convert existing vehicles to greener fuel that didn't cost an arm & a leg. Our family is doing our best but just junking existing goods whether they be vehicles, stoves, fridges & the like doesn't seem green to me, not to mention most of us can't afford to replace major ticket items every few years. We'd like to convert to solar electricity but the costs are prohibitive especially in todays economy. For now we have to be satisfied with keeping our acreage treed to offset our carbon footprint, recycling as much as possible, using no pesticides and other green strategies. I'm packing buckets of bath water to my flower pots at the moment & its messing up my Sploofus arm

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4286)
Wed, 10th Jun '09 5:24 PM

That's what I'm wondering, Randy, if there is some way to retrofit existing vehicles with alternative fuel devices to make them more green...

Caramel1  (Level: 125.9 - Posts: 21553)
Wed, 10th Jun '09 6:33 PM

There is some kind of "cash for clunkers'"deal to get people to get the PROPER vehicle-

Allena  (Level: 253.5 - Posts: 1388)
Wed, 10th Jun '09 9:50 PM

Ken and JJ’s good luck with their Prius convinced me to buy one. However, I learned that the Nickel Cadmium battery is like our cell phone batteries, good for a period of time and decreasing in power, over the same time. In the case of what I was pricing, the battery had a life of about 90,000 miles. After considerable figuring, I realized I would lose money and bought a Camry instead. Both last a very long time but dragging around a shrinking battery is also anti-economical. The extra weight of a The 3rd Generation Toyota Prius Hybrid is quite unproductive. It is however, the largest selling vehicle in Japan. The Camry costs less than a Prius to buy and has a lot less maintenance for the life of the vehicle. (My third Camry)

I researched batteries because of our tremendous need to provide for ways of storing spontaneous energy until peak requirements. My research is in a quiz in the technical area (the very very popular area for Sploofus) and the conclusion (oh my gawd, I have given away the quiz) is that Lithium batteries, in large scale may be around the corner. These do not degenerate and are probably one way to get recharged batteries to perform for a long time. Until these batteries are economically implemented into cars, the carbon footprint of a nickel cad battery and the lack of economical payout for the weight load make some of these idealic ideas just propaganda. Right now, large Lithium batteries are subject to exploding.

I think wind power, tidal energy and solar have been researched. More needs to be done. However, Nuclear Power is truly a way to get economical energy and Yucca Mountain and others are needed.

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