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Electric cars off to a big start in the wrong direction. IMHO

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Seasoned Oak, Nov 6, 2010.

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  1. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    Of course we are capable of making a world-class automobile. We haven't seemed to want to. It is pretty well documented why the Detroit Three struggle to be viewed as competent in the small/medium/and crossover family car segment (though Ford is making great progress).

    Part of the problem is that opinions can last a lifetime and often affect the next generation as well. How many people declare "I will never buy an _____ again!"? That buyer and possibly his children are gone forever. The import OEM's real victory was in developing a passionate following while the domestics seemed content to rely on a dwindling, aging population with a dependable "buy American" bias.

    I am afraid that the improvements at GM and Chrysler may come too late for the market that has shunned them for decades. Also, it seems obvious that Ford's refusal of the government bail-out money appeals to American's sense of self reliance, and has stigmatized the other two even further.

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  2. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Worst truck i ever had was a 1999 toyota tacoma rust bucket,lousy MPG, dead springs, oil leaks, gas leaks , and all that at 85000 miles.
    Its a good thing they had a high resale in 2008 when i dumped it. GM fixed the rust thing in the 80s dont know what took toyota so long,but as of the 99 the frames were still disintegrating before your eyes. Loved my GM truck even more after that.
    Wife had a 2000 Pontiac grand am ,no trouble at all,then a 2002 firebird, no trouble at all, great car Seems the trucks are pretty reliable but the cars were spotty depending which year, make, and model. Never personally had a bad one though.
  3. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Well you can put toyota in that space for me as one i will never buy again,there were so many design flaws in the 1999 tacoma model i owned it did not hold a candle to any GM truck i ever owned. For me its 5% patriotism and 95% dependable service and long life. Never a major repair in 35 years is a pretty good record. As far as cost goes toyota is coming out with their answer to the volt for 2012.
    Its a prius with a plug-in 12 mile range battery said to be priced at $47,800 range. More money for less range ? I dont see that as setting the green world on fire,or serious competition for the volt either.
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/147324-toyota-plans-to-mass-produce-plug-in-prius-in-2012
  4. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    And I'm on the other side. Owed Camry's since 1986, all but the 1986 bought used, currently own a 2005 and 2007; all driven to about 200,000+ miles; only 2 repairs other than ordinary maintenance.
  5. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I think its safe to say GM has been making better trucks than toyota, cars on the other hand seem to favor toyota. Cost is another factor though, My tacoma was always needing new parts somewhere and they were very expensive,(as well as the truck itself)
  6. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Depends on the truck. Also if there were a frame issue like Toyota had would you expect GM to step up and give refunds or replace frames? I wouldn't given their track record.
  7. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    The real problem is the "improvements" GM and Chrysler have made still doesn't make more than 80% or their vehicles hold up to "import" models. Look at the long term reliability ratings of vehicles in the past 3 years to prove this out. American manufacturers still make junk and expect people to buy it and are shocked when they don't.

    Pickups are about the only vehicles where US automakers have the advantage.
  8. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Ill stick with the truck that thats proven itself to me every day for 35 years and thats GM trucks. I tried a toyota truck just to see what all the fuss was about and it turned out to be a poor substitute for a real truck that can go to work every day in a contracting business and perform. CR rates the tacoma trucks when they are brand new, not 5 years later when their falling apart. Perhaps if your just driving to bingo its fine if the frame dont fall off. I could never haul wood for the stove in it as after about 300 lbs in the back the rubber stops were bottomed out on the axle,yeh a real winner that 1999 toyota was. you can have em.
  9. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    No Trump the ratings from CR cover all years especially when looking at problems with past models.

    Also you're comparing a Tacoma with a full sized truck and complaining about hauling?

    Toyota stepped up to the plate and has been fixing or replacing all of those defective vehicles, can you expect the US automakers to do the same?
  10. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    That's my opinion, of course. ^

    So who here would integrate this (essentially the political aspect of a product purchase) into their buying decision? If the Volt for instance would otherwise appeal to you, would the bail-out make a difference?
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Not one bit. I don't mix politics and cars.
  12. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    In short? Yes. Why should I choose to use my dollars to reward/support a company run so poorly they needed bailed out?
  13. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    I don't know about all this US vs Japanese qualty stuff but one thing rings true with any of them. Avoid all new advanced technology cars like the plague the first model year or years. Let those trendy, gotta have it now and keeping up with the Jones types put up with all the bugs and serious problems. After a year or so most growing pains are worked out and you can expect something that will last and hopefully give reliable service. I would also welcome electrics as the engines and most of the drive train should be a lot less complex than any form of ICE power train.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good point Driz. It is my primary concern with the Volt. It's a very complex machine. Toyota in the meantime has had 10 years to polish its equally complex design and come up with a remarkably trouble-free vehicle.
  15. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    THe toyota was rated as a half ton ,and i bottomed out with 4 cement blocks in the back,im quite sure the blocks were no more than 40-50 Lbs each so 200Lbs max (8x16) The rear springs are crap, plain and simple iv heard tundra owners(full size toyota trucks) say the same thing. THe truck was useless for hauling anything over 200LBs. THey do that so it rides like a car,yea it does ride like a car and hauls like one too. I have half ton GM trucks ,can carry a ton before they bottom out.
    You guys that say GM makes all junk,and toyota and everything foreign is so perfect and always reliable, its just BS. im here to tell you my experience side by side comparison owning both at at the same time. I listened to you guys before when i bought the toyota believing the hype, thinking they were so wonderful,well i tried it and it was a joke compared the any GM truck i ever owned. SO you can make all the excuses you want for the many design flaws in toyota trucks,you keep drinking the koolaid and ill keep what works for me. BY the way CR gave that 1999 a great rating so much for CR.
  16. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Foreign makers take their Govts money all the time, the toyota and honda american cheerleaders dont seem to have a problem when they do it. Japans Govt paid for the R&D developing the Prius. They (Japan and south Korea)also put up restrictive import barriers making imported cars and truck twice the price so very few will ever be sold there. Japan had a cash for clunkers program ,guess what
    NO IMPORTS allowed. Our govt took the less expensive route on the bailout knowing it would cost them far more to let the companies be liquidated than to save them, but im sure all you toyota lovers wold have liked to see millions of americans lose their jobs anyway and would not mind paying extra for it.
  17. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    And CR was right. If you live in areas where road salts are not an issue the Tacoma and Tundra do not have frame rot issues. Like I've said before I have a neighbor with a late 90's Tacoma with no rust whatsoever. To be noted the frames were manufactured for Toyota here in the states and the problem frames were all by the same manufacturer.

    I call BS on your spring example unless you had a defect. My neighbor with the Tacoma goes woodcutting all the time with me and loads his truck up with 1/2 to 1/3 a cord of wood with no issues of springs bottoming out. It certainly squats pretty good but it's not really meant for heavy hauling either.

    I don't think GM makes all junk, but more than 50% of what they make is.
  18. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Considering Toyota makes many of there cars here with higher American parts content than most of GM's cars that is pure BS trump.
  19. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    100% of the GM trucks iv owned were excellent trucks.Not 50% Also 100% of the cars as well. I cant speak for others except many of my extended family who had exactly the same results. My brothers been driving GM cars and trucks for 45years same deal, just regular maintainance. Iv owned other foreign vehicles that were good overall such as a subaru. As it stands100% of the toyotas iv owned were a poor excuse for a truck,and it was only 1 as i wont be buying another. although there were some good qualities among the bad,the engine had plenty of power although the MPG was poor.And it developed a rear main seal leak at 86000 miles ,after the gas leak at 83000. Talking to others with the same truck they claimed the springs were crap right from the factory best thing to do is just trash em and buy any aftermarket spring available. Im sure toyota corrected it at some point. I still think it(tacoma) is the best looking small truck available but good looks will only get you so far
    WHen i hear these guys say "iv owned x# of Gm s in row and they were all crap,its all BS ,what kind of idiot would keep buying on after another if they are having lots of problems. GM dont sell 9 million vehicles a year because 50% of them are crap,or because every one is so patriotic.
  20. Jutt77

    Jutt77 Feeling the Heat

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    I had a 94 Toyota 4x4 daily driver pickup that was absolutely bombproof. Little maintenance (changed oil occasionally), daily driving from Rollinsville CO to Boulder (60 miles of up and down a mountain) lots of 4 wheeling and no issues. Had around 200k on original engine/drivetrain. I'm not hatin on domestic cars either, I have a 92' F250 with 360k that I use to haul wood and stuff, but Toyota pickups (and Land Cruisers for that matter) are legendary for longevity and off road capability. When is the last time you've seen a GM truck used as a guide vehicle in the Australian outback?? Just asking. Here's an interesting article right along those lines: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/14/why-rebel-groups-love-the-toyota-hilux.html. Also see the Top Gear/Toyota Hilux episode, even if you hate Toyota, its a really funny video.

    So either Toyotas are actually ultra reliable or millions of consumers, off-road guides from Australia to Africa, and AK toting Al Queda fighters are full of sh*t.
  21. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I think all Major Mfgs make great cars and trucks ,and they all make some junk from time to time. THe car guy James healy said In the ratings reports the difference between the NO1 car and the last one on the list is very small, sometimes less than 1% .
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    This is getting a lonnnng way off topic. Maybe time to take the car companies discussion to the can?
  23. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Fair enough. I just happen to think that given all the initial reviews of the volt and the very high price even with a $7500 rebate that it's simply not a viable car for more than 90% of people and certainly not all that pretty of a car. Really it's not all that innovative and they're hyping it up to be like it is.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Really? What other electric cars with a tightly integrated genset onboard are there? As an engineer you should understand the problems they've had to surmount better than most.
  25. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I watched "Who Killed the Electric Car" last night for the first time. Despite all the hype its fairly apparent that US car manufacturers are largely to blame for the problems their industry faces. That said, I think GM is on the right track with the Volt. Its hard to imagine that plug in (no engine) electric vehicles will soon become economically viable given "range anxiety" issues. Plug in hybrids, such as the Volt, offer the best of both worlds albeit with a cost. They offer the ability to run purely on utility power for most commuting requirements while enabling longer trips, optionally on bio-based fuels. The plug in hybrid is presently the only realistic option that allows for the eventual use of renewable fuels for all modes of operation. Its obvious we need to wean ourselves off of oil for a variety of reasons, a major one being national security.

    We should be using petroleum as a chemical feedstock not a fuel. I believe that one day we'll look back and say "I can't believe that we actually burned petroleum products.
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