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Old October 2nd, 2008, 06:25 AM   #10
hoo dat. wat.
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Originally Posted by steveo View Post
Fuck it. 50k for a diesel work truck and you still need money from the government??? how long will we just keep throwing money at failing industries? what is it going to take for these idiots to change business tactics?
You can attribute about $10K of the vehicle cost to the government in safety and emission regulations, another $10K to the customer wanting a work truck (for christsakes) to have carpet, leather, climate control, power windows, bidet, etc, around $2K in legacy costs to pay for the people that used to make the trucks....

Manufacturers price their vehicle at what the market will bear, I don't see many trucks increasing in price anywhere in the near future.

Also, the money currently needed by the auto industry will go toward alternate fuel and fuel economy research and development. With the steep rise projected in CAFE, nobody can go it alone. I know, we had plenty of time to get there on our own, but kept making gas guzzlers and SUVs and pickups instead of researching fuel economy and alternate fuel sources. Well, simplest answer is, auto manufacturers make what will sell - and horsepower, interior room and luxury is what the buying public demanded.

I work in an advanced section at GM, and am witness to (at least) our company working on fuel economy projects that were never funded after study because the simple fact of the matter is that few consumers WERE buying vehicles with fuel economy as a priority.

This 25 BILLION dollars that will be made available for LOAN is to accelerate research, not to get the manufacturer out of the red. An excellent example is battery technology - we (GM) simply cannot throw more money at developing battery technology than we have bugeted (and it is a considerable amount), as we are also investion in alternate ethanol production and a few other technologies I cannot mention. Research takes money, and and FAST research takes MORE money. Usually, manufacturers can share development costs on new technologies, but there isn't much money to spare at the end of the day. It doesn't help that Toyota (after investing many many millions in NiMh research and production facilities) isn't putting any $$$ into Lithium Ion batteries - which makes sense for them to get the most return on their investment.

Fuel economy takes low weight and low power - it doesn't help that NHTSA has every consumer demanding 5 star crash safety (a reasonable need), but not educating those consumers that there is a tradeoff in fuel economy because of the added mass of the the safety structures and components. It also doesn't help that everybody seems to want a "base" car that goes 0-60 in 8 seconds or under.

Excellent examples of this - the geo metro. Tiny car, no frills, 3 cylinder engine that could get near 50 mpg. The Ford Festiva - same thing but a bit heavier and larger engine that could get 45 mpg. The VW Lupo (europe only) - a TEENY car with a teeny diesel engine that broke the 3L/100Km barrier (over 70 mpg).
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