What kind of cars does America want?

But they refuse to become politicaly active enough to ensure that the option to buy and drive what they want will not be taken away.

Well sir I tend to agree with you-I believe you are kind of insinuating that uncle sugar has made cars to costly(if so I agree).I keep hearing people boast about the mileage thier barges get,if thats the case,given the same power to weight,etc;we should be able to make a cheaper,lighter vehicle,get corresponding better fuel economy.-Kevin

I want line item veto too!-Kevin

Kevin,what I mean is I don’t think it is impossible that the day will come when our choices will be severly restricted,mainly no more IC powered vehicles. Perhaps no more vehicles for personal transportation at all for some areas.

Kevin, who is “uncle sugar?”

U. S., and it has been around. It’s bad, but not the worst. Somebody who worked at a Dupont plant once started calling it Uncle Dupie.

Some how the discussion always gets to us vs them and some how it’s the govt. that is standing in our way of buying what we want. Whether that choice be foreign vs. domestic or truck/suv vs puddle jumper. In reality the opposite is true.

When contracting, it’s the US govt. that insists on American made products as much as possible (electronics aside) and cooperate “free enterprise” that would have you believe their cars are red, white and blue when in reality more than half of the stock in GM is foreign owned and Ford (and John Deere) farm out transmissions, motors and other parts from abroad for even their claimed to be American made cars (and tractors).

Likewise it has been the auto industry that lobbies against safe and efficient cars and makes continual bogus claims about their products reliability and function. It’s the American way…to lie your way to profit and the consumers right to educate him/herself about the products we buy and the govt., through our vote, to protect our right to seek the truth and purchase any product we damn well choose.

Toyota/Honda are successful because they engage in capitalism and free enterprise at a higher level of expertise than GM/Ford, which I refuse to call domestic car companies. Toyota/Honda can turn on a dime and make the products we want while Ford and GM need years of cooperate lead time, for valid and otherwise reasons, to churn out competitive products. Chrysler hasn’t been domestically owned since Ioaccoca (Sp) I would venture to say, yet my neighbor buys their trucks because he wouldn’t own a “foreign” American made Tundra.

I’m still holding my breath while waiting for a GM car hybrid that isn’t a previous generation Toyota sold technology.

Some just want an inexpensive car, and don’t seem to care much who builds it or what it looks like.

That’s the American way…

And there are NO true red, white and blue American car companies any more than there are American companies that make home theater equipment, which most of us own. And, I refuse to refer to car companies as either foreign or domestic.

ALL the major players are global and some just play the game a little better than others.

I agree–as I usually do–with dagosa. Those who insist on buying only “American” cars and trucks are frequently driving vehicles with less US-made content than the so-called foreign makes assembled in the US. And, since the profits (if any) tend, in many cases, to flow back to foreign stock holders or corporate parents, the argument of “I am supporting the US by buying American” simply has very little validity in many cases.

For a multitude of reasons, over the course of decades, altering the course of GM, Ford, and Chrysler turned into a situation similar to trying to turn or stop an ocean liner. At the same time, the Japanese and Korean car companies showed that they are able to change course far faster and with better results. All of the car companies operate under the same governmental mandates regarding safety and emissions, so the argument that “government regulation” is reponsible for the plight of the US car makers just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

It is very easy and very popular to say that government intervention will result in a terrible outcome for the US car companies, but…could the federal overseers do much worse than what the US car companies have achieved on their own? Only time will tell how closer government oversight of GM and Chrysler will play out, but if someone thinks that these companies did a good job previously of managing themselves, then he/she would be ignoring the history of the US car industry over a period of several decades.

I know this and agree with both of you. However, after seeing thousands of Americans lose their jobs, I would like to see Ford and GM do well. I would like to see them do a better job of competing with Honda and Toyota. Yes, Honda and Toyota also employ Americans, so I want to see them to well too.

I would love to see a greater availability of Diesel powered sedans and smaller vehicles.

  1. They are reliable (Diesel style reliability!!!)
  2. The mileage could get up to 60-70mpg on some of the smaller cars
  3. This helps immensely with our being held hostage by foreign oil dependance.
  4. All that torque would really help me through the Boston winters

There are a few companies that are currently able to create synthetic gasoline. Syntroleum is one of the leaders in this field. They own the rights to the fisher-topsh(?) process which can create GASOLINE from coal, rubber, or about 50 other materials. I am no scientist, but I see this as potentially being the savior of the IC engine years down the road.


“All that torque would really help me through the Boston winters”

Ummm…More torque=more wheelspin.
That is NOT something that will help you to get through a Boston winter, or any other winter.

Diesels have many advantages, but if you think that having more torque is an advantage on winter road surfaces, you are wrong.

If you look at how traction control devices work on modern cars, they first function to reduce engine speed and, in the process, to reduce torque. If that torque reduction is not sufficient to eliminate wheelspin, then braking power is automatically applied to the spinning wheel(s).

If you have experienced traction problems in the winter, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to get a set of 4 Winter Tires (the term “snow tire” is archaic). AWD is also great on winter road surfaces. Or, you could do as I do, and mount a set of winter tires on an AWD vehicle that also has traction control.

Trust me–having more torque is not the solution to your winter driving problems.

Yea I don’t know why I have always thought that, but I appreciate your clearing it up for me.

I have always assumed that with the low end push it would be easier to get off of an icy snowy parking spot without spinning there for an hour. hahahha.

I drive a 2001 jetta 2.0L I4, and haven’t had a single problem with it in 80k miles, aside from the fact that you have to practically take the car apart to access various light bulbs etc.

Why wouldn’t you want disc brakes in the back? They cost a little more, but they also dissipate heat much better, and don’t fade nearly as quickly.

Why wouldn’t you want disc brakes in the back? They cost a little more, but they also dissipate heat much better, and don’t fade nearly as quickly.

Why wouldn’t you want disc brakes in the back? They cost a little more, but they also dissipate heat much better, and don’t fade nearly as quickly.

Dood! The bankrupt car companies screwed it up all by themselves! The government didin’t wreck them, it bailed them out. GM and Chrysler designed, made and marketed cars and negotiated labor contracts all by themselves, so don’t you think it’s a little ironic to be blaming the government already for their next failure?

Get a grip!

I want a 4wd on demand car I can tow my boat take 3 passengers a dog and 2 cats and gets 50 mpg.

Not a problem. Though the boat would be a two man inflatable with paddles.

There’s a distinct difference here.

Auto manufacturers don’t need to build the cars “Americans want”; they need to build the cars that the subsection of Americans that buy new cars want. It seems they generally want shiny, sexy peices of metal that can be counted on to go 80K…ish miles w/o having to do much other than put in gas and change the oil (and I’m sure they’d love it if the oil change could be dispensed with, too.)

That’s why mfrs. throw in so much electronic do-dads. Beleive it or not, the average new-car buyer doesn’t look at high-zoot options thinking, “man, I bet that’ll cost and arm+leg to repair when it fails.” I remeber thinking about “single-point failures” when they introduced anti-theft “chip keys”; nobody I mentioned this to had even considered the possibility.

So, the auto mfrs. need to produce cars that (IMO) aren’t really what most pposters on this buletin board want to satisfy the new-car-buying subset of America.

I would be willing to drive a small fuel efficient car but am terrified of being killed on my drive to work everyday. About 80% of the people in my area drive SUVS, minivans or trucks. You can’t even see around when you are in a regular car and God forbid one the Hummers runs in to me. Also there are more and more very large 18 wheelers on the road every year. I drive a minivan because I feel somewhat safer in it. At least I can see what is ahead and around me as I drive. I don’t need it everyday to haul things and could keep it just for that and drive a smaller car daily if I felt safe. EMB