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Hybrids in the News

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Comments

  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    I was baffled by that comment.

    I see brand new station wagons everywhere!

    Station wagons are becoming very, very, very common now. They are simply new SUVs with a lower ground-clearance and a dramatically more aerodynamic body.

    JOHN
  • kalmikeykalmikey Posts: 17
    "and I needed that 40 cubic feet behind the second row of seats for our vacations."

    So...what you're saying is you could have bought a smaller, more efficient car to use 95% of the year, and rented something bigger when you needed it...
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    Yes, I'm so sure that's going to happen. I guess in your way of thinking:

    Why have cars like the Prius available to the open market when we can all drive Insights and rent Prius or larger vehicle when we need one?

    Why have an insurance policy when we can just buy insurance when we need it?

    Why buy a car with Air Conditioning when we can just rent one whenever it gets hot.

    You see, there are differing types of people in this world. Some decide that the smallest car they need on a daily basis is fine for them. Some decide that an all around useful vehicle is better for them.

    That, you see, is why we have many different car manufacturers, models, sizes. Fortuntely we aren't like some communist countries who only allow government sanctioned cars to be purchased.
  • vicevervicever Posts: 5
    In many places it is very expensive to rent a car with AC when you need it. For example, you need AC at least half a year in San Diego. It will cost about $6000 extra money to do that and is obviously impractical.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    "So...what you're saying is you could have bought a smaller, more efficient car to use 95% of the year, and rented something bigger when you needed it... "

    Hmmm, try that when you have to make a trip to Home Depot or Sears and come back with slightly outsized cargo. Could get substantially expensive! Keep in mind that my vehicle has more cubic feet behind the rear seats than the Prius has with the rear seats folded. I can fit a lot of stuff in there... but then my vehicle wasn't designed for high MPG, but rather for high utility.

    Re: Station wagons. The high end ones are out of my price range. I won't buy a Chrysler product (don't get me started), and wouldn't pay for a Pacifica or Magnum type vehicle anyway (too expensive). I could have gone for an Accord, but that also was expensive. Ford and Toyota stopped making their mid sized station wagons. Ford does have a Focus wagon, but I preferred the rear seating arrangement in the CR-V (reclining and forward/backward sliding).

    Anyway, after all was considered, it came out to either a Forrester or CR-V. Rear seat room (again) was the deciding factor for me.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    Toyota has also clearly stated that they want to expand their US market share by 5 percent by 2010. I could not agree more that they are expansion minded. What I am saying is that they are more profit minded than you believe they are. If the success of the Prius is any indicator of the success they would have with other HSD vehicles, it would be safe to say they could storm the US market. That being said, they would put themselves in a position of dependence on outside sources to keep them alive. I don't believe that Cho is going to do that. As the interview with him clearly shows he is NOT planning to build the Prius in the US and he is only looking at expanding the production. He backhanded the US guys comments to the contrary. I don't think you understand the dynamics of business. I don't think Toyota thought for a minute the Prius would be this popular in the US. If they had they would have been ready when they put them on the market. In fact the original Prius in the US was not a fast seller like the 2004 is. My dealer sat on his 2 demo models for months without selling any. He did not think it would go over in the US. If they cannot keep up with production on one car because of poor suppliers, how are they going to keep up with more models. They don't want to cut their own throats on existing high profit models. I think your time frame for the HSD is totally unrealistic. If it turns out to be a long lived trouble free technology Toyota will expand and others will get into the market. Ford has already made it clear they are not expanding the production of the hybrid Escape past original plans. It is not a money maker as simple as that. It is an image builder.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Mike, you're arguing with a brick wall on this forum. Rabid environmentalists won't be happy until everyone is driving the hybrid equivalent of a Geo Metro. And maybe that's optimistic - we should all be biking to work. ;-)
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    Yeah right. Try riding a bike 15 miles with a suit on in the Atlanta humidity/thunderstorms (not to mention the awful, pot-holed, streets!). I guess that would help with the overpopulation though. :-)

    On the other hand, I won't be happy until all of those old 15+ year old clunkers get off the roads and stop spewing their tailpipe exhaust.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > If the success of the Prius is any indicator of the success they would have with other HSD vehicles

    Even Ford is now stating battery availability is setting back hybrid production.

    And why in the world is there a need to rush? It is a very, very well proven fact that order delays of a new product has an overwhelming positive effect on long-term success. Study automotive history. There's lots of examples.

    > As the interview with him clearly shows he is NOT planning to build

    That totally, completely contradictd the statement made just a few weeks ago. I don't believe your source. No wait... you never provided one.

    Just step back and look at the big picture. Production for the 2005 is planned to be 250,000... WORLDWIDE! The "United States Only" blinders are impairing the ability to see that. We'll end up getting a local facility to build a slew of HSD systems. That will allow the other countries to gain delivery quantity while at the same time eliminating the import tariff and boat shipping costs. It's an excellent long-term strategy.

    Remember, the Japan economic practices emphasize long-term gain. Only here do we base success solely on quarterly profits.

    JOHN
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    But Cho said Toyota has no immediate plans to boost Prius output beyond the current level by, for example, building the car in a second plant.

    I can understand you forgetting it was 25 posts back on this thread. I will post again. For you and all that think that Toyota is selling cars to help the environment. Wrong they only sell cars to make money. They build a very few environmentally great cars to boost their tarnished image.
    To:mfullmer
    15 year old cars that are well maintained are virtually the same as the current counterparts. My wife's 1990 LS400 is rated as clean as the 2004 LS430. Toyota has done very little in the last 15 years but sell cars. Oh and dribble a few hybrids over to us.

    http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat- _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=07170640
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    "IMMEDIATE" is correct, but extraordinarily misleading since the discussion has been about mid to long term.

    Remember, the 2004 isn't even in production now. So short-term discussions make no sense. Spar-2 of the 2005 model year is the soonest quantity speculation can focused on now.

    JOHN
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    quote GM executives-Though General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner has promised to put in place enough capacity to produce one million hybrid-electric vehicles annually, many observers remain skeptical of the giant automaker's commitment to the fuel-saving powertrain technology. Comments by Vice Chairman Bob Lutz suggest that GM is convinced there really is a market for hybrids, but clearly not nearly enough to support Wagoner's ambitious numbers. "The market is hot right now" for hybrids, Lutz told TheCarConnection, "but it's a limited segment. Under no circumstances will it exceed four or five percent of the market." Even so, Lutz acknowledged that could top 700,000 vehicles annually, "and that's worth taking a look at." The environmentally friendly technology has won a lot of praise from green-minded buyers, but there's been a minor backlash from those, including Consumer Reports magazine, who feel their potential fuel savings has been exaggerated. Lutz does not think the impact on sales will be severe. "People don't buy it (hybrids) for fuel economy," he argued. "They buy it to make a statement."-end

    Exaggerated fuel savings and buying to make a statement....hmmmm.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    What does "HYBRID" mean?

    He could be talking about anything. Heck, just a few years ago a heavily moded Civic (that had no modifications to the engine what so ever) was called a "hybrid".

    And of course, his implication that hybrids can only be configured in one particular way to serve only one particular market segment is totally, completely false. Toyota has already proven that HSD can be configured 3 different ways. The Prius currently available, the racing Prius, and the Highlander-Hybrid. Each has a very different purpose, yet each uses HSD and reduces emissions & increase efficiency.

    When there is money to be made, they simply are not going to ignore the opportunity. The success of HSD will force them to change their tune... or drive them into bankruptcy. Now which do you think they will choose?

    The actual reason they are bad-mouthing hybrids is that they have nothing to compete with yet. As soon as they do, it will be as if they had never sad anything negative about the technology or the potential market.

    JOHN
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    The following statements all made by you along with many others, are totally uncorroborated. Yet if any of us put out a statement that you disagree with you insist on corroborating evidence. If we post links to that evidence you discount it as false. Would you like us to ask every time you post a statement to give a link to your source of information? We can do that to keep you honest. The facts are evident that Toyota is falling flat on their promises to deliver on the Prius and the other hybrids they are working on. Your denial of those facts does not make them any less factual. And always falling back to the "in the future" argument gets old.
    6/28/04
    That is just plain wrong. I never said "2004" even once. The profit comments were always about the classic model, since we had plenty of published articles supporting that it had in fact been achieved.
    And why are you in total denial that Toyota has announced double the production for 2005 than in 2004?
    Also, why are you completely ignoring the fact that Toyota will in fact reach it's long-standing goal of 300,000 systems per year worldwide by the end of 2005?
    Discussing the 2004 Prius is totally pointless, since production for it ends in just a few days.
    6/30/04
    Perhaps I should (again) point out that Toyota has posted overall results of quarterly profits recently, while GM & Ford both report losses. In other words, Toyota has capital to invest into LONG-TERM projects. GM & Ford are simply struggling to survive.
    7/1/04
    Kerry is strongly behind hybrids. He understands how a full hybrid can very easily be adapted to use a fuel-cell instead of an engine.
    7/19/04
    Since 2002, Toyota has been saying their plans are to produce 300,000 hybrid systems per year worldwide by the end 2005.
    7/25/04
    Haven't you noticed how the SUV market is collapsing?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    Both posted profits of over 1.2 Billion this past quarter... just clarifying the issue...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    I don't think they are near bankruptcy.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > just clarifying

    Not really, it actually confuses matters, since that is a clear drop in sales... an 11% fall in June, down 5.97 percent from a year ago.

    Toyota's sales were up 5%, not down. There's an obvious trend in their favor.

    Here's more info

    JOHN
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Road Test: 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid, 2004 Toyota Prius, 2004 Honda Insight, 2003 Toyota Prius, State Of The Hybrid Union: http://motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/112_0405_hybrid/
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    That is a good cross section of the High mileage vehicles out there. Some won't like the remarks made by the writer when he says:
    "Of course, a diesel-powered hybrid would return even better fuel economy"

    "In fact, we'd guess the new Prius, starting at $20,510, is the most heavily subsidized car on the market today."
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Agreed some won't like the diesel hybrid comment but considering the source and the fact that its mostly a rerun of an existing article, not bad.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    They seem to really like the Prius, they gave it car of the year if I remember correctly. So many of these articles rehash stuff. I don't care for all the minute details and formulas. I liked the Aussie driving the Prius 5300 KM. He told it as he saw it. It was a fun read.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    Haven't you noticed how the SUV market is collapsing?

    Further clarification on the SUV market. So far this year 129,942 more SUVs were sold than last year at this time. GM of course leads the pack with 615k SUVs sold this year to date. Beating their last years sales by about 41K SUVs. During this same period Toyota sold 256K SUVs a distant 4th place after GM, DCC & Ford in that order.

    http://www.autosite.com/editoria/asmr/svsuv.asp
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    I dropped enough hints. They were obviously completely missed. How many times have I pointed out vague references require detail? Perhaps, when it is to your advantage...

    Anywho, not once was the meaning of "SUV" ever defined.

    Do you know what vehicles are really included?

    They very well could be counting all the hot new wagons too!

    No matter, any of those sales below intended market value pulls in too little profit for all the manufacturing bills to be paid.

    Remember, even though Prius is currently sold at a loss, it is still at the intended market value. Toyota is establishing an expectation. They will continue at that same price once the high-volume production kicks in. Profit will then be achieved... which isn't true for the already establish SUV market. They are giving discounts just so the stock doesn't pile up.

    JOHN
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    We may have a point of agreement. The vehicles that are called SUV's are mostly wannabe's (see list on website). To me an SUV is a Suburban, Land Cruiser, Excursion & maybe a Hummer2. Although it is not very practical which eliminates the U for utility. I did not make up the list of so called SUVs it is a very broad brush that is used to describe them. I have no doubt the Prius will eventually make Toyota money. They are going to have to get the suppliers lined out before that can happen.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    You are never going to get John from being vague on his own answers and then yelling "vague" when he sees something he doesn't like. He's not really objective and tired of posting follow ups to his remarks when I find proof they are wrong.

    On the other hand, he spurs lively conversation and since Hybrid powered (yes John, all "hybrids" even if they are not Toyota) vehicles are an exciting topic we need the conversation and, since internet content is not censored for accuracy, it's each person's own responsibility to take each comment or claim and do their research to find out if it is valid or not.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    LONG-TERM goals interfere with the "in the now" arguments presented here. Too bad. With strong sales continuing and routine award winning, HSD will become a very popular choice as time goes on.

    Get over it.

    JOHN
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Hey folks, let's not start the week (and month) out with personal snipes.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    GM:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=30&article- _id=8369

    529 Million from auto sales...

    Ford:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=30&article- _id=8365

    However, Ford did only make 83 Million before special pretax charges, and actually lost 57 million after special charges. I think they are still working out the pension problems. The former headine of 1.2 billion referred to all units, including credit.

    So, 50% correct ain't all that bad..

    Haven't seen the numbers on DC yet.
  • kalmikeykalmikey Posts: 17
    Hmmm, try that when you have to make a trip to Home Depot or Sears and come back with slightly outsized cargo.

    Home Depot offers their own trucks for spot-rental, cheap.

    Sears delivers -- at least, they used to. Maybe they're lamer, these days.

    Next case?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    I guess I'm old fashioned, I don't consider $50 (sears delivery) or $40 (home depot) cheap...

    Not to mention taking the lawn mower in for repair, helping friends move appliances, etc...
This discussion has been closed.