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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    She said she would drop by today to chat, but I was busy. Maybe I'll seek her out tomorrow and ask.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    edited October 2010
    smart is going to sell a rebadged Nissan hatchback in the US in about a year. Supposed to be something "like a Versa", the rendering looks like a restyled K13 March/Micra.

    image
  • A reporter wants to interview people who are focused on achieving 30mpg or better in their next car puchase. Please reply to pr@edmunds.com by Fri, Oct 15, 2010 with your daytime contact info and a few thoughts on the subject.
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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited October 2010
    Update: my friend had the Fiesta for 7 days when it would not go into reverse and eventually stalled in the middle of the street. She had to get it towed to the dealer. Not good.

    First they said it was some wiring that got too hot and was damaged.

    They changed that but it didn't help, the computer was fried.

    They changed that and it still didn't help, so now they are replacing the entire transmission.

    They gave her a loaner for now (Sentra), but she's had the loaner longer than she's had the car, and she's still making payments. Bummer.

    She went to meet the GM of the dealer today, and I advised her to ask for either a new car, or at the very least a 100k mile warranty on the transmission once it's totally sorted out. The dealer told her there is one other similar case in NM.

    Thing is - it does not yet qualify as a lemon, because she only took it to the dealer once (even though they're on the 3rd fix).
  • lhansonlhanson Posts: 268
    The Ford dealer gave her a Nissan Sentra loaner? What happens if she likes that better than the Fiesta? Very interesting situation, keep us updated.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Minor Update: she met with the GM, they showed her the brand-spankin' new trans.

    She's being offered a 100k powertrain warranty, too.

    So looks like Ford is stepping up. Hopefully this is a minor hiccup, and not a common issue, and she'll keep the warranty as a bonus when this is all sorted out.

    She's still in the rental, though.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    edited October 2010
    According to this article, the total labor cost to build an Aveo is less than $500. Despite the cost being low, GM has an agreement with the union to bring in low-cost workers to make the overall labor cost for an Aveo even lower, so they can be built in the U.S beginning next year:

    Small cars, smaller wages: A precedent?

    Automotive News -- October 11, 2010

    DETROIT -- To lure a low-profit small car to the United States, the UAW agreed to staff about 40 percent of a Michigan assembly plant with workers who earn $14 an hour -- half the regular UAW wage.

    So is this a practice that will spread to other assembly plants, further lowering wages in the industry but making U.S.-made vehicles more competitive?

    ........General Motors Co. and the UAW revealed terms of the lower-wage agreement last week for GM's Orion Township (Mich.) Assembly Plant. That's where GM will build the next subcompact Chevrolet Aveo and a new Buick compact called the Verano. The current Aveo is assembled in South Korea.

    Cole said small cars' low stickers can't offset the cost of a traditional $28 an hour wage in Detroit 3 U.S. assembly plants. That's why, for example, Ford Motor Co. is building the Ford Fiesta subcompact in Mexico and Chrysler Group plans to build the Fiat 500 subcompact there starting in December.

    "I do believe this agreement sets the stage for dealing with small-car plants a little differently," Cole said.

    Manufacturing consultant Ron Harbour says the lower-wage workers will generate modest production-cost savings for GM.

    His math: The lower-wage workers will account for 40 percent of the work force, or 8 hours of the 20 or so needed to assemble a car at Lake Orion. With lower-wage workers earning $14 less per hour, that's $112 per car. The savings will be slightly higher, because benefits will be lower for some of the lower-wage workers, he says.

    .........Bragman, a senior analyst with IHS Automotive, said that was the price of bringing to the United States a small car that normally would have been built in a low-cost country such as Mexico. GM ranks Mexico as low-cost, meaning it pays workers less than $15 an hour in combined wages and benefits.


    http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101011/OEM01/310119914/1424- -

    I wonder if the currency squeeze and the sheer cost of building a subcompact will collide in the next few years with the low sticker price Americans expect subcompacts to have, eventually squeezing them out of the market.

    I sure hope not! Toyota reduces importation of the Yaris because the Corolla sells for very little more and is built in North America. Honda does the same with the Fit, because of the Civic. Nissan builds in Mexico, and except for this unusual GM experiment all the "domestics" build their small cars in Mexico or elsewhere. VW keeps saying it can't make the case to bring the Polo here because of cost/price ratio, and they already build the Jetta/Golf in Mexico.

    And I find that all of the automakers do a poor job of overseeing quality control on their products built in Mexico, so they are always significantly worse. It is one thing that gives me pause about looking at a Fiesta, actually. The same-platform Mazda2 seems like a better bet, built as it is in Japan. But how long can Mazda afford to do that?

    My hope remains that there is a gradual shift away from midsize to compact in the U.S. - they are running neck and neck now - and that subcompacts see a boost from that trend. If they were much higher volume than they are today, I think that automakers would be more willing to sell subs here, because narrower profit margins are OK if the volume is up.

    Fingers crossed......

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    edited October 2010
    and being sold as a Dodge. It's called the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Apparently Alfa Romeo is owned by Fiat and since Dodge is basically owned now by Fiat, too, and the Caliber has been a flop, Dodge needs an influx of small cars to sell in the U.S. And according to autobloggreen.com, this Alfa Romeo is going to be badged and sold in the U.S. as a Dodge. Whoo-hoo! I like it.

    And Elko, NV, has a Dodge dealer. So if the 2012 Scion FR-S comes as only a Scion to the U.S., the closest Scion dealer to me is some 192 miles away, but Dale White Motors of Elko, NV, sells both Toyota's and Dodge's. This car is FWD and is great in the snow, which also fits Elko's harsh winters. In fact, the car is great fun in the snow. The Scion FR-S is RWD, not as good in the snow. My '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS is also FWD and should be fine in the snow as well.

    image

    I configured one on the main Alfa Romeo website, getting a manual transmission, Bose stereo, foglights, 17" turbine wheels with 225/45 R17 tires, black leather seats, red stitching on the seats and the steering wheel and gear knob, rear spoiler, cruise control, dual zone automatic climate control, power front windows, front armrest with storage compartment, side skirts, sports dials with white illumination, 6 airbags, ABS w/EBD, Alfa code immobilizer and alarm system, Vehicle Dynamic Control (ABS+ASR+Brake Assistant) with hill holder & electronic Q2, aluminum kickplates, sport pedals, dark brushed aluminum trim inserts, darkened headlights and 40 mpg. This is a 5-speed manual transmission and the car's engine is a 120hp 4-cyl. Wow.

    It does take a little getting used to that weird grille shape but that's done already. I like it!

    Hey, alltorque, tell me this. The main website gave me the price in British pounds, if I recognize the symbol they used. The website address of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is this, if you want to check it out.

    http://www.alfagiulietta.com/Default.aspx#/spot

    Configuring the Giulietta just the way I've described will run me 21,995 in what I believe is a British pound symbol. What does that translate to in US dollars, might I ask?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    edited October 2010
    NO NO NO NO NO !!!!!! Putting a Dodge badge on that is wrong on every conceivable level. :cry:

    Aaaaaaarrrrgggghhhhh. Sacrilege. :sick:

    Please tell me it's a joke. :confuse:
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    edited October 2010
    this is truth, man. Here's where I found it.

    http://green.autoblog.com/2010/10/30/report-chrysler-planning-fiat-based-40-mpg-- - - - - - - dodge-caliber-replac/

    The Dodge Giulietta will be built at the Belvidere, IL, Chrysler plant.

    According to numerous reports, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta will serve as the foundation for a 2011 successor for the aging, lackluster Dodge Caliber. USA Today cites Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Fiat and Chrysler, with throwing out the words that stirred up a slew of reports. The Detroit Free Press adds more fuel to the story by indicating that this new model, based on Fiat's C-EVO platform, will hit 40 miles per gallon and possibly even resemble the Giulietta in its final form.

    Jeff Schuster, J.D. Power and Associates' director of global forecasting, points to the possibility that Dodge may not be the only brand to receive this upcoming 40-mpg model. Schuster believes that Chrysler could get a version, and, are you ready for this, the mighty Jeep brand might as well. Suppliers and consultants familiar with the project say that the vehicle will roll off the lines at Chrysler's Belvidere, IL plant late next year. Yesterday, Chrysler formally announced that it will invest $600 million to retool its Belvidere plant. Reports claim that this retooling will ready the site for production of a new generation of Fiat-based, fuel-efficient vehicles.


    What does 21,995 in British pounds come out to in USD, alltorque, roughly?

    FWI's W, everybody, I have already read up on this before, about a month ago. This is reality, it is going to happen, and the small town in NE Nevada I live in is going to get this car at a local dealer, and I like it. I like it a lot!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • michaellmichaell Posts: 4,300
    At today's exchange rate, 21,995 GBP equates to 32,275.58 USD.

    However, when comparing prices in the UK and US, they are roughly equal. A car that sells for 25,000 quid in the UK will sell for approximately $25,000 in the US.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    edited October 2010
    translated, you're saying the Alfa Romeo Giulietta configured as I have configured it will sell for $21,995 in USD. Right? I mean, AFAYK.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    edited October 2010
    image

    This is really happening, car nuts. This Italian-made sports car is coming to America to be sold as a Dodge! Do your research and check it out. And I think this car would be a better replacement for the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS for me. I will pursue this car like Brian Bosworth as an Oklahoma Sooner chasing down a running back.

    I've decided I like the funky grille design.

    image
    A silver Alfa Romeo Giulietta from the back in a city in Europe...duh!

    Dig that little scoop spoiler on the back.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    edited October 2010
    Giulietta I think you'll enjoy.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/road-tests/alfa-romeo-giulietta- - - - - -1953429.html

    This new Giulietta comes only as a five-door hatchback, but like other recent Alfas with rear passenger doors, it disguises them by concealing the handles. The handsome 156 was the first Alfa to do this, and the Giulietta also reprises the way that car's waistline ridge fades out and reappears half way along the flank. Apart from this, the horizontal tail lights and the way the front grille "shield" is slightly recessed, the Giulietta, from £21,000, looks like a bigger, more grown-up Alfa Mito.

    Right. Is it a proper Alfa? Currently no other car uses the same structure and suspension, which is a good start. The top Quadriofoglio Verde (QV) model uses a unique engine, which generates an impressive 235bhp from its 1.8 litres thanks to turbocharging and very clever valve timing. The two more modest petrol engines are both of 1.4 litres and, again, turbocharged; they are fine examples of today's downsizing trend, with 120bhp or, in the intriguing MultiAir version with electro-hydraulically-operated inlet valves, 170bhp with very low CO2 output. There are 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels too. The QV is the fastest, obviously, but don't expect the sharp responses of a hot hatchback. It's good, but emotions aren't stirred quite enough. In an Alfa, that matters.

    The 120bhp Giulietta goes rather better than you might expect, but the Giulietta that tells us that a modern Alfa can truly be a proper Alfa, is the 170bhp MultiAir. In this car it all comes together: lots of energy from a crisp, sonorous engine right across the rev range, an ability to soak up bumps and humps, and – joy! – it dives keenly into corners, steers with precision and transparency and flicks joyfully from one bend to the next. It's lighter in the nose and on its feet than the QV, and the more entertaining for that.

    With fingers lightly crossed, because it was tried on Alfa's test tracks and not British roads, I'd say the Giulietta MultiAir represents a proper return to the form an Alfa should have. To drive, it's the best Alfa in years. Fed up with obvious Germans? Here's the answer.


    This isn't your father's Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Mah-vel-ous. I'm all excited. Really.

    image

    Experts! Where are they allowing you to get in the back door? It's gone, the handles to the back doors, fully completely. Does the person driving have to flick a switch to let passengers in the back in?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    edited October 2010
    of the 2012 Doge Giulietta. Or what is on the way to Dodge from Alfa Romeo soon. Sooner than you might think. That is.

    image

    image

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,567
    looks like they took a volvo c30, and stuck an Alfa grill and new taillights on it.

    gotta be better than a caliber though!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • You won't have to worry about the Alfa grille. Or, probably 2/3 of the nifty options..

    I think the rear door handles are probably hidden in the window frame area..

    Also, it probably won't sell well in the US... (see Saturn Astra)

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    My guess is that part that looks like a rear quarter window might be where the door handle is?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    edited October 2010
    the door handle is up high and hidden under a little lip by the window.

    The two more modest petrol engines are both of 1.4 litres and, again, turbocharged; they are fine examples of today's downsizing trend, with 120bhp or, in the intriguing MultiAir version with electro-hydraulically-operated inlet valves, 170bhp with very low CO2 output. There are 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels too. The QV is the fastest, obviously, but don't expect the sharp responses of a hot hatchback. It's good, but emotions aren't stirred quite enough. In an Alfa, that matters.

    It is coming here for sure, the Alfa grille will be Dodge-ified, the car still interests me. It is getting pretty decent reviews in the UK, whom I respect for car reviews much more than American car reviews. Can you say Ford pick-em-up truck, for example? How much good can you find in a Ford pickup truck?

    Right. Is it a proper Alfa? Currently no other car uses the same structure and suspension, which is a good start. The top Quadriofoglio Verde (QV) model uses a unique engine, which generates an impressive 235bhp from its 1.8 litres thanks to turbocharging and very clever valve timing. The two more modest petrol engines are both of 1.4 litres and, again, turbocharged; they are fine examples of today's downsizing trend, with 120bhp or, in the intriguing MultiAir version with electro-hydraulically-operated inlet valves, 170bhp with very low CO2 output. There are 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels too. The QV is the fastest, obviously, but don't expect the sharp responses of a hot hatchback. It's good, but emotions aren't stirred quite enough. In an Alfa, that matters.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/road-tests/alfa-romeo-giulietta- - - - - - - -1953429.html

    image

    A video review of interest can be found here from 5th Gear Web TV.

    http://blog.webridestv.com/2010/08/driven-by-others-alfa-romeo-giulietta/

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,567
    Well, if that is a 5 door, I don't care if it has a Dodge badge on it, I will be out to look at it as soon as it shows up. And I guarantee there is not another Dodge you can say that about.

    When exactly is that expected?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

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