Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





The Current State of the US Auto Market

12223252728217

Comments

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,178
    I would be upfront and say "I am just killing time" or similar - most salespeople (men) would get the hint, but not all. I'd never ask to test drive a car without having some legitimate interest - although I've been offered to drive just about anything I can imagine.

    I've actually visited the Honda lot only a few times, with a Honda-fan friend of mine (who test drove one of the first Fits there). I usually tire-kick cars I can't afford :shades:
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Amusingly enough, my local Chevy dealer puts the used cars on the front line, so you have to look closely in the other rows for new sightings. Weird strategy, but it isn't a huge lot.

    He probably makes more $ profit on a used car sale than a new car sale. That might explain the higher visibility for the used vehicles...
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I've always tried to be respectful of others' time. Time is $, and if a salesman is riding with me when I have no intention of buying, I'm keeping him from a potential sale that he otherwise might be making. I've always been honest and up-front if I wasn't in the mood to buy.

    OTOH, I've been just tire-kicking and looking, only killing time, and had a couple of instances over the years in which the salesman wouldn't take no for an answer, so a-riding we went. I attributed those to extremely slow sales days/weeks. Maybe that technique works on some folks, but not me...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    31-34k seems like a reasonable price to get in to such a large platform, and that's with 300+ HP, right? Strong value proposition.

    Remember the doofus review that couldn't get over the 40k sticker of his test unit?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I searched for some Impalas in the area of my old hometown (which no longer has a Chevy dealer). One had one for $39,576.00.

    Something tells me I wouldn't see $8K difference between the $31K V6 and the $39.5K V6.

    I'll probably drive the Malibu up there instead of the Cobalt to look at the Impala, but I'll be honest in that I'm not ready to buy, just interested in seeing the car. I always tell people, I am a bad liar and a bad bull*******. I wish more people were! LOL
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    edited April 2013
    I just did a search, and there are 25 of them near my zipcode, ranging in price from $30,760 to $40,160.

    It would be interesting to see the difference between a $30K Impala and a $40K one. In my case, the cheapest one was a 2LT, while the most expensive was a 2LTZ. At the very least, the more expensive one would most likely have a sunroof, leather, and nav, probably bigger tires and wheels.

    For my needs, as long as it had the V-6, sunroof, decent stereo (which all cars probably have these days), and as long as the standard wheels and fabric aren't too cheap looking, I'd probably be happy with that.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I never get a sunroof (except my one Studebaker had one)--I don't like the reduced headroom. I like cloth interior as well. I'd probably enjoy the V6 more, but I'd actually consider a four. I don't believe I've ever owned a vehicle that had 197 net hp as a 4-cylinder Impala has. If it'd cut a couple thousand off the price, all good IMHO.

    In our 1LT Malibu, I actually like the wheels better than more-expensive trim level Malibus. Too bad one has an inch-long curb scuff (I'll assume) on one of the polished spokes. Of course my wife has no knowledge of how it happened. ;)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    who don't have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of.

    Yep, you're a 100%, pure-bred Pennsylvanian, Lemko! :P I tend to use that phrase on occasion, and I learned it from my Grandmother, who's from Harrisburg!

    On the day I bought my Intrepid, I was dressed pretty shabby, because I was just planning on driving my uncle to the dealer to get his truck from servicing, and then was planning on dong some yard work for my grandmother. Salesman didn't seem to care about my appearance, one way or another, though.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    I think the reduced headroom from a sunroof might vary from car to car. I don't have a problem with my 2000 Park Ave, which has headroom to spare. But I guess if there was a car that was already marginal to begin with, a sunroof could kill it for me.

    As for the fabric, to me it would just depend on the quality of it. I miss the old days where they offered you the option of higher quality fabrics. These days, it often seems like they only give you the choice of this cheap, outdoor lawn furniture quality stuff, which almost forces you to go with leather.

    I've had two vehicles with about 200 hp net. The first is my '57 Desoto, which has 270 hp gross out of a 341-2bbl. I've always heard a rough rule of thumb is take the gross hp (if it's stated accurately, often they were not) and multiply by 3/4. So that would take it to 202.5 hp. The other was my 2000 Intrepid, which had 200 hp from a 2.7, which I think was around 167 CID.

    0-60 for both cars was pretty close. Around 9.5 for the Intrepid. The only road test I ever saw for a 1957 DeSoto Firedome was of a slightly heavier convertible, and I think it was around 9.7 seconds. I think my Intrepid was around 3400-3500 lb, and the DeSoto around 4000.

    I'd imagine the 2014 Impala would be around 3700 lb or so with the 4-cyl? Having a 6-speed automatic should help its performance a bit despite the small engine, whereas the Intrepid only had a 4-speed and the DeSoto, just a 3-speed.

    I wonder what the axle ratio of the 2014 Impala is? My old Intrepid was something like 3.89:1, which sounds like a screamer, but in 4th gear, it was knocked down to effectively a ~2.6:1, so it wasn't revving too bad at higher speeds. The DeSoto is a 3.31:1.

    Anyway, I'm sure that if a 4-cyl Impala can pull off 0-60 in around 9-9.5 seconds, that should be adequate. Only problem is, once you get used to faster and faster vehicles, what once seemed adequate suddenly seems lethargic.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    who don't have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of.

    My Dad, born in and lived his whole life in Greenville, PA, used to say, "They don't have a cent to buy a pot to p*** in". I still use that line on occasion.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I've heard to apply a 70% number to gross hp to arrive at net, so we've both heard pretty much the same. My R1 Lark was 240 gross hp which is about 180 net by your percentage. Car weighed 3,311 lbs. per the shipping certificate I got for that specific car from the museum.

    Hate to say it, but looking at the Chevy website, I might be tempted if buying now or soon, just to get the LS as it's much cheaper than even the 1LT and doesn't have the eight-inch screen on the dash (I don't need that stuff). Sadly, it has wheel covers instead of aluminum wheels though.

    I can tell from the site, though, that one thing I liked on the top-zoot ones at the auto show, that the 2LT and below won't have, is a big chrome horizontal accent near the bottoms of the doors. The only brightwork on the sides of 'lesser' models are the block "IMPALA" letters and the Impala emblem on the C pillar.

    I do like the block letters...I don't think I've seen those since the second-generation Chrysler Concorde maybe, and probably the early '70's Cadillac Fleetwood before that.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    ..a 2LT, V6, sticker price $31,700.00. Only option was a $900-odd "Convenience Package" that included things like a back-up camera, remote start, floor mats and trunk mats. I'd like the floor mats but I could care less about the other stuff.

    It was in their showroom, with 42 miles.

    I was very, very impressed. Honestly, I haven't been 'wowed' by a new Chevy since the '08 Malibu, and this exceeds that, mostly because I think Chevy excelled in large cars for a long time and this looks like an excellent effort to me.

    It is a large car. Enormous trunk, and the driver's seat was where I'd have it if I drove (I'm only 5'8" though). The rear seat seemed cavernous behind that driver's seat. The RF seat, low in our Malibu, seemed a little low but this car had manual adjustments beyond fore-and-aft, on the passenger seat. I liked that.

    It was Silver Ice Metallic. I'm not a fan of silver, but the 2LT has non-polished silver aluminum wheels, and I thought the car just looked very rich.

    Interior was black leather with cloth inserts. Seats were firm and well-bolstered IMHO.

    I told the salesman up front I was wanting to just check it out, and he was OK with that and gave me the old demonstration walk-around. He said they took an order for an LTZ yesterday from the car and when we were saying that there weren't many in the area yet, said, "That's why this car's not for sale".

    Huh? If I walked in with a certified check for the MSRP, it wouldn't be for sale? Hard to believe.

    But without driving it, frankly, I was wowed by what I saw.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    He said they took an order for an LTZ yesterday from the car and when we were saying that there weren't many in the area yet, said, "That's why this car's not for sale".

    Huh? If I walked in with a certified check for the MSRP, it wouldn't be for sale? Hard to believe.


    That reminds me of the local, no longer in business Chrysler dealer here when the PT Cruiser first came out. I went in to take a look (I'd always liked the Prowler, but not enough to want to own one) and I noticed they had added $2-4K to the sticker price of the 3-4 they had.

    When I asked what the deal was, I was told how special the cars were, and how much higher demand would be over supply for the foreseeable future. You would have thought we were discussing Duesenbergs. I laughed and walked away.

    We all know how that turned out.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    PT's were a pretty hot item for a few years, and I remember dealers our way gouging on early ones as well. I am hard-pressed to think of another car in that price class that had owners' clubs and such.

    At least the Chevy dealer didn't have an added markup next to the factory sticker.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,873
    " I laughed and walked away"

    You may have laughed but a LOT of people bought and happily paid the extra amount. They were hotter than a pistol for about the first two years.

    They were certainly nothing special. Chrysler hit a home run when they took a lowly Neon and put that retro body on.

    As the years passed, or course, the popularity waned and at the end, the only people buying them were the rental companies.

    In 1990 when Miatas first came out people were paying 3000.00 or more over MSRP and they were waiting in line.

    It's called, " Maying hay while the sun is shining"
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I'd say the PT was most definitely a success for Chrysler. They built it for eleven model years with practically zero change. That's one problem with retro design...how to update it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,178
    And a problem for the managers in charge of product development, how to resist the urge to decontent and have a car fall behind materials-wise as it ages. I suspect the entire thing was fully paid for by 2004 or so, from then on, all profit.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    That's one problem with retro design...how to update it.

    I don't think it's really all that hard. They could have taken the Caliber, rounded it off a bit and come up with some retro cues, and come up with a PT replacement.

    Actually, that might be one thing that ultimately killed off the PT Cruiser...too much competition from within Chrysler. All the PT really is, is a tall, stubby, compact wagon with some retro styling cues. Well, the Caliber was sort of a tall wagon, and so is the Jeep Patriot. And the Jeep Compass sort of fits that role too.

    I think if Chrysler put their minds to it, they could come up with some tall wagon based on the new Dart. After all, the Dodge Journey is supposedly based on the Sebring/200C and Avenger platform, yet looks nothing like them.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    It was Silver Ice Metallic. I'm not a fan of silver, but the 2LT has non-polished silver aluminum wheels, and I thought the car just looked very rich

    After having a silver 2000 Intrepid for ten years, a silver '89 Gran Fury before that, and a gray-over-silver '86 Monte Carlo before that, silver wouldn't be my first choice in a car.

    But, one thing that I liked about my Intrepid, was that if you got the base model, the plastic wheelcovers were painted silver. So, with a silver car, it was a nice complement.

    I notice the 2014 Impala has a color called "Silver Topaz Metallic", which to me looks similar to that nice pale silvery blue-green that was so common on the first-gen Olds Aurora. I'm kinda curious to see that in person.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    When I first saw the Caliber at the Cleveland Auto Show back, whenever, I projected it to be a hit-in-the-making. Not bad styling IMHO, low price, lots of utility. I was wrong....real wrong!

    Whatever was the last model year they made them, I saw a bargain-basement one, 5-speed, at a dealer in Erie, PA. I can't recall--either the sticker was $13K-odd, or that was the price hanging on a tag in the windshield. Either way, seemed like a good value to me.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,178
    I jogged by the local dealer this morning - they had no new Impalas within eyesight. They did have a new 13 model sitting among their inventory (lots of SUVs and Camaros), and several Sonic hatches.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I notice the 2014 Impala has a color called "Silver Topaz Metallic", which to me looks similar to that nice pale silvery blue-green that was so common on the first-gen Olds Aurora. I'm kinda curious to see that in person.

    I "built" one that color on Chevy's website, and to me it resembles this past year's Corvette's "Carlisle Blue", but probably more silvery.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    When I first saw the Caliber at the Cleveland Auto Show back, whenever, I projected it to be a hit-in-the-making. Not bad styling IMHO, low price, lots of utility. I was wrong....real wrong!

    I thought it would be popular, as well. I think the first time I saw one was at the Philly auto show in 2006. A friend of mine, who had a 1998 Tracker, was thinking about a new vehicle, and I was sort of hoping to steer him into one of those. But, once I saw one in person, I wasn't all that impressed. While more substantial than a Tracker (that's not saying much) it still seemed really diminutive, up close and personal. So, I'm kinda glad he ended up getting an Xterra.

    As for sales, the Caliber started off okay, but fell fast. Here are the yearly totals, according to Wikipedia:

    2007: 101,079
    2008: 84,158
    2009: 36,098
    2010: 45,082
    2011: 35,049
    2012: 10,176

    I think Chrysler really screwed themselves by replacing the Neon with something that was trying to be a bit of a cute-ute. It would be like Toyota dumping the Corolla and replacing it with the Matrix.

    In general, I think that market just got crowded out. Chrysler had the PT Cruiser. Then along came the Dodge Caliber, and Jeep Compass/Patriot. And, in my opinion at least, the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro were close enough to overlap to some degree. The Liberty/Nitro were a bit more SUV-ish than cute-ute, but still close enough in my opinion, that some cross shopping would occur.

    And, at some point, many dealers were selling Chryslers, Jeeps, and Dodges all in the same showroom, including the place I bought my Ram from, so they were all there at the same showroom, vying for the customer's attention.
  • parts are globally sourced (listen and read the fine print), but assembled with pride in US & Canada. We have outpriced ourselves. Many parts, take a look at Magna website. The so called new 2013 escape has been in europe for years, under a different name. Look at wikipedia!
    Our section of Canada, used to build Ford Talbotville, GM moved to Indiana.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,254
    I think the PT Cruiser did a better job looks wise than the Chevy HHR. Sadly, I've yet to speak to a former PT Cruiser owner who doesn't say in retrospect - what a piece of crap.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    I wanted my buddy, who ultimately bought the 2006 Xterra, to check out a Chevy HHR as well. I was impressed by their EPA ratings, something like 21/28 at the time. In contrast, his old Tracker was rated around 22/24, and I think the Xterra he wanted was only 16/22.

    But, once I saw one in person, I thought it just seemed too diminutive, just like the Caliber. The Xterra isn't perfect, but at least it doesn't feel like some tiny little thing that'll fall apart in an accident.

    I've known two people who have had PT Cruisers. One of them was a co-worker, that I lost contact with when I went to another project. The other one is a friend of a friend. Well, my friend just saw this guy and his wife the other day, and I asked him what they were driving. He said "Some little compact piece of crap". When I asked about the PT Cruiser they used to have, he said, "Oh, that got wrecked".

    So, long term, I don't really have any first-hand anecdotes, I guess.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,254
    An Xterra and an HHR - kind of like Mutt and Jeff in size I think. Seemed like the Xterra had a bit better quality ratings than the Pathfinder then as I recall. As for the HHR, I don't know if you could find a more upright windshield on a modern car and even early Suburban's don't do well in miniature unfortunately.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited April 2013
    You may have laughed but a LOT of people bought and happily paid the extra amount. They were hotter than a pistol for about the first two years.


    There are always a few that have to have the hottest new thing. And, they're willing to pay top dollar to get it, so they can be the coolest dude around.

    Whenever Apple debuts a new product, good luck trying to get one the first few days at an Apple store. The line will be extremely long.

    They were certainly nothing special. Chrysler hit a home run when they took a lowly Neon and put that retro body on.

    As the years passed, or course, the popularity waned and at the end, the only people buying them were the rental companies.


    Yep, but wasn't that the problem? Chrysler couldn't sustain the run, unlike what Harley Davidson was able to do. That's exactly what the local dealer used to compare the PT Cruiser to... Harley.

    In 1990 when Miatas first came out people were paying 3000.00 or more over MSRP and they were waiting in line.

    Well, I'd say the Miata had been far more successful in its market relevance and "staying power". No question about it. And, it was a product that could be modified and improved upon without changing its image.

    It's called, " Making hay while the sun is shining"

    It's also called price gouging, and sometimes customers' memories last much longer than anticipated. Any business can screw the customer for some length of time and get away with it. The key is knowing how much and how long one can get away with it.

    In the local dealer's case, those customers appear to have remembered longer than anticipated.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited April 2013
    I think the PT Cruiser did a better job looks wise than the Chevy HHR. Sadly, I've yet to speak to a former PT Cruiser owner who doesn't say in retrospect - what a piece of crap.

    I'm a current PT owner, although I bought ours used for my daughter. I bought it in Aug. 2010 for $6,930 on eBay. It was built in May 2008 and had 45K miles. It now has 64K miles.

    It had been a rental.

    It has been very reliable and my wife likes the chair-high seating position and my daughter's cello fits easily in the back. I think it idles roughly compared to our completely-smooth-idling Cobalt, and the MPG doesn't match either our Cobalt's or our Malibu's, and it's a bit of a wide turning circle, but for the price paid, I'm completely OK with that! The owner's manual says to replace spark plug wires at 60K miles, but I'm holding off 'til it's time to replace plugs again, which will be another 10 or 12K miles I think.

    It did need control arm bushings when I bought it, and I did that. About 9K miles later, the Mopar dealer said they were beginning to tear. I squawked and they replaced them, and the sway bar bushings that they broke in disassembly--for $25...cleared by their Zone rep. I was fine with that.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy another used one for my second daughter--but she hates the looks of it. ;)

    I never bought Chryslers new, but I look hard at them used, as they seem priced lower than similar Chevys and Fords.

    I think the HHR has more space behind the back seats than a PT...you can tell just by glancing at them. I think they're cute, but when it came time to buy a car in '08, I bought a Cobalt because I wouldn't buy a new car made in Mexico. I don't understand why they wouldn't build the HHR at Lordstown, since it's a Cobalt underneath. I understand they've been reliable.

    I'm aware the PT was built in Mexico, but as a used car, the damage was done. ;)
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Well, I'd say the Miata had been far more successful in its market relevance and "staying power". No question about it. And, it was a product that could be modified and improved upon without changing its image.

    The Miata is a far-less-mainstream product. I see tons of PT's from the oldest to the latest, every day around here. I go weeks without seeing a Miata. Saleswise, there'd be no comparison between the two.
This discussion has been closed.