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Hybrids: The new "muscle car"?

larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
Hybrids versus "muscle cars" and how they affect us socially

“I get just as much kick out of driving the Prius as I do the Corvette,” he said. “It’s just a whole different game.


  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    Don't you think the article emphasizes my opinion that hybrids are just there to make the wealthy feel good about their gluttonous lifestyle. They are not practical vehicles for mainstream Americans.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary, how many times do we have to have this discussion?

    How is a range of cars (and there are now 4 or 5 hybrids which fit this price range) which cost LESS THAN THE AVERAGE PRICE OF A NEW CAR in the USA to be construed as for only "wealthy" people?

    All the 300,000 or so hybrids on the road in the USA are all purchased by "non-mainstream Americans?"

    You see how silly that sounds?

    Am I "rich, gluttonous wealthy person" as a single dad with one job working to make ends meet and try to save a little college money for my kids, who wants to spend as little as he can on fuel costs and and keep the air cleaner by buying a couple of hybrids?

    Just because Toyota has said the Prius is TARGETED at families making $100,000 or more a year does not mean that EVERY Prius owner or hybrid buyer is a rich guy or gal.

    Over at greenhybrid we have a LOT of hybrid buyers in their 20s and 30s who are not by ANY STRETCH "rich" people trying to support a "gluttonous lifestyle."
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    How would you interpret what that article was saying? I got from it that the one fellow bought the Prius so he would not feel guilty about owning a gas guzzler. Which I am sure is the case with 9 out of 10 celebrity types that buy into the hybrid hype.

    Maybe now that the demand has decreased they will be priced where Joe average can afford one.

    As far as how many times we have a discussion depends on how many times you present articles that I have a comment on. Or articles I post that you have comment on.

    I realize my broken record on hybrids is just about equal to yours on diesel. Maybe some day we will have a vehicle that we can both agree on. Maybe an electric vehicle. I know too much about hybrids to buy in again.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    It looked like to me he was merely saying "I get emotional feelings about muscle cars which I don't get from hybrids."

    That is what I consider to be the gist of the article.

    Regardless of "why" someone buys a hybrid, the point remains that if you care about reducing oil consumption in this country, and you care about lowering your own personal fuel bill, and about reducing pollution, ALL IN ONE VEHICLE, then you need to shop the available hybrids. That's not going to change.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    ALL IN ONE VEHICLE, then you need to shop the available hybrids.

    You mean like the GS450H or the upcoming LS460h? Those are dandy examples of the direction hybrids are going. There is no doubt they are muscle hybrids. Still gas guzzlers with a green tint.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Perhaps he's a frustrated Socialist? :P

    Here are the facts.....

    "As the U.S. population crossed the 300 million mark sometime around 7:46 a.m. Tuesday, October 17th, (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), the typical family is doing a whole lot better than their grandparents were in 1967, the year the population first surpassed 200 million.

    Mr. and Mrs. Median's $46,326 in annual income is 32% more than their mid-'60s counterparts, even when adjusted for inflation, and 13% more than those at the median in the economic boom year of 1985. And thanks to ballooning real estate values, average household net worth has increased even faster. The typical American household has a net worth of $465,970, up 83% from 1965, 60% from 1985 and 35% from 1995.

    Throw in the low inflation of the past 20 years, a deregulated airline industry that's made travel much cheaper, plus technological progress that's provided the middle class with not only better cars and televisions, but every gadget from DVD players to iPods, all at lower and lower prices, and it's obvious that Mr. and Mrs. Median are living the life of Riley compared to their parents and grandparents.

    So why are they so unhappy?

    Yes, despite their material prosperity, the Medians are a grumpy lot. A Parade Magazine survey (a good source for all things median) performed by Mark Clements Research in April 2006, showed that 48% of Americans believe they're worse off than their parents were. A June 2006 study by GFK-Roper group showed that 66% of Americans said that their personal situations in the "Good Old Days"--defined by the bulk of respondents as anywhere between the 1950s and the 1980s--were better than they are today. And in May, a Pew Research Center poll showed that half of U.S. adults believe the current trends point toward their children's future being worse than their own present.

    Attribute some of the dissatisfaction to what economist Milton Friedman dubbed "Permanent Income Theory," which assumes that people measure where they are relative to where they expected to be a few years ago. They don't care a bit what the average income was four decades ago. :P

    "If you expect a 3% rise in income and you get 2.5%, you're disappointed," says Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board, a private research group in New York.

    And because people generally judge their fortunes not in absolute terms, but by comparing themselves to others, the super-success of the top 1% can make Mr. and Mrs. Median feel relatively poorer. Take CEOs--the $19 million that Wal-Mart Chief Lee Scott raked in last year was 410 times what Mr. and Mrs. Median made, as opposed to the $469,000 a year earned by Exxon's Ken Jamieson in 1975, which was a mere 40 times more.

    It's the same with celebrity athletes. Those who worshipped Joe Namath in the 1960s could at least identify with the $142,000 a year he made ($848,000 in today's dollars). But how many can identify with the $87 million Tiger Woods took in last year? And not only are the elite making much more today, relatively, than the Medians, the rise of cable television and the Internet assures that they know all about it.

    "It's now easy for us to see how other people around the world live, not just how our neighbors live," says Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College. Schwartz also argues that the plethora of consumer choices today, while generally a good thing, can be a catalyst for bringing people down. Not everyone can have a new flat screen television with both a 60 inch screen and premium sound.

    "The more options you look at, the more you have to give up," he says.

    It's true that the wealthy have grabbed up a larger share of the growing economic pie over the past 40 years. Census Bureau stats show that the percentage of pay collected by the middle 60% of wage earners dipped to 46% in 2005 from 52% in both 1965 and 1975. That figure doesn't include income from investments, which would make the gap even larger.

    But the overall pie is much larger too. A near quadrupling of the Gross Domestic Product since 1967 means that today's Americans share $12.5 trillion in wealth, or $41,579 per capita, compared to the $3.8 trillion, or $18,951 per capita, enjoyed by 200 million people back then.

    Of course, the super-rich have done even better. When the first edition of the Forbes 400 hit newsstands in 1982, the top-ranked person was shipping magnate Daniel Ludwig, with an estimated net worth of $2 billion. That was about 20,000 times the net worth of Mr. and Mrs. Median at the time. There were only 12 billionaires on the list that year.

    The top person on the 2006 edition of the Forbes 400, Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) Co-Founder Bill Gates, had a net worth of $53 billion, or 133,741 times the Medians. That means that while Mr. and Mrs. Median have seen their net worth rise 130% percent since the first Forbes 400, the richest man in the country is worth 1,225% more. Oh, and every member of the list is now a billionaire.

    But what does the pay of celebrities and CEOs have to do with the average American, other than provide fodder for jealousy? It would be one thing if growing incomes at the top stretched prices of goods and services so much as to dramatically push inflation ahead for everyone else. But inflation has been tame for over two decades.

    The fact is that in real terms, the Medians are doing great. Mr. Median makes 25% more than his father did 30 years ago, even after holding for inflation. Mrs. Median is a lot more likely to work in the professional ranks than her mom was, and to be paid about three times as much doing so. And though she still makes only 77% of what her male counterparts earn, this is up from 33% in 1965. They dote on the same number of children (two), but waited longer to have them, until both careers are well under way. They also pay less tax to the federal government and have 8% more purchasing power than they did 20 years ago, including 5.7% more than they had just ten years ago.

    But, if despite their prosperity, the Medians need some cheering up, there is one powerful person whose wage growth they have outpaced nicely over the last two generations.

    When Lyndon Johnson occupied the White House in 1965, he earned $100,000 a year, or 14 times what the Medians earned. This year, George W. Bush will earn $400,000, or just eight times the Medians."

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Those are not "dandy examples" of where hybrids are going at all.

    They are two high-end hybrid options put forward by Toyota which are MORE FUEL EFFICIENT THAN A COMPARABLY POWERFUL GAS ENGINE ONLY CAR.

    As I said for the first time almost two years ago:

    Hybridization is NOT MERELY for "super-high-mileage cars." It's also going to be used to make a comparably powerful car which is more fuel efficient.

    There are about 12 more hybrid cars, trucks, and SUVs to hit the USA shores by the end of the 2008 model year. Not all of them are "high-mileage only" but EVERY ONE OF THEM will be more fuel efficient than the gas-only version of that same car.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    Nice study. Too bad it does not tell the whole story. How those at the top making millions bring up the median income with out anyone attached. It does not show that the folks at the bottom of the income ladder are not doing as well as those at the bottom 50 years ago. If you have two people one making a dollar a year and the other 1 million a year the median income is $500k per year. The study I like to use claims the average CEO makes 583 times more than the bottom paid employee in the company. I think that is morally wrong. But not legally wrong. I don't advocate doing what the French did in the late 1780s. The study makes it sound glamorous for a mother to have a good job. Most were doing fine as house wives. Not many men make enough to support a family today like they did 50 years ago.

    Getting back to hybrids. If you take the median priced hybrid built by Toyota/Lexus it will cost about $42k. Hardly the average priced vehicle. That median price will go up when they add the next two hybrids to the string. I hear the LS460h & LS600h are close to $100k. That should please the Hollywood types that are tired of driving around in that goofy looking Prius.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I might have to get one of these....

    Same general price range as a TCH but Son of Supra?

    It may require a free registration.

    Summary: the Lexus 450h hybrid powertrain in a rear-wheeled drive Toyota sports car with 0-60 times estimated in the 5 sec range.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    I am more interested in the car they mention at the bottom of the article. The Daihatsu Copen EV. If I wanted that kind of performance I would buy or Porsche or Corvette. It is good to see that Toyota has a division that is working on economy and not performance. What would you do with a car like that? You said your commute is limited to 65 MPH. Having a car like the Supra hybrid or GS450h would only cause depression. Or you would get lots of speeding tickets.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > If you take the median priced hybrid built by Toyota/Lexus it will cost about $42k. Hardly the average priced vehicle.

    That's a fantastic example of using statistics to mislead!

    You cannot do a direct comparison to come up with a market average. That's totally deceptive. It gives the impression that sales of the most expensive luxury hybrid are equal to that of the most basic one... which couldn't be further from the truth.

    The inclusion of quantity available is essential. You must be take that into account. It's call a "weighted average", a standard calculation practice use to provide numbers which are representative of actual market volume.

    Of course, feeding us a number without any explanation of how it was derived is reason to be suspicious anyway. Being vague isn't helpful.

    In short, the appropriate average price to quote is significantly lower due to so many more Prius being produced.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    I used exactly the same tactics that Toyota uses to claim they are selling a given percentage more than last year. Even though the Corolla almost passed up the Camry for number ONE and may do so yet this year. In their statistics they use a vehicle as ONE. Whether it is an LX470 or a Yaris. So how is that any different than my giving an average price for a Toyota/Lexus hybrid.

    If you have the exact figures for the HH and TCH sales we could come up with an average price paid per hybrid through October. With the average Prius going out the door at about $30k I don't think my $42k will be that far off.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    The Prius has a MSRP of $22,175. The Touring Edition has one of $23,070. With Option Combo "B" ( includes AM/FM CD with six speakers, auxiliary audio jack and MP3/WMA playback capability, Smart Key System, [5], backup camera [11] and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) [4] (HG)) , that brings the standard edition to $23,970. That price includes Delivery, Processing & Handling Fee.

    In 2006, $24,000 can hardly be called a luxury or high-priced car. Certainly it falls cheaper than many car's the average wage-earners are buying today, including the Chevy Impala.

    Even with sales tax and license fees, that leaves it "about" $4,500 short of $30,000. :P
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    According to our hosts here at Edmunds the very cheapest Prius available has an average selling price or $28,726 OTD. The top model Touring with package 6 goes out the door for just over $35k. Those are not my figures they are right here on Edmunds today. That is here in the largest by far hybrid market CA.

    Toyota says the average Prius buyer makes $85k per year. Why is it so hard to admit that the hybrids are not for the average buyer? Toyota has not announced any plans for a lower level hybrid than the Prius. They just keep raising the bar.

    The latest is a monster hybrid rocket that is gold plated with a hint of green for the upper, upper class among us that would not be caught dead in a Prius or TCH. The LS600h defines this thread to the max. It also points the direction Toyota has for their hybrids.

    Several posters here have used Edmunds TMV to back up their claims of high resale values for hybrids. So I hope it is not a one way street.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I can only go to the Toyota website, and look at the figures posted there for MSRP, same as you can. Edmunds has never been the end-all and be-all as to prices, and I think anyone who has bought and sold more than one car knows that....

    If you go to THIS Edmunds link, sedans, $15-$25,000 is where they put the Prius. And, once again, they state the prices are what I posted above.

    Any demographer could tell you why Toyota says the average buyer makes $85,000. Number one, they are aiming at that market, or where, as that was their false assumption as to who would buy it. Number two, someone making half that amount might be less likely to complete the internet sales questionnaire, and most people, according to pollsters inflate their actual income in surveys. ;)

    It makes no difference, whichever scenario above is true, your figures are wrong. Not according to me, but according to Toyota, And, more importantly, according to these forums, and the prices paid by users here.

    I wonder if the "prices paid" as asserted by Edmunds, has ever been updated in the last six months or so :confuse:

    Maybe one of our hosts can enlighten us about the "prices paid" as stated on Edmunds, versus Edmunds and Toyota's MSRP....
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    I don't know what to tell you. Here are the facts straight from a local dealer. They have 7 Prius available. Six of them are base models with a starting MSRP of $28,074 the Touring they have is MSRP $29,757. So far I have given two sources for my claims. You have given none. Just your opinion of what the Toyota prices should be. And yes the Toyota website gives the basic MSRP with no packages no administration fee. It all adds up and up until 10/1/06 no negotiating of the price. I am assuming a person could negotiate a better price now than before the Tax Credit was halved. You have to remember when I argued that the resale prices here for hybrids were not realistic. Well everyone liked the TMV when it looked good for hybrid resale. Now that it shows that hybrids are over priced you and others will argue they are not realistic. I think that eBay is the best source of prices paid for used cars. Many disagree.

    Speaking of performance hybrids: eBay has two brand new G450h listed. They are not getting any serious bidders. One is a Neiman Marcus number 54/75 for you speed freaks.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Now you resort to ignoring facts?

    My posts here cited my sources and offered links. What is wrong with you
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    I repeat your links are generic with no substance. When I went to the Edmund's link and clicked on the Prius then put in my color with NO OPTIONS or packages it came back with a TMV of $26,000. That was your limk not mine. Have you heard of anyone buying a Prius with no package option? I understand your defensiveness. You cannot win an argument when you have no facts to back up your statements.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Dude! Wake up and smell the coffee! Read my posts. I said the prices there were with Option "B" package. I am not defensive, just tired of people in these forums misstating, over and over, like some Nazi propaganda minister, what people post.

    If Toyota says the MSRP price is $7,000 under what you claim is the going price, it stands to reason that even if people pay sticker, that is still $7,000 less than you say. And, as I also said, people posting in the prices paid forum also contradict what you claim the going prices are.

    Is that specific enough for you? You also, I see, ignored their posts about prices paid, because it differed from your opinion.
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    For 2006 as of June, the average selling price for the Prius was $25,508. See Article with real data With price increases and Touring model for 2007, I think about 27-28k would be about average now. My dealer also has one of the joke $34k models. On one that stickers for about 25k, they still have an additional dealer markup of $3500. I wonder when the $34k model actually arrives on the lot if they put $37.5k on the sticker.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    That article was published back in June, on the 8th, with prep and all, it was most likely researched and the interviews done in early May. That was how many months ago? Hmmmmmm.....5-6 months. Lots has changed since then...more supply.

    Funny no one comments on the MSRP prices on Toyota's website, of the posts from buyers here, isn't it :confuse:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    All I got to say is good luck finding a Prius at the price Toyota has on their website. It kept going to an error message when I put in my zipcode. I guess all bets are off when you sell a Prius in CA.

    I went back in the buying a Prius thread to the middle of Sept. Only found one solid price for a Prius. Most of the posts were pertaining to the shabby treatment received from Toyota dealers. Here is a price posted from the SE USA. OTD $34,599. Not my idea of mainstream value. YOu should just feel lucky you got such a good deal on your Prius. Many paid their whole $3150 Tax Credit over MSRP. Buying frenzy does that to people.

    riposte, "Toyota Prius: Prices Paid & Buying Experience" #246, 21 Sep 2006 4:37 am
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    More supply and higher prices. The average MSRP on my dealer's lot is $28k -that is before the 3500 dealer markup.

    Can better prices be had? Yes. If you think the average Prius selling price has fallen below $26k, you are living in a fantasy world. Just about 6 months ago, it was hard to find a Prius above $30k. Now at least 1/3 are stickering over $30k. Toyota has turned up the option machine. Even with greater discounting, selling prices are up. With the loss of 1/2 of the tax credit, prices are "way up" to the consumer.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I live in Reno, Nevada. ;)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    Nice area. I would like to live around Gardnerville.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I just went to Edmunds, put in Zip 20210 (Washington, D.C.) and it returned a base Prius with Package 2 for MSRP of $1,175,(Includes backup camera, Smart Key system, AM/FM stereo, CD player, MP3 capability, MP3 input jack, six speakers and Vehicle Skid Control. ) and destination charge of $650.

    Edmunds says others are paying $26,266.00

    It is quoting same price for Chicago, Zip 60606. Same price for Dallas, Texas, Zip 75201.

    Gentlemen, that is according to Edmunds, what others are paying. Note this is not a stripper, but with the backup camera, and skid control, and the upgraded sound system, as shown above.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    along similar lines as post #2, i get as much magnitude kick out of driving TDI with 45 mpg & 100 hp as i do out of driving GTO with its 22 mpg & 400 hp. it's a kick in a slightly different direction, of course :)
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Toyota says the average Prius buyer makes $85k per year. Why is it so hard to admit that the hybrids are not for the average buyer?

    That number may well be accurate but I suspect that there are a lot of other demographic factors going on here. I'm fairly confident that there are vehicles being sold in the US that are at least as expensive as the Prius yet the earnings of the average buyer are considerably less than $85k.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    Edmunds says others are paying $26,266.00

    Don't you find that a quite a bit more than the $22,175 you quoted from the Toyota site? You also left off the set administrations fee of $610. I don't think you can buy a Prius without one of the packages from the factory. It looks like Edmund's is showing the same price across the country. According to our hosts that is the average price paid. I am sure that will be lowered in the next 6 months.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Actually, the "family income" is $85K. That in a lot of cases means two adult incomes. Given societal norms, that usually means a man making $50K and a wife making $35K.

    That's not unusually high incomes at all. It's far above the poverty line, but not anywhere near WEALTHY.
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